+13 Special Sudbury Hiking Trails & Epic Places to Hike

One of the best places in Ontario to find incredible hiking trails is Sudbury! Known as the Nickel City, there’s so much more to the city than its mines. The landscape includes hundreds of lakes, Canadian Shield, wetlands, and cliff top lookouts. With all this natural beauty, visitors will find numerous Sudbury hiking trails that will wow and inspire you! Especially considering this lush green city didn’t look like this 50 years ago. But thanks to their re-greening project, we can appreciate the natural beauty of Sudbury.

So, if you’re looking for things to do in Sudbury, pack your hiking boots and enjoy the wonderous outdoors.

Best Sudbury Hiking Trails

lookout over Lake Laurentian Conservation Area
lookout over Lake Laurentian Conservation Area

Lake Laurentian Conservation Area

Covering 950 hectares, Lake Laurentian Conservation Area is home to a number of the best Sudbury hiking trails. Plus, thanks to its close proximity to downtown, 10 minutes away, the park is easily accessible with a number of access points.

The conservation area is built around Lake Laurentian, a manmade lake, and is home to over 60 kilometers of trails. There’s also a Nature Chalet, where they host their many programs for groups and schools. Plus, in addition to the hiking trails, visitors can bring their kayak or canoe to paddle the lake. With no motorized vehicles allowed and 10 feet at its deepest, the lake is an ideal spot to paddle in Sudbury.

Lake Laurentian Conservation Area is a great place to enjoy throughout the year. It’s perfect for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Along with Lake Laurentian, park highlights include various lookouts, a bird watching blind, wetlands, and other lakes. And you don’t need to worry about getting lost because a map of their trails is available through the free Avenza app.

One of the most popular Laurentian trails is the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area to Moonlight Beach Trail. The trail is 3.5 km and runs along the southern portion of Lake Ramsey towards Moonlight Beach. It takes roughly an hour and travels along gravel as well as a scenic boardwalk. Plus, visiting Moonlight Beach is great for those seeking Blue Flag beaches in Ontario.

For those looking for more trails in the park, I recommend pairing the Point Trails with the short Nasa Trail. The Point Trails is roughly 4 km and consists of two loops. You’ll be rewarded with awesome views of Lake Laurentian.

Another great one is the Lake Laurentian Loop trail. At 10 km, the trail loops around the lake and features views, bridges, and more!

Kivi Park Trails in Sudbury
story plaque along trail in Kivi Park

Kivi Park

With over 55 km of trails, Kivi Park is one of the best places to hike in Sudbury! The park covers over 480 acres of lush forests, rocky terrain, a winding river, and lakes. This park is a must-do for outdoor enthusiasts!

Kivi Park has something for every adventurer! There’s a long list of fun things to do in Kivi Park, visitors can enjoy cycling, disc golf, paddling, geocaching, or a hike. Plus, this four-season playground offers top Ontario winter activities like fat biking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and skating.

With 5 Kivi Park trails to choose from ranging from 1 to 7 km, there’s a trail to suit your activity level. Each of the trails are colour coded and are well marked. One of the best hiking trails in Sudbury is Kivi Park’s Orange Trail.

The Orange Trail is located a short distance from the main entrance and can be accessed via the Yellow Trail. At 2 km long, the Orange Trail is a relatively easy hike. Along the way you’ll hike across the classic Canadian Shield and through dense forest. Highlights of the trail include a couple of fun lookouts with Muskoka chairs to sit in and soak in the views. And the coolest feature of the trail is a lone tree called the ‘Wishing Tree.’ Visitors are encouraged to make a wish when visiting the tree!

One of the most popular walking trails in Sudbury, the Bell Park Pathway
shaded section of the Bell Park Pathway near the Gazebo

Bell Park Pathway

In the heart of the Sudbury is Bell Park. Named after a beloved resident, William J. Bell, Bell Park is the largest urban waterfront park in the city.

Linking two top attractions in the city, Science North and Grace Hartman Amphitheatre, is the Bell Park Pathway. As one of the best walking trails in Sudbury, the pathway is a mix of boardwalk and paved trail, making it accessible for all.

