Let’s be honest, city life is pretty great. But every once in a while, every traveler will get the travel itch and need a good adventure. There are plenty of places just outside of Toronto, so we’ve put together a list of the top ten adventures outside of the city:
*Photo by Ron Bulovs
Just two hours outside of Toronto, you’ll find beautiful beaches that lie front of rolling sand dunes in Prince Edward County. Sandbanks has great facilities, plenty of hiking trails, areas for camping, and boat rental opportunities. But best of all, there’s plenty of space – so you can feel free to spread out and find your perfect spot on the beach.
The water is pretty shallow and in the summer months the water heats up more than other beaches in the area. The sand dunes provide the perfect place to explore, or even have some fun 😉 Every so often you’ll see a group of people riding down the sand dunes on snowboards or toboggans.
If you’re visiting for the weekend, there are plenty of amazing Ontario wineries in the area that are literally calling your name. You can rent a bike and travel between the wineries sampling some tasty Ontario vino. Click here or here for more information on wine tours.
*Photo by Benson Kua
Stretching 14 kms along Lake Ontario and less than 30 minutes from downtown Toronto, you’ll find the Scarborough Bluffs. The area is full of little paths, picnic areas, hiking trails and beaches.
The most well known beach is Bluffer’s Park Beach – and in case you’re worried about the water quality and growing a third leg from swimming in Lake Ontario, Bluffer’s Park Beach is one of the eight beaches in Toronto that have earned a Blue Flag swimming designation.
Hike up one of the paths to the top of the bluffs – you’ll be amazed by water’s colour and the view is totally insta worthy.
3) Niagara Glen
*Photo by damian entwistle
Only an hour and a half outside of Toronto, Niagara Glen is a natural phenomenon where you’ll be astounded by the beautiful turquoise water gushing down the river and amazed as the water crashes against itself, creating huge rapids. Niagara Glen is definitely a place worth spending a day exploring and adventuring through.
In order to get to the hiking trails you’ll need to head down a stairway that takes you to the bottom of the cliff, this is where the hiking trails begin. As you make your way along the trail why not hop from rock to rock that lay along the river bank. There are plenty of spots to take a break, get some sun and of course, have a snack.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, just down the road from Niagara Glen you’ll find the Niagara River Jet Boats, which will take you through the whirlpool. You’ll crash into waves and get completely soaked as these massive jet boats fight against the current. You can also get a bouldering pass and try hundreds of bouldering routes. Just remember to bring a crash pad!
*Photo by Shawn Basacco
Canadian summers are hot! So head an hour and a half outside of Toronto and spend the day crashing through the rapids of Elora Gorge to beat the heat!
Tubing down Elora Gorge is a lot of fun. It will feel like you’re floating down a picturesque lazy river, and every once in awhile you’ll need to hang onto your tube as you float through some rushing white water 😉
*Photo by Jackman Chiu
Picture crystal clear blue waters with waves crashing on a rocky shore. That’s Bruce Peninsula – hard to believe it’s Ontario and not a Caribbean beach.
The Bruce is best known for the Grotto, a cave full of beautiful blue water that you can climb down and explore, and Indian Head Cove, which a rocky beach surrounded by cliffs that you can climb up and set up camp for the night. The cave was carved out by the waves of the Georgian Bay over thousands of years and the area remains undeveloped to this day.
*Photo by Ron Dunnington
Head out to the Hammer and explore Spencer Gorge/Webster’s Falls Conservation Area. It’s full of hiking trails, waterfalls, and gorgeous look outs.
Webster’s Falls is a two tiered waterfall and Tews falls is the tallest waterfall in Hamilton and only a few meters shorter than Niagara Falls! You can get up close and personal with both of them, so don’t be afraid of getting wet. Both waterfalls give beautiful views of the gorge. Take a trail to Dundas Peak where you can wander out onto a rock that jets out from the cliff, just in case you need a new profile picture, or want some insta jealousy ;).
*Photo by Freaktography
If you’re the kind of person who likes urban legends and horror stories, head to the Screaming Tunnel just before it turns dark. Rumor has it that years ago a young girl completely engulfed in flames ran looking for help before she eventually passed away in the tunnel.
They say you can hear her scream if you light a match on the tunnels walls…
*Photo by Paul Zogala
Let’s be honest, while the city sky has some beautifully lit up buildings, it doesn’t do much in the star department. So if you’re us and looking for some Milky Way views, you’ll want to check out the Dark Sky Preserve, just outside of Barrie
The preserve is surrounded by farm and undeveloped land making it one of the best spots for stargazing and do some night photography. Best of all, since it’s Crown Land you can camp for free! Just don’t be expecting anything other than an outhouse. 😐
*Photo by Paul Zogala
Less than an hour outside of Toronto, both conservation areas have plenty of hiking trails to keep you busy, beautiful landscapes and are one of the best ways to explore the escarpment.
Rattlesnake Point has picnic shelters, camping and washroom facilities, whereas Mt. Nemo just has an outhouse by the parking lot.
If you’re up for a challenge, click here for rock climbing courses that you can do, or if you’re an experienced climber, bring your gear and get in a good day of climbing!
10) Fathom Five National Marine Park
*Photo by LisArt
Did you know that some of Canada’s best freshwater diving and snorkeling opportunities are just a few hours outside the city? Mhmm, that’s right – right near Tobermory.
The clean, clear water is full of submerged overhangs, cliffs, and caves, AND more than 20 shipwrecks! The water is so clear that you can see them from your boat or if you want to really explore, go diving or snorkelling. Bring a wetsuit, because, Canada ¯\_(ツ)_/¯