Ultimate Ontario Day Trips Bucket List — Hiking, Paddling, and Snowshoeing Goals

My ultimate Ontario Day Trips Bucket List highlights the shorter trails and routes I’d love to hit. Most are full-day trips, but some might be half-day trips. And then again, some parks might be listed which have two or three shorter trails than can all be hiked in one day — and that to me is a day trip (smiley face).
My Ultimate Ontario Day Trips Bucket List includes hiking along the shores of Georgian Bay in Killbear Provincial Park.
Georgian Bay, Killbear Provincial Park

They’re not necessarily day trips from where I live though (although they could be), but rather, they’re day trips if you’re already close enough to the trail. Just depends on where you’re starting from!

There isn’t really enough time for a combo trip in just one day, though, so these are all straight up hiking, canoeing, or snowshoeing trips.

So maybe you would like to see some overnight camping trips — check those out over on my Ultimate Ontario Trekking Bucket List.

So, my first thought is always to research online when looking for a new trail to hit; but one of my favourite go-to resources is actually a book — Hiking in Ontario by Ulysses (Affiliate Disclosure). It lists so many different types of trips and trails that it’s usually pretty easy to find something of interest by leafing through the pages. I also search the Ontario Parks website, of course, and I might try a general web search if I still haven’t found anything good. What are your favourite resources for finding out about new or different trips and trails? You can share your suggestions in the comments section below (smiley face).

Make sure to come back often — I’ll be updating the page whenever a new trail suggestion comes my way. Get free email notifications by signing up.

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Ultimate Ontario Day Trips Bucket List Legend

NB: The legend has been modified to be more user-friendly.

The spots on my ultimate Ontario Day Trips Bucket List aren’t ranked in any particular order, though I’ve indicated which ones I’ve done, loved, would like to do again, etc.

  • The ones I haven’t tried that really turn my crank: Heart.
  • The ones I’ve done already: Check.
  • The ones I’ve only partially done: Half Star.
  • The ones I’ve done more than once: Plus.
  • The ones I’ve just gotta do again: Flag.
    But if it’s not flagged, that doesn’t necessarily mean I wouldn’t do it again, just that I don’t absolutely have to from the depths of my soul.

Now go ahead, take a look at my Ontario Day Trips Bucket List. Then, scroll down and leave a comment to let me know what’s on yours! Also, please let me know if this list was in any way useful to you.

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Hiking Day Trips Bucket List

  • Various trails at Mashkinonje Provincial Park, French River — Lake Nipissing area Check. Plus. Flag.
  • The Crack, Killarney Provincial Park Check. Plus. Flag.
  • Various trails in Killarney Check. Flag.
  • Cup and Saucer Trail, Little Current, Manitoulin Island Check. Flag.
  • Nipissing Trail, Commanda to Magnetawan
  • Various trails at Mississagi Provincial Park Half Star. Plus. Flag.
  • Various trails at Lake Superior Provincial Park Half Star. Flag.
  • Various French River Multi Use Trails Half Star. Flag.
  • Chevrier’s Creek Trail and others at Driftwood Provincial Park, Deep River area
  • Various trails at Dokis First Nation, French River area Check. Flag.
  • Various trails at Grundy Lake Provincial Park, French River area Check. Plus.
  • Various trails at Killbear Provincial Park, Parry Sound area Check.
  • Various loops of Etienne Trail in Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, Mattawa area Check. Plus. Flag.
  • Various trails at Arrowhead Provincial Park, Huntsville area Check.
  • Various trails at Restoule Provincial Park, French River — Lake Nipissing area Check.
  • Hawk Ridge Trail at Halfway Lake Provincial Park, Sudbury area Check.
  • Various trails at Quetico Provincial Park, Fort Frances area Heart.
  • Various trails at Kakabeka Provincial Park, Thunder Bay area
  • Various trails at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park, Terrace Bay area
  • Lookout Trail at Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Sault Ste. Marie area
  • The Esker Trail at Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park , Timmins area
  • Various trails at Kap-Kig-Iwan Provincial Park, Earlton area
  • Various trails at The Massassauga Provincial Park, Georgian Bay area Heart.
  • Tallow Rock Bay Trail, Charleston Lake Provincial Park, Kingston area
  • Bluff Trail, Awenda Provincial Park, Penetanguishene area
  • Lakeshore Trail, Silent Lake Provincial Park, Haliburton area
  • Beausoleil Island, Georgian Bay Islands National Park
  • Misery Bay Provincial Park, Manitoulin Island Heart.
  • Nimkees Trail, Manitoulin Island Heart.
  • Moose Mountain Trail, South River area
  • McCrae Lake Conservation Area, Georgian Bay area Check.
  • Lake Laurentian Conservation Area, Sudbury
  • Developing trails at Henvey Inlet First Nation, French River area Heart.
  • Developing trails at Magnetawan First Nation
  • Merv’s Landing to Wemtagoosh Falls, Point Grondine Park, Killarney area Check. Flag.
For more information on some of the trails listed above, check out Outdoor Recreation in the French River and Lake Nipissing Area and Visiting Mashkinonje Provincial Park: A Guide.
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Paddling Day Trips Bucket List