Bell Park runs along the northwestern side of Ramsey Lake. Visitors to the park will find a wide assortment of things to do. It’s a popular spot for events and festivals, as well as picnics in the summer. In one corner of the park is the largest mural in Canada, which colourful covers the old hospital. Plus, there are a number of beaches.

The Bell Park Pathway is 2 km and runs from Science North to Elizabeth Street. Also known as the Bell Park Trial, the first part is a boardwalk that floats on the lake. The Jim Gordon Boardwalk, as it’s named, hugs the rocky shoreline and offers incredible views of Science North as well as the lake.

One thing that’s important to note is that the trail, as with many in the area, is managed by the Rainbow Routes Association. The Rainbow Routes Association is a not-for-profit that promotes connecting with nature in Greater Sudbury. Rainbow Routes works to not only maintain over 30 trails in the city but also hosts various Sudbury hikes throughout the year.

Travel Tips: There are a number of free parking lots along Bell Park. Plus, Bell Park Trail is part of the Trans Canada Trail, so you can continue along the TCT if you wish to keep hiking.

A.Y. Jackson Lookout Trail to Onaping Falls
view of Onaping Falls from the rocky shoreline

Onaping Falls & the A.Y. Jackson Lookout Trail

Whether you’re a Group of Seven fan or just looking for a hike, make the 30-minute trip out to A.Y. Jackson Lookout. As one of the many places the Group of Seven painted, Onaping Falls is one of the most scenic places in Ontario.

The main lookout is named in honour of A.Y. Jackson, a member of the Group of Seven, who painted ‘Spring on the Onaping River’ here in 1953. It looks over the picturesque waterfall that’s encased in rock and lush forests.

For those looking to venture closer, hop on the A.Y. Jackson Lookout Trail. Visitors can enjoy a 0.5, 1 km, or 2 km hike. The first lookout is 500 metres in or you can hike the 1 km to the bridge at the top of the waterfall. However, the full A.Y. Jackson Lookout Trail is 2 km.

Taking the Onaping Falls trail from the lookout you’ll descend a steep embankment to the rocky shoreline of the river. The trail continues into the forest and slowly climbs to the top of the falls, over roots and rocky terrain.

At the top of the Onaping Falls, hikers will find a scenic bridge that cross it. From the bridge you can see the full plunge of the waterfall as well as the rushing river on the opposite side. Hikers can continue back the way they came or finish the trail, which is a loop through the forest on the other side of the bridge. The full loop takes roughly 45 minutes to complete.

Lily Creek Boardwalk Trail in Sudbury Ontario
walking along the Lily Creek Boardwalk Trail with Science North in the background

Lily Creek Boardwalk Trail

One of the shortest and easiest Sudbury hiking trails is the Lily Creek Boardwalk Trail. The boardwalk is located in the heart of the city, across from Bell Park. Visitors can access the trail from the James Jerome Sports Complex or off of Paris Street.

James Jerome Sports Complex is a large park that’s home to a number of fields for different sports. Visitors can enjoy soccer, baseball, tennis and more. Plus, there’s washrooms, a Little Library, and a large parking lot. The boardwalk trail is easy to find, continue along the path past the washrooms and fields. At the edge is the boardwalk trail.

At 350 metres, the Lily Creek Boardwalk Trail is great for those looking for a small respite from the city or for people who can only walk a short distance. As like many boardwalk trails, it winds through a wetland that’s full of various bird species and amphibians.

I spotted a number of species while walking the trail including a great blue heron, male and female red-winged blackbirds, and swamp sparrows. I also caught sight of a painted turtle sunning himself in the afternoon heat.

Along the trail you’ll also catch sight of the top attraction in Sudbury, Science North, which is just across the road. There is also a long bench that’s perfect for a break and to take a moment to reflect on this wild space.

Lookout on Jane Goodall Reclamation Trail
First lookout on Jane Goodall Reclamation Trail

Jane Goodall Reclamation Trail

Of all the Sudbury hiking trails, the Jane Goodall Reclamation Trail is a significant one. The trail reflects the hard work and dedication that has gone into making the city green again. It’s located in Coniston at the Welcome Centre off of Highway 17, where you’ll find signage that shares the history of the Regreening Program. Over the last 45 years, the city has effectively regreened the devastated landscape.

