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

We’re very lucky to have had the chance to spend one last day hiking in Killarney Provincial Park before having to trade in our hiking boots for snowshoes. This time, we chose to explore the park’s four day-use trails — we’d never hiked them and had heard they’re really nice though they’re shorter.

View of Georgian Bay while hiking in Killarney Provincial Park on the Chikanishing Creek Trail.
Chikanishing Creek Trail

Before we could get started hiking in Killarney Provincial Park, though, I realised at the park office that the person assisting us was someone whose name I recognised from the Friends of Killarney Park Facebook group. It was Cameron Hoepp, the park’s assistant superintendent!

We’re so grateful to him for showing us some alternate paddling routes and great snowshoeing options — now I’m already envisioning what my wintertime Killarney photos will look like!

Cameron also showed us the new and amazing book, In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven by Jim and Sue Waddington. I was particularly intrigued because I’d learned a lot about the Waddingtons while writing my own Following in the Group of Seven’s Footsteps article — Discovering the Canadian Wilderness Through Art, which features the works and ideas of Pierre AJ Sabourin.

Once we left the park office, we hurried to the first trail head, ready to enjoy the gorgeous autumn day we were having. We planned on covering the Cranberry Bog Trail, the Granite Ridge Trail, the Chikanishing Creek Trail, and Lake of the Woods Trail.

Cranberry Bog Trail

4 kilometres; 2 hours

A lone pine stands on pink granite before the Cranberry Bog.

This was one of my favourite trails of our day hiking in Killarney Provincial Park. The scenery was beautiful, the path was natural, and we only met a few people along the way (though maybe that’s because it was still early enough — we started the hike around 10 a.m.).

Granite Ridge Trail

2 kilometres; 1.5 hours

A windswept pine on Granite Ridge leans in the opposite direction as the slant of the hill.

Although this trail is very easy, clear and wide (not exactly the way we like it), it took us longer than expected to complete because there were so many people hiking in Killarney Provincial Park! The trail does become more natural and rugged at the top of the largest ascent, and the views are just killer. Definitely worth it!

Chikanishing Creek Trail

3 kilometres; 2 hours

This was another trail absolutely crawling with people, and I suspect the busiest trail of the day, if not the busiest in general on any given day hiking in Killarney Provincial Park. Why? The scenery was stunning from the get-go and the trail is a lot of fun to hike!

Small islands off the coast of Georgian Bay seen while hiking in Killarney Provincial Park yields splendid views of the Georgian Bay from the Chikanishing Creek Trail

But maybe it was because it was mid-afternoon by then and people just wanted to be outside.

Everyone we met that day was super nice, but on this trail, there seemed to be an air of joyous freedom. People seemed to spend more time milling about, enjoying the endless views of Georgian Bay while hiking in Killarney Provincial Park.

As we stopped for a little snack, we watched a large group of twenty-something Europeans we’d befriended.

A few of the guys stripped down to their underwear and waded into the water, swimming to a nearby island. Their friends watched for a while. Once the swimmers had reached the island and hiked around to the other side, their friends promptly hid all the clothing that had been left on shore.

Marc and I continued on our way, but hearing shouts and laughter some minutes later, we easily guessed what it was (winky face).

Lake of the Woods Trail

3.5 kilometres; 2 hours

This might have been our favourite hike of the day hiking in Killarney Provincial Park — it’s a tough call!

Scenery photographed while hiking in Killarney Provincial Park on the stunning Lake of the Woods Trail.

The trail was nice and natural most of the time, and there were pretty views of Lake of the Woods, and even of Silver Peak.

View of Silver Peak while hiking in Killarney Provincial Park on Lake of the Woods Trail
Silver Peak from Lake of the Woods

We didn’t see anyone else the entire time, which likely accounts for our quicker pace. The trail is a new one, so perhaps not as many people know about it.

But we rather felt that it was getting late in the day to start what is officially a three-hour trail, and that most people would prefer to take more time. With only three hours left until sundown, we weren’t concerned about our pace, but in all likelihood, many other people would be…

While we really did enjoy this trail, it was unfortunate that some older kids saw us atop a cliff from across the lake and spotted the dogs. We could hear them yelling, “Look, dogs!”

I thought that was cute at first, until the kids started howling to try to taunt the dogs. Since they didn’t let up for the next 10 minutes or so, I’m glad my dogs were smarter than them and didn’t pay them any attention! Lol!

Trail Info for Hiking in Killarney Provincial Park

If ever we’re short on time, but with a penchant to be hiking in Killarney Provincial Park, we’d hike these trails again. But of course, we’ll always prefer the backcountry (smiley face).

View of the Cranberry Bog, a bit of pink granite rock visible in the foreground.
Cranberry Bog

If, like us, you love hiking in Killarney Provincial Park, you’ll also want to check out these articles, which describe other area trails: