It’s no secret that you can find some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, right here in Ontario. Wherever you are in the province this summer, it’s likely there’s a picture-perfect view only a short drive or hike away. While Ontario Parks and Conservation Areas are now open, due to social distancing measures, some of the most popular viewpoints, like the Dundas Peak and Cheltenham Badlands, remain closed for the time being. However, across the province there are still almost endless possibilities for spectacular views to check out. We’ve put together a list of some of the best for taking in all the natural beauty Ontario has to offer this summer.
And no matter where you’re coming from, ONroute has something for every traveler. We’ve made a few suggestions for where your family can safely take a break and grab those essentials as you head out on your next adventure.
Barron Canyon Trail, Algonquin Park
For the adventurous types willing to travel slightly off the beaten path, Barron Canyon, just an hour from Petawawa, offers a fun day trip or overnight camping stay. Visitors can take in the awe-inspiring views of the canyon as they make their way along the 1.5km cliffside hike up to the lookout. The cliffs along the trail are quite steep, but those with young children can also take in the scenery by canoeing through the 100m deep canyon below!
Lion’s Lookout, Huntsville
If you and your family are up at the cottage in Muskoka this summer, check out Lion’s Lookout in Huntsville. The lookout is located right in downtown Huntsville and you can either drive or hike up – so it’s easily accessible for all ages and fitness levels. Visitors get a perfect view of small town Ontario, surrounded by Muskoka’s best asset: its incredible lakes and forests.
Although it’s currently closed for health and safety reasons, if you’re in the area keep an eye out for the Dorset Fire Tower’s reopening for an even higher, more remote view of cottage country landscape.
Scarborough Bluffs, Scarborough
One of the better-known spots on the list, the Scarborough Bluffs are a classic Toronto landmark for a reason. Spend the day at one of the 11 parks along the Bluffs, while enjoying the spectacular views of Lake Ontario and the sail boats floating along the waterfront.
Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area, Milton
Rattlesnake Point offers a variety of activities for families and makes for a perfect day trip for those in the GTA. For a breathtaking view of the Niagara Escarpment, try the Buffalo Crag Lookout Point at the end of a leisurely hike. This time of year, visitors can also watch the Turkey Vultures fly across the landscape.
Before planning a visit, make sure to book ahead of time, as you’ll need a reservation for most parts of the park.
Kakabeka Falls, Thunder Bay
The Kakabeka Falls are Ontario’s second highest waterfall, with no shortage of excellent spots to view the 40 metre high natural wonder. Take a walk on the boardwalks and surrounding trails, which offer hikes of varying length and skill level. For those looking to stay overnight, during the summer the park has three main campgrounds open for visitors. This one is definitely worth a road trip!
Eagle’s Nest Lookout, Calabogie
The trail leading to this stunning viewpoint overlooking Madawaska is the perfect choice for beginner level hikers. For a quick hike, visitors can take the 1.5km trail straight to the Eagle’s Nest Lookout. For those who want to spend a few hours in the wilderness, the 9km Manitou Mountain trail offers even more views of the endless forest, and plenty of spots along the way for a peaceful picnic.
Kingston Waterfront, Kingston
Our final summer viewpoint is a little different than the rest on this list. While not located atop a cliff or overlooking a valley, Kingston’s waterfront is definitely an unmissable view. The Waterfront Pathway covers 8km of picturesque Lake Ontario, with views of the water and the historic city. You can enjoy the day taking in the sights, or paddling around in a kayak. Just make sure you don’t miss that sunset!
This summer is a perfect opportunity to explore new areas of our province, enjoy the great outdoors, and stay active. We hope you stay safe, stay healthy and don’t hesitate to stop at your nearest ONroute to refuel and recharge after a long day of hiking and adventure!