This area was the site of an operating mine, roast bed, and smelter from 1913 to 1972. Making it a wasteland of rocky barrens and no vegetation. Now, it’s a green oasis and the ideal place to appreciate hiking in Sudbury.

The Jane Goodall Reclamation Trail is a 1 km loop that’s easy. It travels through young forest and includes a variety of interesting points. Visitors will find a couple of lookouts, stumps of trees left as reminders of the deforestation, and the 2 millionth tree planted for the Regreening Program, a red pine. Another highlight of the trail is the first lookout. Here, you’ll find an information plaque showing the various re-greening stages

Named after the remarkable environmentalist, Jane Goodall, the trail also boasts a tree planted by her. In 2001, Goodall planted an oak tree.

Travel Tip: If you want to learn more about the Jane Goodall Reclamation Trail, this guide shares information about the trail, the area’s history, and more at various stops along the trail.

Kelly Lake Trail in Fielding Memorial Park in Sudbury
lookout along the Kelly Lake Trail in Fielding Memorial Park

Fielding Memorial Park

In the city’s southwest end is one of Sudbury’s hidden gems, Fielding Memorial Park. The park was the site of the homestead of Agnes and George Fielding in 1886. The land was donated so others can enjoy a slice of the outdoors and wildlife.

Fielding Memorial Park is one of the best places in Sudbury for bird watching. A section of the park is known as the Fielding Bird Sanctuary. It’s home to a diverse population of bird species as well as other wildlife. It’s not uncommon to see a family of ducks in the wetland near the entrance or a beaver in the lake. I almost ran into two black bears when I was there.

The park sits along the southern shores of Kelly Lake. It’s a popular spot for families enjoying picnics, cycling, and artists sitting on one of the many benches. Visitors will also find a Trans Canada Trail pavilion here.

One of the great Sudbury hikes is the Kelly Lake Trail. Running through Fielding Memorial Park, the trail can be done in a 3.5 km loop or a 4.5 km linear trail. This trail is popular for walking and mountain biking. Along with catching part of the bird sanctuary, other trail perks include the sweeping views of Kelly Lake and iconic smoke stacks in the distance. Plus, it’s part of the Sudbury Trans Canada Trail segment.

For those looking for shorter Sudbury hiking trails, this park has one for you. The Fielding Park Loop is 1.4 km and considered easy. Starting near the entrance to the park, it follows part of the Kelly Lake Trail and then loops back to the entrance. There are plenty of benches along the route to relax on as well as lookouts over the lake.

Fairbank Provincial Park

On the spring-fed Fairbank Lake, 45 minutes west of downtown Sudbury, is Fairbank Provincial Park. The park is a popular destination in the area and has been for over 50 years.

Covering 105 hectares, Fairbank Provincial Park is best known for its crystal-clear waters and beach. Visitors will find an array of things to do in the park. There are a number of campsites, including waterfront ones and a sandy beach that’s a prime spot for swimming. Kayaking and canoeing are other top activities in the park.

Fun Fact: The original name for the lake was Wa-Shai-Ga-Mog, which is an Ojibway word meaning ‘clear water.’ It’s the perfect name as you can see over 20 feet down.

Visitors will find one hiking trail in Fairbank Provincial Park. The Wa-Shai-Ga-Mog Hiking Trail is one of the top short Sudbury hikes! At under 1 km, the trail takes you up a hill to a sweeping view of the lake, forests, and beyond. Be sure to wear proper footwear as the terrain is full of rocky areas and exposed tree roots.

More Hiking Trails in Sudbury

Transition Hiking Trail – Northwest of the city is another place to go hiking in Sudbury, Windy Lake Provincial Park. The park is best known for camping, both in the summer and winter, as well as canoeing and beaches. However, there is an easy 3 km trail, Transition Hiking Trail. The trail sits along what was the rim of the crater made by the meteorite that hit the area over 1.8 billion years ago. Now, it’s a great trail for bird watching. In addition, lining the trail during the spring and summer are a number of beautiful wild flowers like my favourite, Pink Lady’s Slipper.

Blueberry Hill Trail – Known for its abundance of blueberries, it’s no surprise that one of the best short Sudbury hiking trails is Blueberry Hill Trail. Located in the Minnow Lake Conservation Area west of downtown, the trail is a 1 km loop. Highlights along the trail include blueberry patches in the summer, various lookouts, and views of Minnow Lake.

Robinson Lake Trail – Next to Kelly Lake is Robinson Lake. The Robinson Lake Trail starts at Robinson Park, near the playground. This scenic 1.4 km out and back trail takes you along a boardwalk and through forest. Plus, you’ll be rewarded with a lovely view of the lake. Like other walking trails in Sudbury, it’s popular for hiking and birding.

Selkirk Trail – In the Cambrian Heights neighbourhood you’ll find another of the top walking trails in Sudbury. The Selkirk Trail is 1.6 km and takes you up an incline, through forest and up to the Terry Fox Sports Complex. Here you’ll find the College Boréal Trail Lookout that offers awesome views. Hikers can loop back down to Selkirk Park.

Views in Killarney provincial park
view of the La Cloche Mountains from Granite Ridge Trail

Best Hikes near Sudbury

For those looking to plan an epic road trip in Ontario, check out this Toronto to Thunder Bay itinerary that includes a ton of great hiking. However, if you’re staying in the area and searching for places to hike near the Greater Sudbury, check out the following parks and trails

Killarney Provincial Park

An hour south of Sudbury is one of the top provincial parks in Ontario, Killarney! Made famous by the Group of Seven, Killarney Provincial Park is full of fun things to do. It’s popular for camping, stargazing, and hiking.

A few of the best Killarney hiking trails include The Crack, a difficult 6 km hike, La Cloche Silhouette Trail, the park’s long distance trail, and the Cranberry Bog Trail, a short and easy paced hike.

If you’re looking for the views of The Crack but a shorter and less difficult hike, I recommend the Granite Ridge Trail. This moderate hike is 2 km and takes one to two hours. Plus, you’ll be rewarded with awesome views of the La Cloche Mountains and Georgian Bay.

Cup & Saucer Trail

Just east of Sudbury is the largest freshwater island in the world, Manitoulin Island. This incredible island is home to a wealth of cultural experiences, charming small towns and epic hikes.

One of the top Manitoulin Island attractions is the Cup & Saucer Trail! Roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes from downtown Sudbury, the trailhead to the Cup & Saucer Trail is easily accessible off Highway 540.

The park that holds the Cup & Saucer Trail is home to 12 km of hiking trails. Running 6 km, the main Cup & Saucer Trail, also known as the red trail, takes roughly 2 hours to complete. Consisting of the tail end of the Niagara Escarpment, the trail is full of natural wonders.

You’ll find multiple viewpoints that sweep the island while having you perched atop a limestone cliff.

things to do on Manitoulin Island - Hike Cup & Saucer Trail
views from one of the lookouts on the Cup & Saucer Trail

Halfway Lake Provincial Park

Another great place to find hikes near Sudbury is Halfway Lake Provincial Park. Located an hour north of the city, the park is popular for camping and has a couple of awesome beaches. Plus, it’s a great park for bird watching. There are nesting bald eagles, warblers, and a heron rookery.

A fun, yet moderate, hike in Halfway Lake Provincial Park is Echo Pond Trail. At 6 km, the trail includes wetlands that are full of wildlife viewing opportunities. Another great hike is the Osprey Heights Trail, which is also 6 km. The trail takes you through wetland forest and up the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield. It’s also home to the Osprey Heights Lookout that offers scenic views of Antrim Lake.

For those looking for a more challenging hike, go for Hawk Ridge Trail. At 15 km, it’s the longest trail in the park and takes you into the interior. Along the way you’ll discover a number of lakes, viewpoints, and is great for those booking an interior campsite. The big perk is the lookout over Three Island Lake!

Final Thoughts on Sudbury Hiking Trails

Covered in a sea of green, there are so many great hiking trails in Sudbury! With hundreds of lakes, green spaces and numerous parks in and around the city, it’s an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. So, whether you’re looking for a long trek or a short easy trail, one of these Sudbury hiking trails is fit for you!

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Sudbury Hiking Trails

Stephanie

I'm a Canadian gal with a passion for travel, the great outdoors as well as coffee and books. I hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Traveling mostly solo, I love to explore my own backyard of Ontario as well as exotic cities around the world.

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