Get inspired to get outside in Cochrane

Outdoor adventure is the name of the game in Cochrane, and this small town packs a big adventure punch.

Cochrane, Ontario is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, whether you're into paddling or swimming in pristine lakes, an ATV adventure down wild backcountry trails, or hiking and biking among nature.

Outdoor fun at Commando Lake

Located in the heart of Cochrane, Commando Lake is a hub for outdoor fun, and a great place to enjoy outdoor pursuits in the city centre. Take a hike on 2.2 km of easy walking trails around the perimeter of the lake, and take in stunning views from the Canada 150 boardwalk.

In the summer season the lake is buzzing with activity, with locals and visitors enjoying swimming in the spring-fed lake and lounging on the local beach. For families, the giant lake water-fed slip-and-slide is sure to keep the kids entertained, and charcoal BBQs are the perfect way to enjoy a picnic with friends under the sun. If you’re looking to get on the water, canoe, kayak, paddle board and pedal boat rentals are available at the water’s edge, and those looking for the perfect catch can drop in a line and test their luck for brook trout, yellow perch, small-mouth and large-mouth bass, and rainbow trout.

Explore Cochrane by bike

Perhaps the best way to explore the Cochrane region is on two wheels. With numerous multi-use pathways in the region and a compact downtown, it’s a breeze to pedal your way through the city to check out local attractions. There are also a variety of offroad trails ranging in difficulty for those looking to dive into a more rugged bike adventure.

If you need a set of wheels, Cochrane’s bike share program provides the city’s residents and visitors with the opportunity to borrow a bike free of charge. You’ll find bike share rides available for use at the Cochrane Public Library, Tim Hortons Events Centre and Polar Bear Habitat.

Head out on an ATV adventure

Cochrane is a paradise for ATV riders and one of the most ATV-friendly cities in the region. Gas, food, parking, staging and lodging are all easily accessible throughout Cochrane, and all city streets in town are open to ATVs, making it easy for riders to easily visit local attractions, shops and restaurants.

Cochrane offers a wide variety of terrain for riders at every level, and there are over 1,000 acres of private wilderness trails, as well as endless trails located on the surrounding crown land. The “Gateway to the north” is a side-by-side looped trail, beginning in Cochrane and connecting into Quebec which is perfect for an exciting day trip. You’ll ride old rail beds, logging roads, and bush trails deep into the wilderness, and never pass the same spot twice. You can find trail maps and GPS coordinates at Adventure Nord Ontario.

For a guided tour to some of the more remote locations around Cochrane, Bear Tracks ATV Tours is a local operator catering to novice and moderately experienced riders looking for an ATV adventure in the wilderness. With numerous routes in the Cochrane region, their experience and familiarity with the region is invaluable, and a customized ATV adventure is sure to be the highlight of any trip.

Hit the greens

Pack the clubs and hit the links on your next visit to Cochrane. The Lee Golf Club, located on the fringes of the city centre, is a 9-hole course with golf carts, a well-stocked pro shop and licensed clubhouse with full menu. Its close proximity to downtown makes it a perfect place for an early morning tee-off, or a leisurely afternoon on the fairways. For golf lovers hankering for more time on the greens, head 35 min south of Cochrane to the 9-hole Abitibi Golf Club, located just off the Trans Canada Highway.


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Pubs and pints

Relax after a day of exploring the outdoors at one of Cochrane’s local restaurants. Say cheers with a pint of local northern Ontario brew like Polar Day Session IPA from Compass Brewing, or Bearded Prospector cream ale from Full Beard Brewing. Pair your pint with a rack of delectable ribs at JR’s BBQ Ranch, or chow down on a juicy ribeye at Terry’s Steak & Fusion House. The Station Restaurant and 49th Parallel Kitchen + Bar are also great spots to end the day with a cozy atmosphere and a full menu of pub classics.

About Sofie Sharom

Sofie Sharom is a photographer and visual artist. With a focus on wildlife, travel and documentary photography, she has visited some of the most remote corners of the world in search of spectacular scenery, unique wildlife, engaging people and inspiring stories. She created the Project Local Love Explore Canada travel series to support local communities, producers and makers, and shine a light on those making a difference in the lives of others.

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