7 Bucket List Adventures in The Seven

Hikes, climbs, and camping in Northeastern Ontario that no explorer should miss.
A woman smiling with her eyes closed as she holds a sleeping bag close around her chin and over her head. She is sitting on a rocky bank and there is water reflecting an orange sunset behind her. There is forest and a low mountain on the opposite bank.

Northeastern Ontario is home to some pretty amazing adventure opportunities. Hundreds of stunning hikes, amazing canoe routes, and quirky small towns are just waiting to be explored. I’ve done some serious exploring in the area—and it’s safe to say I’ve never been bored in the Seven! My bucket list for adventures in Northeastern Ontario is ever-growing, and I feel like I’m only just scratching the surface of this beautiful region. Here are 7 adventures I’ve had in the Seven that you absolutely need to add to your bucket list— and some bonuses that are on my bucket list as well!

1. Hiking Silver Peak in Killarney Provincial Park

Two paddlers in a canoe, paddling on still water next to a dense forest in the late afternoon summer sun. a woman smiles at the camera as she runs with her arms outstretched along a smooth rock mountain face, overlooking a forested valley that extends to the horizon. The trees are turning autumn colours and the sky is a misty light blue. a man and a woman with arms around each other's backs stand enjoying the view from a smooth rock cliff overlooking a broad forested valley full of green and reddish brown autumnal trees under a bright blue sky.
Tackle Silver Peak this year. // Photo credits Kresson Van Erp

If you’re looking to bag some peaks in Ontario and want a challenge, this is a great place to start! Located in Killarney Provincial Park, Silver Peak is the highest point in the park. The trail is just over 12 km long, very difficult, and only accessible by water. The views are worth the challenge, though, and it’s definitely worthy of a spot on your bucket list. When I did it, I decided to camp on Bell Lake and make the short paddle to the trailhead. As a plus, camping in Killarney’s backcountry is top-tier and also deserves a spot on any camper’s bucket list!

2. Chutes Provincial Park

A woman wearing a backpack and hat and holding a water bottle stands on a rock bank looking at a whitewater river. The opposite bank is made of steep rock and covered in pine forest, and it is a sunny summer day.
Chutes Provincial Park // Photo credit Kresson Van Erp

This small park wasn’t even on my radar but man, did it deliver the views! It is a waterfall lover's dream with multiple falls along its only trail, Twin Bridges Trail. At 6 km, it isn’t overly difficult and is excellent as a leisurely hike. I visited as a day trip visitor, but the campground seems nice and it would be a cute spot to spend a weekend! Plus, there is a lot to do around this park, making it a great home base to explore more things in the area. The waterfalls make it a worthy spot on your bucket list for sure!

3. Camping Weekend on Manitoulin

A woman sitting on a rock in the middle of a shallow, crystal-clear, sandy-bottomed bay. There are trees on the horizon and the sky is vivid blue. Cup and Saucer Trail; A woman sits on a rock precipice with her hands in the air. Far below is a lush green forested valley that stretches to the horizon, and the sky is a vivid blue with sweeping wisps of white cloud.
Visiting heavenly Manitoulin and the Cup and Saucer Trail is a must. // Photo credits Kresson Van Erp

Manitoulin Island is home to some pretty amazing spots: Cup and Saucer Trail, Bridal Veil Falls and Misery Bay Provincial Park to name a few. Misery Bay has an amazing discovery centre, a few lovely trails and some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen. You could easily spend the day here. Cup and Saucer is home to some of the highest cliffs in the province and the view is iconic, to say the least! Make sure to check out the adventure trail portion as it is so fun with caves to squeeze through and ladders to climb. This part is optional and the rest of the trail is moderate. Well worth it for the views. Bridal Veil Falls is a waterfall that you can SWIM in! Bring water shoes as the bottom is rocky and sharp but boy, was it ever amazing to swim after hiking all day!  You can also take a tour with Wikwemikong Tours and experience some of the Indigenous culture in the area! With all these places to see, camping on the island and spending the weekend there is a wicked adventure!

