Favourite 2016 Hikes

This year I made a commitment to discover more in my own backyard of Ontario. While last year I was jet-setting from one side of Europe to the other, I learned something. I’ve seen more of Europe than I have my own country. I chose to fix that and spend some quality time discovering more of Ontario. And one way I chose to explore was through some of Ontario’s amazing hiking trails.

I’ve gone on over 20 hikes in 2016. And not surprisingly, hiking has become my new passion! From spring through the summer and into the fall, I’ve hiked some incredible trails. So, I thought I’d share some of my favourite 2016 hikes.

First off, I have a confession to make…

This year I’ve been seeing someone. We share many of the same interests; the outdoors, hiking, and exploring Ontario. Who is this amazing man? Bruce. The Bruce Trail that is! Okay, I know it’s a trail and not a REAL person. But I’ve spent an awful lot of time one the Bruce Trail this year, most of my hikes involved some portion of the trail. And truth be told, I’ve become fond of Bruce. He’s my main man. And I hope to see more of him next year!

Favourite 2016 Hikes

Lion's Head view

Lion’s Head Provincial Nature Reserve

My hike through Lion’s Head Provincial Nature Reserve was my first experience hiking on the Bruce Peninsula. And I immediately fell in love! The janky, tree rooted, and rocky trails, the epic lookouts over the cliffs of the Peninsula and the stunning Georgian Bay, all fueled my affection. This is a huge reserve and home to some beautiful birds and cool geological formations.

Mono Cliffs canyon

Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

I knew ahead of time that Mono Cliffs Provincial Park had some cool features, as I always research the trails before I hike them. But I was unaware of how truly astounding those features would be. From sheer cliffs to amazing viewpoints – over Mono and one that stretched to Toronto – and a tranquil lake to a wander through a canyon, hiking Mono Cliffs wowed me from beginning to end!

Related Post: Top 10 Hiking Tips for Day Hikes

Tiny Marsh dike

Tiny Marsh Provincial Wildlife Area

The Tiny Marsh Wildlife Area was the only place I returned to, to hike. And multiple times for that matter. In the spring, in the summer and in the fall, I returned to the marsh. There is something peaceful about hiking the marsh. Plus, it’s a mecca for turtles, with tons of nesting turtles along one of the marshes’ dikes. I still can’t believe that this gem was in my backyard all this time. Each time I visited there were barely a soul around, except for the plethora of wildlife. And boy, does it have an abundance of wildlife!

Beausoleil Island

Beausoleil Island

I have to send a big thank you to Lindsay, from I’ve Been Bit – travel blog, for inviting me to join her and Lauren, from Justin Plus Lauren, for a day trip to Beausoleil Island. This incredible island is part of the Georgian Bay Islands National Park. And as soon as I stepped foot on that massive mass of Canadian Shield, to which the northern part of the island is made up of, I was wowed! It was one of Ontario’s many wild places that inspired the work of the Group of Seven, and I could see why. Wind swept trees, like brush strokes, and whimsical names like Goblin’s Bay inspire an enchanted atmosphere. I’d love to return and explore more of the diverse Island.

Elora Gorge

Elora Gorge

I’m so happy I waited until the fall to visit Elora. Hiking in the fall meant barely any other visitors and stunning colours. A hike through the Elora Gorge really solidified that Ontario is home to some unbelievable natural landscapes. I could have spent all day hiking through the gorge, chasing the Grand River, and undoubtedly feeling dwarfed by those tall gorge walls, topped by endless trees. There were so many hidden treasures and tranquil spots that I can’t wait to return and explore more of the Gorge.

Nottawasaga Bluffs lookout

Nottawasaga Bluffs Conservation Area

One of my last hikes of the beautiful fall season was in Nottawasaga Bluffs Conservation Area. It was beyond amazing! Not only did it have an incredible lookout but there was a fun side trail that takes you through some of the caves, canyons and crevices that are found throughout the area. I loved exploring and photographing all of the natural beauty and details in the park. And I can guarantee you I’ll return next year!

Do you have a favourite hike you went on this year? I’d love to hear about it!!

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Favourite 2016 Hikes

Stephanie

I’m a Canadian gal with a passion for wildlife, the great outdoors and travel and hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Travelling mostly solo I love to explore Ontario Gems in my own backyard as well as exotic cities around the world.

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