A real insider tip is to go hiking in Killarney Provincial Park
Hiking at Killarney Provincial Park is an experience that makes you feel Canada first hand. The Killarney Provincial Park (Map) is hardly known in this country - wrongly, I think. Hiking in Killarney Provincial Park is a real outdoor experience. Especially nature lovers will feel comfortable there. Only five hours drive north of Toronto It leads to a still very primitive world, where black-tailed deer, brown bears and Canada geese are more frequently seen than humans, especially in autumn, when the Canadian holidays are over. As soon as you leave Highway 69 you will see more wild animals at the end of September than other vehicles. On the way you pass ponds, which are often so overgrown that you only find some open water areas in the middle of the lake. Beavers like to build their buildings here and early in the morning you can often see moose on their shores.
Hiking in the early morning at Killarney Provincial Park
In fact, one should also get up early in Killarney Provincial Park to experience the magical moments of autumn Ontario offer at the lakes and ponds: Haze veils rise above dew-soaked meadows and are reflected in the morning sunlight - an image that you will surely not forget so quickly. Such a morning is also nice at Lake Huron or one of the bays. Killarney is on such a side arm.
It is therefore worth going out there shortly after sunrise. The play of colors that awaits you is breathtaking. When mist swirls deep over the water and the seagulls set off on their first flight of the day, it is an unforgettable morning. Then your own breath forms clouds when you exhale, and the fresh morning air refreshes after coming from Sudbury.
A few days should take time for the Killarney Provincial Park. Then you have time to experience the silence of the Canadian forests on a hike or a canoe tour. There is nothing better than the only sound you hear is the plunging of the paddles into the water of the lake. The hollow cry of an ice-diver sounds only occasionally over the vastness of the lake. Otherwise surrounds a silence that is interrupted by no sounds of civilization.
The La Cloche - Silhouette Trail
In the Provincial Park, there are also a variety of trails. The longest of them is the La Cloche - Silhouette Trail. It is 80 kilometers long. You should plan about a week for this. Provisions and equipment for a week must be taken with you. There are no overnight accommodations on this path. However, there are also shorter and easier hiking trails. The shortest is the Granite Ridge Trail with a length of 2,3 kilometers. Most of them lead up to the rose-colored rock humps that loom between the woods.
What you should pack if you want to go hiking in Killarney Provincial Park
- When hiking we wear solid hiking boots and hiking socks, They also stop on uneven paths.
- On a hike you need one backpackin which you drink, Brotzeit, a Jacket and store odds and ends. Practical Hiker accessories can be found on this page.
- Check with our Hiking checklistwhether you have packed everything you need for your hike.
Five intermediate trails for hiking at Killarney Provincial Park
All trails in Killarney Provincial Park lead over rocky and uneven terrain. Sturdy shoes, plenty of drinking water, a map of the park and a compass you should carry with you. Killarney Park has five day hikes and many other hiking opportunities. Hiking at Killarney Provincial Park almost always means wilderness hiking.
The 3 km long Chikanshing Trail begins at the end of Chickanshing Road (Map). This is located about 2 km west of the Park Office. Parking is available. The circuit has a length of about 2 kilometers and has a medium level of difficulty. On average you need about 1,5 hours for the hike. In wet weather, the rocks can be very slippery.
The path winds to the southern park boundary. The Chikanishing Trail crosses several small chains of hills until it ends at a point on the Georgian Bay. This is washed out by the waves of the lake. On this path you have beautiful views south across the bay. On the way you will always find places that are typical of the geology of the Precambrian Shield. With a bit of luck, you can see little animals like squirrels, minks or raccoons.
The vegetation is typical of the rocky and windy heights of Killarney Provincial Park and the Georgian Bay. The floors are sour. The vegetation is also hard on the small amount of soil and the harsh growing conditions. In some places, however, there is enough soil for pines, oaks, maples and bushes to grow. Along the way you also meet again and again on black metal rings. These come from the time when lumberjacks used them for their work. Declaration boards along the way also tell about the past of this region.
Cranberry Bog Trail
The Cranberry Bog Trail definitely leads, as the name suggests, through a cranberry moor. It starts at Campground Road, near Pitch #103. (Map) The circuit has a length of 4 kilometers, which takes about 2,5 hours on average. The difficulty is medium, and when it rains, the rocks are very slippery.
A hike along this path leads through some of the park's most beautiful landscapes. You pass the Proulx Marsh, the Cranberry Bog and the AY Jackson Lake. In the bogs, marshes and in the marshes grow sundew, gate grass, pitcher plants and cranberries. On the way you can see beaver piles. Here you will meet different species of birds, and with a bit of luck maybe a turtle. These are always in the cranberry bogs. Smooth round rock surfaces and grooves in the rocks are traces of the ice age.
The Proulx Marsh is not a marshland in the truest sense of the word. Instead, it is a beaver meadow. Until 1997, this region was covered in water. Today, most of the water has disappeared. If you pass this place again in a hundred years, maybe there is a forest here.