4. French River Provincial Park

A woman leans over the rail of a bridge at French River Provincial Park, looking out over the river, bordered by steep cliffs and thick forest. a woman wearing a backpack standing on a rocky bank next to a calm river on a summer day. The opposite bank is rocky and high and covered in thick green forest.
French River Provincial Park // Photo credits Kresson Van Erp

This park is easily one of my favourite day trips I’ve taken. The park is well known for its incredible backcountry canoe routes (and I’ll be doing those too!) but for those who are looking for a day trip adventure, this park delivers! The visitors centre is incredible with interactive exhibits that talk about the historical importance of the area and the Indigenous groups in the area. The trail from the visitors' centre is 3 km and fairly easy. You will hike along the French River Gorge and end up at the historical Recollet Falls. It was stunning. Make sure to stop by the bridge beside the visitors' centre which gives a spectacular view of the gorge!

5. Heaven's Gate Trail System

A woman stands on a smooth, snowy precipice overlooking a view of a forested valley and a large lake. A woman wearing winter clothing stands on a snowy hillside looking out over a forest and lake during an orange, cloudless sunset.
Heaven's Gate/ Willisville Mountain // Photo credits Kresson Van Erp

Looking to hike in the mountains? This trail is for you! The La Cloche Mountains are the focal point for this trail system, and if you do the Ridge trail you’ll summit not one but three of the mountains in the range! It is a difficult trail system with multiple jump-off points. My favourite section is the Ridge trail. It covers the most of the trail system! It’s stunning in all seasons, but be cautious in winter as it isn’t maintained and the snow can be quite deep. You can also camp here and make the over-20-km trail system into a backpacking trip. Be sure you’re camping where you’re allowed—there are parts of the trail where camping isn’t permitted, so do your research beforehand! You can do it in a day hike if you start early enough and are prepared with lots of water and snacks. The views are breathtaking! As an add-on to this adventure, head to WIllisville Mountain, which is right beside the ridge trail, for sunrise. Best spot for sunrise I’ve seen in Ontario yet! This is a short trail, but steep—if you go for sunrise bring a headlamp and take it slow!

6. Devil’s Rock

Devil's Rock; an extremely high cliff of jagged rock, overlooking Lake Temiskaming, a blue lake to the horizon, met with a clear bright blue sky. The cliffs are covered in tall green pine trees and there is a person standing on the cliff, looking very small.
The legendary Devil's Rock // Photo credit Kresson Van Erp

The cliffs here are *chefs kiss* with their dizzying heights and views of the lake. Known as Devil’s Rock or Mani-doo Aja-bikong, these cliffs are over 300 feet high! There are two access points and two trails you can take. One is more rugged and the other more gradual. The views are incredible and worth a trip on its own. If you’re feeling like rounding the adventure out with some paddling you can launch a paddle board in the lake and paddle along the cliffside. Seeing the huge cliffs from both angles is awe-inspiring and I definitely recommend it. Keep your eyes open along the base of the cliffs for caves that are left behind from a mining era in the area! Be aware that a fall from the top of the cliffs will be fatal. Exercise caution and be smart at the top!

7. Mississagi Provincial Park

Mississagi Provincial Park; two people sit on a high cliff of smooth rock, enjoying the view of the wide, blue Mississagi River and green forest below.
Mississagi Provincial Park // Photo credit Kresson Van Erp

This northern park is an adventure lover's paradise! With multiple hikes, front and backcountry camping, and some pretty stunning views, it's a one-stop shop! The park is home to an infamous story of a downed pilot who survived in the wilderness here before he was rescued, 130 metre-high cliffs, paddling opportunities, and secluded beaches. The Helenbar Lookout Trail is a definite highlight and the views from the top are beautiful. The trail is moderate to difficult but worth it! If you do the backpacking trail there are also some really beautiful views to be seen, and it would make an excellent adventure if you’re looking to camp rather than for a day trip!

Bonus adventure that’s on MY bucket list: Camping at Tidewater Provincial Park. This is the northernmost operational park near Hudson Bay that you can camp at, and sometimes you can see beluga whales from your campsites! Only accessible by water, this is a sweet adventure that’s been calling my name.

Wherever you end up in Northeastern Ontario, adventure will find you! 

About Kresson Van Erp

Kress is a small town girl from Muskoka, Ontario who loves to adventure. If she’s not exploring or travelling she’s reading. If she’s not reading she’s writing! Her love for the outdoors started at a young age, but really grew during Covid when she started sharing her adventures on her social media. Since then she’s tackled some pretty rad adventures all over Ontario!  

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