  • Various routes within French River Provincial Park Half Star. Flag.
  • Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, Lakefield area
  • LaVase Portage, North Bay area
  • Nottawasaga Canoe Route, Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
  • Mazinaw Lake to Mazinaw Rock, Bon Echo Provincial Park Heart.
  • MacLeod Provincial Park, Geraldton area
  • Various routes within Rideau River Provincial Park
  • Bruce Peninsula National Park
  • Point Pelee National Park

Snowshoeing Day Trips Bucket List

  • Various trails at Mashkinonje Provincial Park, French River — Lake Nipissing area Check. Plus. Flag.
  • Various French River Multi Use Trails Half Star.
  • Various trails at Algonquin Provincial Park
  • Various trails at Killarney Provincial Park Heart.
  • Récollet Falls Trail, French River Provincial Park Check. Plus.
  • Laurentian Escarpment Trails, North Bay area Check.
  • Various trails at Murphys Point Provincial Park, Perth area
  • Various trails at Pinery Provincial Park, Grand Bend area
  • Various trails at Windy Lake Provincial Park, Sudbury area Heart.
  • Various trails at Silent Lake Provincial Park, Haliburton area
  • Theodore Fouriezos Wetland Park, Sturgeon Falls, Lake Nipissing area Check.

Itchy feet got you wanting more? Check out my seasonal bucket lists, and the results in my trek reports.

Happy trails!

Ontario Day Trips Bucket List Check-Offs

If you’d like to learn more about the places to which I’ve already been, take a look at these articles:

Day Hike to The Crack & Beyond for Killer Views of Killarney Park

An amazing view from The Crack in Killarney :) A day hike to The Crack is always fantastic. Never the same hike twice and an Ontario high point, it's a great way to get killer views of Killarney.

Hiking the Trails at Mississagi Park in a Long Weekend

Helenbar Trail scenery at Mississagi Park. Last May long weekend, for hiking the trails at Mississagi Park, we chose a romantic backcountry beach campsite with access to several routes.

Winter Walking the Laurentian Escarpment Trails in North Bay

City scenery from the Laurentian Escarpment Trails in North Bay. Go winter walking the Laurentian Escarpment Trails overlooking North Bay, totalling about 7-8 km of interconnecting non-motorized multi-use trails.

Snowshoeing Along French River to Récollet Falls

A bit of snow covers the rocky riverside, the water surface still on this cold winter's day. Snowshoeing along French River to Récollet Falls is free, and it's a great way to spend a few hours outdoors!

Snowshoe Hiking Mashkinonje Park’s Samoset Loop to Lapin Beach

A bay of Lake Nipissing seen from Lapin Beach. One of my favourite places to hike, no matter the season! On our last trip snowshoe hiking Mashkinonje Park, we tackled the Samoset loop to Lapin Beach.

Hiking Around Killarney's Lighthouse

View of Killarney's lighthouse from a rocky beach on our return journey. We headed to Killarney to spend a day hiking around Killarney's lighthouse, on the Tar Vat Bay & Lighthouse Trails, which follow the Georgian Bay coastline.

Day Hiking Hawk Ridge Trail at Halfway Lake Park

Rockly lake coastline along Hawk Ridge Trail. We've been wanting to visit Halfway Lake for a few years but we never got there. So last weekend saw us day hiking Hawk Ridge Trail, the park's longest loop

Snowshoe Hike on the Loudon Peatland Trail in Mashkinonje Provincial Park

Lovely view of the Loudon Peatland from the top of the tower. At only 2.9 kilometres long, a Mashkinonje Provincial Park snowshoe hike on the Loudon Peatland Trail is just perfect for a fun, relaxed afternoon outdoors.

Snowshoe Hiking to The Lake Above, French River

Scenery from snowshoe hiking to the Lake Above. Easily accessible, a few of hours is all the time needed to go snowshoe hiking to The Lake Above in French River. A snowmobile trail leads to the side trail

Hiking in Killarney Provincial Park: 4 Day-Use Trails [Photo Album]

Dark cracks in the pink granite seem to move forward towards the pine-tree-lined shore of Georgian Bay. We're lucky to have explored four day-use trails one last day hiking in Killarney Provincial Park before having to trade in our hiking boots for snowshoes.

Walking in French River on Pioneer Trail to Lac Barbotte Lookout

Lac Barbotte scenery Access has been opened for walking in French River. Only a several minutes’ drive from Noëlville, signs indicate where Pioneer Trail begins on Mayer Road.

Hiking the History Loop on Etienne Trail: Samuel de Champlain Park

River and forest landscape seen while hiking the History Loop on Etienne Trail in Samuel de Champlain Park. We left early when we were hiking the History Loop on Etienne Trail in Samuel de Champlain Park, even though we decided late to head to the hills of Mattawa

Spring Day Hiking [Photo Album]

Ice melting on Lake Nipissing. My Hiking Hit List doesn't so much feel like a commitment as a reservation. It's great; we've already done 4 of the 7 spring day hiking trips on our list!

Snowshoe Hiking in French River and Area [Photo Album]

Snowshoe hiking to French River's Récollet Falls surprised us — we expected the water to be frozen! The snow's pretty much all gone here. I doubt it's really coming back for a while. We went snowshoe hiking in French River quite a bit, once a bit further.

Hiking in Ontario: Fave Photos [Album]

Marsh along Mashkinonje Provincial Park's Atakas Trail This has been a long time coming, but I figure it's better than an album! Fave photos of hiking in Ontario are from anytime between 2008 and the present...

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