Also interesting is the AY Jackson Lake. This lake is named after one of the painters of the Group of Seven. He was fascinated by the scenic beauty of this region. He enjoyed painting the reddish rocks in front of the deep green of the forests and the blue of the water and the sky.
Granite Ridge Trail
This intermediate trail starts just off Highway 637 across from the Park Office (Map). It's an 2 km long circular route with some steep sections, which takes about 1,5 hours. When it rains, the rocks are very slippery. In addition, the path itself can be slippery.
The trail offers views of the La Cloche Mountains, known for Killarney Provincial Park. He winds his way through old fields and forests and climbs up to a ridge of hills. There are two viewpoints over the park. In the south you can see along the lakeshore from Collin's Inlet and Philip Edward Island to Georgian Bay. On clear days you can even see Manitoulin Island in the distance. In the north you can see the spectacular La Cloche Mountains. Who wants to have a good overview of the region, should choose this trail.
Lake of the Woods Trail
The Lake of the Woods Trail starts at Bell Lake Road opposite the Turbid Lake access road (Map) in the northern part of Killarney Provincial Park. There is a small parking lot there. The 3,5 km long trail is intermediate to difficult with some steep sections. The hike takes about 3 hours. Rocks are slippery in the rain.
This circular route leads around the Lake of the Woods. You walk through different types of forest. You can see old forest vegetation up to raised rock domes. From these you have good views of Silver Peak six kilometers to the west and Lake of the Woods below. When the path descends again, you have to cross some footbridges that lead over creek beds. At one point the path descends to the lake shore, where a short boardwalk leads over to the only island on the lake.
What makes the Lake of the Woods Trail special
Crippled old birches throw off their thin bark like wrinkles. This gives the forest its special look. Low plants and fungi provide a variety of colors that are typical of this ecosystem. Today one hardly believes that this region was once threatened by woodcutting.
As soon as you leave the forest, you will reach open hilltops that are typical for Killarney. Up here you can not only see beautiful landscapes, but with a bit of luck also wild animals. The path is marked in this open region with red way markers and small cliffs.
The Crack Trail
The Crack Trail (Map) is the most difficult of the five day hiking trails. It is not a circular route, you have to go the same way back. If you continue, you will follow the La Cloche Silhouette Trail. The trail is 6 kilometers back and forth until the “crack”. On the way you have to overcome some steep climbs. You should plan around 4 hours for the hike to the crack and back. For this route you have to be physically fit and bring good hiking shoes. It is advised to start this route very early in the morning.
The parking lot at Trailhead is difficult to find because there is no sign on the Hwy 637. You can find it on the north side of the highway (left hand when coming from the George Lake Campsite / Park Office). It is located about 7 km east of the campsite and 1,5 km west of Carlyle Lake Access Road.
The hike starts at Hwy. 637 on an old lumberjack street. Follow this for about 20 minutes and then continue on the La Cloche Silhouette Path. First, it runs flat for about half an hour. After that it climbs slowly, then soon steeply up to the "crack". It is a deep notch that forms walls on both sides of the path. As soon as you have put this behind you, one of the most beautiful views of the park is offered. From here you can see the deep blue Killarney and OSA lake. Unfortunately we could not go this route because of the miserable weather. Therefore we cannot show you any photos from this point.
You should be fit for this path
You should have good physical condition for this hike. The path leads towards Kakaise Lake and then on to the crack through forest and rock area. The climb to the crack requires concentration and effort. Large boulders that have broken off the rocks act as “stairs” that must be overcome to reach the ridge. As soon as you are at the top, you have a wonderful panoramic view of inland lakes and white hills in the park as well as the coastline of Georgian Bay.
Alternatively, “The Crack” can also be reached by canoe tour from either Killarney Lake or Kakakise Lake.
If you do not want to do any of these longer hikes, you can walk from the Killarney Mountain Lodge along the lakeshore to the Killarney Lighthouse. This is also easily reached by car.
Hiking at Killarney Provincial Park means views of lakes and forests
From there you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view that extends beyond the lake landscape to Lake Huron or north to the South La Cloche Mountains. Even for connoisseurs, the Killarney Provincial Park is of interest, as it contains numerous sites that were banned to the screen by the Group of Seven. They had specialized as landscape painters in this region. Her pictures are now world famous.
Starting point for the provincial park
The place Killarney at the end of the park road is not big. However, it offers everything you need to explore the park. At the entrance there is an outfitter. With this one can book tours in and through the park. In the village itself there are shops. In addition, there are two accommodation options, from which the short trails in the park are easy to reach. We stayed at the Killarney Mountain Lodge. At the George lake There is also a campsite near Killarney.
Air Canada and other airlines fly from Germany to Toronto. If you want to save the five-hour drive by car, continue to fly to Sudbury. From there you only need about two hours by car to Killarney.
Do you already know:
- Where to see the cranberry harvest in Canada
- Canada in the fall
- Cabot Trail
- Which rain jacket is the best?
- Gifts for hikers
Find more Slow Travel Tips here.
Source: own research on site with the kind support of Tourism Ontario. Our opinion, however, remains our own.
Text: © Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Petar Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline