Specific day hikes +/- swimming in southern-central Ontario?
June 29, 2014 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Hi all, the girlfriend and I are planning a trip for the August long weekend, and we'd like to go somewhere where we can do a moderately exertional day hike (i.e. 5-6 hrs or so). We were thinking about heading to the Bruce peninsula, but despite our combined Google-fu, we're having trouble locating specific hikes (as in, "Start at point x, see nice things y, finish at point z") that meet our criteria. We're going to be getting the reference guide to the Bruce from the library, but I was wondering if anyone had specific ideas about good, scenic day hikes that would be feasibly within a 3-4 hour drive of Toronto. Areas other than the Bruce also considered! Bonus points for access to a beach in the area (e.g. on Georgian Bay or a lake).

We're two relatively fit people in our mid-30s, no kids or pets. Not really interested in deep woods camping, more likely to stay at a B&B in the area.

Any advice would be very helpful!
posted by greatgefilte to Travel & Transportation around Ontario, ON (7 answers total)
You could hike Silver Peak in Killarney - very scenic. A couple ways to do it, and should fit your criteria. You can paddle in, or hike in part of the La Cloche trail.
posted by parki at 3:47 PM on June 29, 2014

Response by poster: I think Killarney might be a wee bit too far for us, but will keep it in mind!
posted by greatgefilte at 3:51 PM on June 29, 2014

Here's one really enthusiastic B&B recommendation in the lower Bruce: Irish Mountain in Meaford. Just a really charming spot , on a gorgeous hilltop ("mountain" is hyperbole), run by a sweet, slightly eccentric couple. They can suggest plenty of hiking nearby that will meet your needs -- we just did a short stroll on the Loree Forest Loop, which is less exertional than you're looking for but still pretty. John the owner will take you out on his sailboat, and his wife does a killer french toast.
posted by neroli at 4:04 PM on June 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Google "the Bruce trail" for hikes along the escarpment from the peninsula down to Niagara Falls. It will have detailed "start here end here" info.

Edit: sorry, missed your Bruce trail comment. Others can chime in but I've hiked it before and it is really pretty in that area.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:22 PM on June 29, 2014

Stop off at the Hibou Conservation area just outside of Owen Sound. They have a lovely beach and some very nice hiking trails.

You can also stop in Durham just off Highway 6 and there is a very nice spot to swim in the river. The swimming spot is right downtown Durham, there is also the Durham Conservation area that has some nice hiking.

Both are 3-4 hours out of Toronto.
posted by csmithrim at 9:15 AM on June 30, 2014

Agreeing that the Bruce Trail is a good choice. There are scenic hikes from Cape Croker up to Tobermory, where you can take a ferry out to Flowerpot Island or Manitoulin Island. Bruce Peninsula National Park encompasses most of the land from Tobermory on down. I recommend hiking to The Grotto at Cyprus Lake (you can also spend the night in one of their yurts if that interests you). Hit The Singing Sands for an excellent beach in the area.

The August long weekend is the usually the best weekend of the summer there, weather-wise. I have family that live near Tobermory (year round), so we visit often - I can't recommend it enough.
posted by Aunt Slappy at 5:45 PM on June 30, 2014

Came to recommend Tobermory and the grotto as well. Cyprus Lake park is where you can find the trail.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:20 PM on June 30, 2014

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