Looking for a new place to run? Try Ontario Parks. Softer trail surfaces minimize the impact on runner joints and backs. Runners have over 1,800 kilometres of trails to choose from. Park landscapes are spectacular and many parks offer roofed accommodation. Derrick Spafford is a regular trail runner at Frontenac Provincial Park which has 160 kilometres of trails, one of the largest trail networks east of the Canadian Rockies. In this Park Blog, Spafford shares his trail running tips and three favourite Frontenac trails.
Below is a small sample of parks with good trails as well as roofed accommodation. Click on the links to visit each park’s web page. Under “Things to Do” , you’ll find descriptions of park hiking trails.
Near Brockville in Eastern Ontario
Combine trail-running, paddling and a stay at Charleston Lake Provincial Park‘s backcountry cabin accessible by water only. Canoe and kayak rentals are available. This park has heated yurts and a dedicated astronomy field too.
Huntsville area in Central Ontario
Arrowhead Provincial Park has long been a favourite with cross-country skiers but with the addition of 5 camp cabins, runners are discovering this park’s trails too. An Arrowhead permit can also be used to access Algonquin Provincial Park’s trails nearby
Near Owen Sound in Southwestern Ontario
Macgregor Point Provincial Park‘s unofficial tag line is the ‘Yurt Capital of Ontario’. That’s because this park has sixteen heated yurts open year-round. Trails here include the Old Shore Road and its Sunset Point, a trail runner favourite.
Near North Bay in Northeastern Ontario
Finlayson Point Provincial Park‘s two-bedroom cabin is a good base to explore Temagami’s Old Growth forests. Run ancient footpaths or climb the Old Fire Tower trail for a commanding view of area fall colours
Thunder Bay area in Northwestern Ontario
Top of the Giant at 2.7 kilometres long, is a heart-pumping, zig-zag ascent that’s part of the 80 kilometre trail network at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Only an hour east of Thunder Bay Airport, Sleeping Giant has a Ranger Lodge that sleeps 30 and 3-bedroom cabins available for rent from September to June.
XTerra, a triathlon event will be here September 7. Check for more fall running events at Ontario Parks