Two people looking out over Lake Superior at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park | Destination Ontario

Find adventure on the Trans Canada Trail

Two people looking out over Lake Superior at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park | Destination Ontario

The Trans Canada Trail is the world’s longest recreational trail network. It covers over 28,000 kilometres of interconnected nature trails, water routes and roadways across Canada.

In Ontario, the Trans Canada Trail connects over 150 communities across over 5,000 kilometres, from Minaki, north of Kenora on the Manitoba border in the west, to the Capital Pathway crossing from Ottawa into Quebec.

Fun fact: Four out of five Canadians live within 30 minutes of a Trans Canada Trail! Check the map for all the local trails that make up this trail in Ontario and find the ones that are closest to you.

Here are five ways to experience The Trans Canada Trail in Ontario.

Explore by bicycle

Dust off your wheels for these scenic cycling routes.

The Chrysler Canada Greenway

A scenic trail featuring rolling farmlands and vineyards, gardens and watersheds and welcoming communities, the Chrysler Canada Greenway is the southernmost section of The Trans Canada Trail.

Location and distance: 51 kilometres between Kingsville and just south of Windsor, Essex County.

The Frontenac K&P Trail

Following a corridor of the former K&P Railway Company line, this trail cuts through the UNESCO designated Frontenac Arch Biosphere, representing the ancient granite bridge linking the Canadian Shield in the north to the Adirondack Mountain range.

Location and distance: 45.2 kilometres between Kingston and Sharbot Lake, Frontenac County.

Friendship Trail and Niagara River Recreational Trail

Pedal one of Canada’s most picturesque routes, from the town of Port Colborne on the north shore of Lake Erie, across Fort Erie and along the Niagara River to charming Niagara-on-the-Lake. Lush farm fields and vineyards, heritage downtowns, historic forts, waterfront parks and gardens and of course, the jaw-dropping Niagara Falls are all highlights along the way. The level, paved and well maintained trails are perfect for families and beginner cyclists.

Location and distance: over 70 kilometres between Port Colborne and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula

The Lanark Link

This route presents cyclists the options of short touring loops, longer road trips and some trail riding, all with the scenic backdrop of gorgeous eastern Ontario Canadian Shield, farmlands and small hamlets and villages.

Location and distance: over 100 kilometres between Smith Falls and Perth, Lanark County

Lake Huron North Channel

A portion of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail offers cyclists unparalleled mixed urban and wilderness riding opportunities. Take in the views as you ride along forested roads, pass by picturesque farms and see the clear waters of Lake Huron.

Location and distance: 374.78 kilometres between Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, Northern Ontario

Set out on a hike or walk

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a multi-day hike, you can walk just about every land trail in Ontario.

Kabeyun Trail

The coastal trail starts at Thunder Bay Lookout, around the tip of the ‘Giant’ and ends at Kabeyun Trailhead on Highway 587. The hike is strenuous, but the mind-blowing view from the top of the Giant is the big payoff, worth every step of the way. 

Location and distance: 40 kilometres within Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, near Thunder Bay, Northwest Ontario

Waterfront Trail

Another arm of the extensive Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, this largely urban path hugs the shoreline of Lake Ontario. It connects the waterfront communities of Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga and Toronto, featuring piers, gardens, beaches, local attractions and loads of lovely lake views. Flat and paved, it’s wheelchair friendly and welcomes Fido (on a leash).

Location and distance: 90.22 kilometres between Burlington to Toronto, Greater Toronto Area

Voyageur Trail

This wilderness pedestrian-only trail showcases the rugged beauty of Algoma Country. Numerous access points allow for day trips to multi-day hikes. Classified as a wilderness trail, it is short on facilities, but not on spectacular scenery, from windswept beaches and wild forests to rocky ridges and showstopping lookouts.

Location and distance: 188.49 kilometres between Sault Ste. Marie and Elliot Lake, Algoma 

Embark on a paddling trip

In Ontario, trails are not limited to land. Thousands of kilometres of freshwater lakes, rivers and navigable waterways provide some of the most rewarding paddling opportunities in the world.

