If you have yet to experience the pristine environments of the Canadian wilderness, then it's time to broaden your horizons. Ontario is arguably possesses the most gorgeous outdoor regions throughout the entire country, and there are plenty of ways you can witness the countryside and aquatic glory first person.
From conquering the channels of rivers one paddle at a time to climbing the rigorous routes of mountainsides step by step, outdoor refinement is all around you during your Ontario holidays. Here is a list of the top five national parks to visit to achieve your initial introduction to what nature in Canada is all about.
Families who are interested in the notion of a lovely outdoor picnic should consider setting up camp on Hattie Cove, which not only features an incredible view of the shoreline but also has a visitor centre and nearby washroom facilities for when you're finished eating.
Hikers will need to make their way up the 60 kilometres coastal hiking trail that cradles the coasts of Lake Superior, and has multiple bridges to stop and peer over the White or Willow Rivers.
Pukaskwa National Park is also a superb place to potentially spot some Canadian wildlife, and animals that are known to roam the grounds include Canadian lynxes, Woodland caribou and grey wolves.
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Researchers have dated back some of the fossils and rocks that make up a significant amount of the region to be more than 400 million years old, and there are a wide variety of differently shaped caves that are perfect for dipping your toes in the water and taking in the glistening of the peninsula.
The Cyprus Lake trails and Georgian Bay trails feature pristine examples of prehistoric limestone, not to mention are superb routes to take to get in some much needed holiday hiking.
Back in 2006, there was a $7.8 million visitors centre installed within the park, that allows guests to take part in everything from sunset strolls across the boardwalks, peer over the park from towering vantage points and learn more about the extensive geological history behind the shaping of Bruce Peninsula National Park.
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It's important to keep in mind as you're walking through the park that the paths you're strolling along were paved by the original inhabitants of the islands created thousands of years ago. In fact, researchers and archeologists have traced arrowheads and cave drawings from aboriginal tribes all the way back to the Middle Archaic period, which took place around 7,000 years ago.
The islands were also home to several native tribes throughout the years, such as the Algonkian, Wendat and Ojibwa people. In addition to all the learning opportunities, there's also no shortage of nature activities to engage in at the park, like fishing along the shores of Georgian Bay or cycling on the paths of Beausoleil Island.
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For 110 years, this park has served as the first Canadian national park east of the Rockies, as well as being a place where natural tranquility meets recreational activities. Fishing is considered a sacred virtue in these waters, and everything from pike, walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth and largemouth bass can be found in abundance within the streams of the Thousand Islands Region.
There's also a surprising amount of wildlife that call Thousand Islands National Park home, such as the white-tailed deer, great blue herons, porcupines, coyotes, foxes and plenty of beaver dams. Guided paddling tours are also available for families who are interested in learning more about the history and geography of the land while simultaneously exploring all that Thousand Islands National Park has to offer.
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The best time to catch a glimpse of these winged beauties is during the spring, especially in May which is specifically when most of their migrating seasons are held. Guided tours are also available here to help you understand more of your wilderness surroundings, and if you're planning on sticking around during the sunset, consider staying a little later to marvel at the incredibly starry skies, completely void from light pollution.
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What's best of all, you can find plenty of accommodating rental housing options that are within mere minutes of all these Ontario national parks. Whether it's a massive log cabin in the winter to host your holiday parties or a summer condo near the water, make sure your trip to these majestic parks ends in a stay at a cozy and comforting home away from home.