Our home base is Ontario and might we add- we LOVE it! Yep. We've travelled to many destinations around the world and we still love and appreciate what Ontario has to offer. It's beautiful, it's peaceful, the people are pleasant (though everyone's 'sorry' for every little thing!) and it's pretty vast given how built up the rest of the world is! It's as big as France and Spain combined!
When the weather starts to turn warmer every year (some of these drives might be a little difficult during our deep cold winters), we start thinking about our road trips! We pack a picnic lunch and just go! Often times we combine it with a camping trip too. Some of these are perfect for a day, while others you may wish to make a whole weekend out of. If you're visiting Ontario make sure you travel it by car. There is SO much to see, you'll definitely need one. If you're from Europe- you'll love how wide our roads are!
Here are our six favourite road trips to take around the province.
6. Around Niagara
After getting off the crazy QEW, it's hard to believe there's a nice drive in the area, but this drive is gorgeous! Weaving you around vineyards, historical buildings, the beautiful Niagara Parkway and ending up at the famous Niagara Falls. The drive is only an hour, so easily manageable for a day. It's also a great way to get to the falls if you're looking to stay there!
The Talbot Trail meanders incredibly close to our home, but it's so beautiful that we love to take Sunday drives to visit family, who are luckily located along the trail as well. This is a great way to see Lake Erie's vastness and enjoy a quaint drive through much of Southwestern Ontario's lakefront countryside. We've started off on the map in Amherstburg, which is not on the trail, but it's a great trip to ride along the lake to see Essex County's beautiful landscape and vineyards (and it takes you to the trail). Point Pelee National Park is worth a stop at. As you cruise down to the most Southern tip of Canada, you can't help but take in all the scenery. There are also numerous small towns along the way worth stopping in- Kingsville, Blenheim, St. Thomas, Tilsonburg, and finally Fort Erie. The whole drive along the Talbot Trail/Hwy 3 is a long one- it's 6.5 hours. If you want to shorten it, we recommend at least taking the Amherstburg-St. Thomas portion. This shortens it to about a three hour drive.
Total Drive Time: 6.5 hours; Total Distance: 437 km
We've driven this route mostly in the summer time (it's also a great route to get to Bon Echo Provincial Park for some camping), but it's one of our favourite Ontario drives. We imagine this would be absolutely spectacular in the fall when the leaves change! I see an autumn road trip in our future! For those visiting Ontario or those living in Toronto/Ottawa- take this as a scenic through-route from Toronto-Ottawa. Much nicer than being stuck on the 401!
So this drives feels like it is cheating just a little because it does take you on a major highway (hwy 400), BUT this is one of the best drives to really take in the Canadian shield. You end up in Killarney, near Killarney Provincial Park- which has absolutely amazing camping opportunities as well as great day hikes- and not so short hikes (we came across a sign that said 7 day hike from this point-yikes!). Killarney Provincial Park was actually the inspiration for The Group of Seven. That's how beautiful this place is. If you're visiting Ontario, or exploring the province you live in- please don't miss this! It's quite easy to make it for a long weekend from Southern Ontario/Toronto. We did it all the way from close to Windsor! But be advised- book camping spots early!
1. Gravenhurst to Barry's Bay- Muskoka/Algonquin Provincial Park
If you are visiting Ontario and you love scenary- do not- I repeat- DO NOT- miss Algonquin Provincial Park. And if it's autumn (end of September- first two weeks of October), absolutely DO NOT miss this drive! It's incredibly gorgeous, especially with Sugar Maples bursting with colour in the fall. Algonquin Provincial Park is on our top lists to camp in the world too- so can we reiterate enough- TAKE THIS DRIVE!
Total Drive Time: 3.25 hours; Total Distance: 215 km