The Lake Superior Water Trail

The shoreline of Lake Superior is a glorious, ancient aquatic highway offering spectacular natural sites and significant Indigenous cultural heritage. This is bucket list kayaking and canoeing. There are 16 access points, including Gros Cap Marina Park near Sault Ste. Marie which features a wheelchair accessible dock, making for an easier transition from chair to kayak.

Location and distance: almost 1,000 kilometres linking Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie, Northern Ontario

Path of the Paddle

Six connected water routes make up this portion of The Trans Canada Trail that meander from the Manitoba border down to Kenora, snakes east through Vermilion Bay to Dryden, veering south to Atikokan, and ultimately to the City of Thunder Bay. These backcountry canoe and kayak trails cut through wilderness parks and lakes, epic adventure for more experienced paddlers. 

Location and distance: 1,110 kilometres between the Manitoba border and Thunder Bay, Northwestern Ontario.

Plan a mountain bike expedition

Diverse terrain and hair-raising routes make for some adrenaline-pumping off-road biking.

Old Nippising Road Connecter

Known as the Ontario Ghost Trail or the ‘forgotten trail’, this route was forged in 1850 to attract pioneers to new communities. Remnants of the failed settlements include abandoned cabins, cemeteries and ramshackle barns. Plus, its remaining dirt, tar and stone road serves as an awesome cycling and mountain biking trail today.

Location and distance: 79.82 kilometres between Lake Rosseau and Lake Nipissing, Muskoka and Parry Sound District

Kawartha Trans Canada Trail

Long may you ride this four-season trail along a former railway route, through five communities, park lands, farmlands, wetlands and forests. Classic rock aficionados will want to visit the Youngtown Rock and Roll Museum in Omemee, the childhood hometown of Canadian music legend Neil Young.

Location and distance: 53.8 kilometres between Uxbridge and Peterborough, Durham Region and the Kawartha Lakes.

The Cataraqui Trail

Following the former CN railway, the gravel surface and rough sections of this trail make hybrid or mountain bikes the best option for cycling. There’s also plenty of nature along the Cataraqui Trail, so you’re likely to see small animals and birds as you ride along the path.

Location and distance: 81 kilometres between Harrowsmith and Smiths Falls, Eastern Ontario

Spot a variety of wildlife

Calling all photographers, nature lovers and birders.

Cambridge to Paris Rail Trail

Running parallel with the Grand River, this trail was one of the first converted rail-to-trail projects in Ontario. Visitors are treated to photo-worthy views of the river, a magical stretch through the tunnel of Carolinian forest and fantastic bird watching opportunities, as birding hotspots nearby include the Dryden Tract and Bannister, Wrigley and Dickson conservation areas.

Location and distance: 19.23 kilometres between Cambridge and Paris

Thornton Cookstown Trans Canada TrailNew Tecumseth TrailCaledon Trailway and Elora Cataract Trailway

Four shared-use Trans Canada Trail systems stretch from just below Barrie south to the village of Elora and cut through farm pastures, forested woodlots, refreshing creeks and rolling hills and valleys. Lookout for deer, beavers, rabbits, raccoons, porcupines, foxes, groundhogs, turtles and various types of birds.

Location and distance: over 100 kilometres between Thornton and Elora, Central Ontario

Tiny Trail

Wildlife and bird watching enthusiasts will have ample opportunities to get that perfect shot as the trail intersects with the Wye River and Copeland Creek, and provides access to Tiny Marsh Wildlife Area, a significant wetland area.

Location and distance: 18.93 kilometres between Midland and Elmvale

Check the status of each trail before you head out, as sections of the network are locally owned and operated. And familiarize yourself with the visitor guidelines for a responsible and safe experience.

Last updated: March 29, 2024

Looking for Ontario travel advice?

Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip. Call or book today.