Year-round adventure experiences in Ontario 

Whether the backdrop is winter snow, autumn colours or summer sunshine, the opportunities for outdoor adventure activities in Ontario abound

Ontario’s parks and wildlife reserves, lush green forests, lakes and rivers are geared up for visitors year-round. Autumn presents an explosion of fall colours, spring and summer brings warm weather and outdoor pursuits on the water and winter is the perfect time for snow based adventure.

Haliburton Forest 

Immerse yourself in the magical natural forest surroundings during a stay at Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve. Bed down in waterfront cabins or at the leafy campsite, set within 100,000 acres and surrounded by 100 lakes and millions of trees. 

In spring, summer and fall, there are limitless hiking and biking trails, rock climbing venues, or even the chance to take your best shot with a clay target shooting session.  

Of course, it’s very easy to fall in love with the province in the Autumn: take a ‘canopy tour’ among a Kaleidoscopic range of brilliant red, orange and gold hues.  

Rent a canoe and paddle the lakes, taking in the scenery the bankside offers, or venturing into deeper waters to appreciate the calmness of the surroundings. There are also culinary and wildlife experiences, learning about the province’s abundant produce and how to prepare food using these natural ingredients. 

Strap in for a snowmobile ride in winter once snow blankets the ground, or slip on snowshoes for a wintry walk. There’s also an opportunity for a spot of ice fishing – or challenge yourself with an introductory ice climb. 

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Ontario’s Highlands  

Just 2.5 hours east of Toronto, or half-an-hour west of Ottawa, Ontario’s Highlands encompass the Ottawa Valley, Lanark County, Frontenac County, Hastings County, Lennox and Addington and Haliburton Highlands. 

From the first snowfall, the wonder of a Canadian winter reveals the area’s pristine winter trails, snow-covered hills and deep lakes coated with swathes of ice. Adventure lies around every corner, from fat biking to ice climbing, snow jumping, winter camping, or simply channelling your inner child playing in the snow. Glide down the ski slopes by day, then enjoy the region’s exceptional apres ski in the evenings  

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For activities year-round or in other seasons, Wilderness Tours offers the popular Lazy River Tubing. Best enjoyed in warmer weather, the approximately 1.5 hour trip takes paddlers down the river, floating with the current and taking in the scenery. An expansive network of hiking and mountain biking trails spans 50 kilometres, taking in Ridge Runner, Lookout Trail, Confluence Trail and the Bayside loop.   

Or visit the RiverBarn beer garden and country store for al fresco dining, a game of corn hole, or browsing the work of local vendors and artists. Finish off with a walk to Rocher-Fendu Gorge Outlook, with a stunning viewing point at Butcher’s Knife rapid.   

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Madawaska River 

Any trip to Ontario demands time out on the water, experiencing its lakes, waterways and rapids. The Madawaska Kanu Centre offers certified kayak and canoe courses, with the river providing the ideal conditions of technical rapids and guaranteed surface water releases which provides warm whitewater all summer long. From themed family to female-only trips, there are also a range of courses for different abilities and durations.  

The centre also runs popular trips combining either kayaking or canoeing with a yoga treat, a twinning of an intense activity with something more sedate and mediative.  

The surrounding region has all the usual outdoor activities, such as skiing and snowboarding in winter, and swimming, cycling and golf in the more temperate months.

Bon Echo Provincial Park is unique in that there’s the opportunity to discover over 260 ancient Indigenous pictographs at Mazinaw Rock. Visitors can take in the historic carvings via a short and easy or longer and more challenging hiking trail or by Kayaking Mazinaw Lake.

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