Ontario is a province teeming with natural beauty and exciting outdoor adventures. And while Ontario winters are beautiful in their own way, there’s nothing quite like the budding flowers of spring and the clear blue skies of summer to spark a sense of adventure.
As the snow starts to melt and the days begin to lengthen, many small towns, provincial parks and conservation areas come alive with seasonal activities that attract eager adventurers across the province. If you’re one of those, then read on!
Here are 25 of Ontario’s best spring and summer outdoor adventures.
Cycle Around Pelee Island
Nearest City: Leamington
Pelee Island's 30-kilometre shoreline Waterfront Trail is perfect for cyclists looking for a remote, sunny part of Ontario to explore. This trail runs the perimeter of the island, through farmland and vineyards, and provides access to the island's beaches, marshes and forests. Spot migrating birds making their way back to Ontario for the summer.
Stargaze in Point Pelee Dark Sky Preserve
Nearest City: Leamington
Point Pelee National Park is a designated Dark Sky Preserve, making it the ideal spot to observe the night sky. Head to the park for one of the scheduled Dark Sky Nights when the park is open until midnight, and use your star chart or stargazing app to track distant lights that sparkle in the sky.
Relax on the Beach at Port Stanley
Nearest City: London
Lake Erie's North Shore is dotted with beautiful beaches that are ideal spots in relax in the summer. Port Stanley is one of Ontario's Blue Flag Beaches, making it one of the best and safest beaches in the province. We love soaking up the sun at Port Stanley Beach, where you can swim, paddleboard, kayak or bike along the Waterfront trail. Don’t have a bike? No problem. The Ride Elgin Bike Share program allows visitors to rent a bike for a day at the beach.
Zipline at Long Point Eco Adventures
Nearest City: Brantford
Long Point Eco Adventures is one of southern Ontario's best outdoor adventure spots. With eight ziplines, rope sky-bridges and wooden platforms, the course allows you to travel across the lush Carolinian forest and over the Turkey Point Marsh, experiencing the thrill of nature.
Diane Rookie Harris
Chase Waterfalls in Hamilton
Nearest City: Hamilton
Hamilton is home to over 150 waterfalls, making it the "waterfall capital of the world." Visit Devil’s Punchbowl, Felker’s Falls, Albion Falls, Smokey Hollow Falls and much more across this spectacular part of the Niagara Escarpment.
Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens
Nearest City: Burlington
Who said outdoor adventures need to be outside of the city limits? The Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington is Canada's largest botanical gardens, with nearly 2,500 acres of natural gardens and preserved land, with trails, exhibits and events to help you connect with nature.
Take a Bike Tour of Wine Country
Nearest City: St. Catharines / Niagara Falls
If you're looking for a unique way to explore Ontario's wine region in Niagara-on-the-Lake, then a winery bicycle tour could be right up your road. See the beautiful vineland on two wheels with a knowledgeable guide who will bring you to some of the best wineries in the area.
Float or Raft the Grand River
Nearest Cities: Guelph, Brandford, Paris, Elora
For a refreshing outdoor adventure in southwestern Ontario, head to the Grand River in Elora for tubing and whitewater rafting! Float down the river or take on the rapids of the Grand in this picturesque part of the province.
Camp at Pinery Provincial Park
Nearest City: London
Ontario's Blue Coast is home to some of the best beaches in the province and some of the most popular provincial parks. Pinery Provincial Park is the perfect place to combine camping with outdoor adventures like kayaking or fishing in the Old Ausable Channel or lounging on the beach at Grand Bend. Check out what we discovered during our camping trip to the Pinery and Grand Bend.
Explore the Sand Dunes and Swim at Sauble Beach
Nearest City: Owen Sound
Sauble Beach is home to massive sand dunes that make for family fun and affordable adventures for all ages! Grab a piece of cardboard and slide down the dunes or simply let your feet carry you down at top speed. Cool off in the waves of Sauble Beach when you're done.
Hike the Trails on the Bruce Peninsula
Nearest Cities: Tobermory, Lion's Head, Wiarton, Owen Sound
The Bruce Peninsula is home to a large stretch of the Bruce Trail that takes you high up on the Niagara Escarpment and shows you impressive views of the shorelines below. With trails for all skill levels, hiking on the Bruce Peninsula is a great way to experience Ontario's rugged outdoors.
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Swim in the Grotto at Tobermory
Nearest City: Tobermory
One of Ontario's top tourist destinations in the summer is Tobermory and Bruce Peninsula National Park. If you've never hiked to the Grotto, then consider adding this spectacular site to your bucket list. Taking a plunge into the turquoise waters of the Grotto cave is a thrilling adventure for all ages!
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Spend the Day Hiking on Flowerpot Island
Nearest City: Tobermory
A short boat ride away from Tobermory is the majestic Flowerpot Island. Home to towering limestone sea stacks, or "flowerpots," this island is the perfect place to experience remote hiking and quiet beaches in the Georgian Bay.
Experience Scenic Caves Nature Adventures
Nearest City: Collingwood
One of the best ways to experience the Niagara Escarpment is at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures. Hike along 15 kilometres of trails, walk the thrilling suspension bridge and explore the ancient caves carved by glacial ice in this spectacular UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Swim in the Longest Freshwater Beach in the World at Wasaga Beach
Nearest City: Wasaga Beach
If you're looking for a beach that tops all others, head to Wasaga Beach on the southern shores of Georgian Bay. Officially the longest freshwater beach in the world, Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is a sand lover's paradise and home to some endangered species that live in the park's sand dunes. Free Spirit Tours has some amazing nature-filled tours of kayaking, caving, climbing and forest therapy walks.
Embark on Georgian Bay Cruises
Nearest City: Midland
See some of the 30,000 islands that dot the southern Georgian Bay on a cruise through the world's largest freshwater archipelago. Book a lunch cruise, dinner cruise or sightseeing tour and catch a glimpse of Beausoleil Island, Giant's Tomb and more.
Relax by a Lake in Muskoka
Nearest Cities: Honey Harbour, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville
Ontario's Muskoka District is one of the most beautiful parts of the province in every season. If you're looking for a place to unwind by a quiet lake or rushing waterfall, there's no better place than Muskoka.
Slide Down the Sand Dunes at Sandbanks Provincial Park
Nearest City: Picton
The name says it all when it comes to Sandbanks Provincial Park. Towering mounds of sand line the shores of this stretch of Prince Edward County, providing important dune ecosystems for migrating birds, snapping turtles, salamanders and much more. The shallow waters of this park are perfect for a family day at the beach and the tall sand dunes are a sight worth seeing!
Take a Canoe Trip to Algonquin Provincial Park
Nearest City: Dwight
Algonquin Provincial Park is Ontario's most vast and famous wilderness region. Experience the great outdoors on a backcountry camping trip through Algonquin's interior lakes, where you'll be sharing the land with bears, moose, beavers, loons and more in this iconic Ontario Park.
Experience the Tulip Festival in Ottawa
Nearest City: Ottawa
If you've been waiting for the right time to visit the nation's capital, then consider heading to Ottawa for the annual Tulip Festival in May. Commissioner's Park is filled with flowering tulips and events to showcase this great city.
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Hike the Cup and Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island
Nearest City: Little Current
For one of Ontario's most popular hikes, trek the Cup and Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island. Known for its unique geological formations and towering views, this family-friendly trail is a must on the world's largest freshwater lake islands!
Go Rock Climbing in the Elora Gorge
Nearest City: Guelph
If you love the idea of scaling rock walls but thought it was only a thing in Canada's mountainous West, then you'll be pleased to know that the rugged Elora Gorge is home to some of the best rock climbing in Ontario. Rock climb, zipline and cliff rappel with the help of experienced professionals at the Elora Gorge.
Ride the Scenic Agawa Canyon Tour Train
Nearest City: Sault Ste Marie
In the heart of northeastern Ontario is the remote region of Agawa Canyon. Accessible only by train from Sault Ste Marie, this 10-hour ride through untouched wilderness will leave you breathless and in awe of the beauty right in your own backyard.
Hike or Bike in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Nearest City: Thunder Bay
Catch breathtaking views of Lake Superior while hiking the forested trails of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park near Thunder Bay. If mountain biking is more your style, you'll love the impressive trails this rugged park has to offer. And when you're done, don't forget to take a selfie in front of the "Sleeping Giant!"
Hike the Trails at Kakabeka Falls
Nearest City: Thunder Bay
One of the most impressive waterfalls in Ontario is the roaring Kakabeka Falls outside of Thunder Bay. Officially the second tallest waterfall in Ontario, this picturesque cascade and its surrounding trails are the perfect northern Ontario adventure.