5 Haunted Trails to Explore in Ontario’s Deep, Dark Woods

These hikes are home to more than just great views…

When it comes to hiking trails, Ontario is home to some of the country’s best-kept secrets. From views of the crystal clear waters of Lake Superior to the challenging mountainous topography of Sault Ste. Marie, there is no shortage of beautiful places to explore on foot.

While most trails allow you to simply explore the beauty of nature, there are some hikes in Ontario that explore a more sinister realm. In a province with such a rich history, it’s no wonder some of its areas have garnered attention due to paranormal ongoings, eerie stories and unusual sightings.

Here are some of the best haunted trails in Ontario to hike this spooky season if you enjoy feeling like you aren’t alone in the woods.

Trowbridge Falls, Thunder Bay

Located on the outskirts of Thunder Bay, Trowbridge Falls Campground is a picturesque spot to pitch your tent and take advantage of nearby outdoor activities. It’s situated beside the Current River, and just a little ways downstream from Trowbridge Falls itself. The falls can be viewed from a walking bridge leading to an extensive network for hiking and biking trails. There’s nothing quite like falling asleep to the sound of cascading water—and hair-raising whispers that seep out of the woods at night.

Since the 1960s there have been numerous reports of strange occurrences taking place in the Trowbridge Falls area. From campers hearing strange voices and noises emanating from the dark to hikers feeling a presence behind them on the trail, everyone seems to have had a creepy experience of some kind when spending time here.

Some have speculated the ghosts who haunt the area were once swimmers who lost their lives in the river. If you’re feeling brave, curious or just can’t pass up the opportunity to check out one of Ontario’s most beautiful haunted hiking trails, make your way to Trowbridge Falls to experience it yourself.

  • The easy 3.5-kilometre loop begins in Kinsmen Park and offers a beautiful hike to the falls. Bring a bathing suit, a lunch and a camera as there are plenty of places to wade into the cool water and have a picnic—and you might just capture something out of the ordinary on film while you’re there.
  • For those looking to further experience the lore of the area, book a site at the campground.
  • For a bite to eat, check out the Current River Bakery.
  • For even more hiking, but possibly fewer ghosts, visit Cascades Conservation Area, located only nine minutes away from Trowbridge Falls.
  • Read more about the haunted trail stories of Trowbridge Falls here.
exterior of the haunted Silver Islet General Store
After your hike, be sure to stop by the Silver Islet General Store, the source of many of the area’s ghostly tales. Source: Amy Ryan // @just_a_north_shore_girl

Silver Islet, Sibley Peninsula

Just outside of the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park boundaries, on the tip of the Sibley Peninsula jutting into Lake Superior, there is a small community called Silver Islet—a place with a history so rich, it just might freak you out.

Silver Islet was once a bustling settler community, until the silver mine in the area flooded in 1884. The cemetery for the community dates back to 1870 and was used up until 1937. It’s here you’ll find 79 graves belonging to inhabitants of Silver Islet, accessible byway of the Silver Islet Cemetery Trail—a 1.6-kilometre out-and-back hike across short boardwalks and through tight sections of trees. As nature has reclaimed the area, it is not uncommon to unexpectedly come across tombstones as you hike the trail. Adding to the spooky allure, the tombstones were all built from wood and were surrounded by small picket fences for protection.

Hikers have claimed they have felt an otherworldly presence while on this trail, and the community has even been explored by a team of paranormal investigators. The Silver Islet General Store is where many of the creepy sightings have happened, including of a woman in white and a ship captain.

Grab your camping gear and head to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park to explore this haunted spot.

  • Book a campsite or roofed accommodation at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
  • For a different kind of thrill, hike the Head Trail, one of Sleeping Giant’s steepest, most difficult hiking trails that boasts some of the best views in all of Ontario.
  • For an in-depth tour of the Silver Islet Mine, coastal views of extinct volcanoes and a tour of the abandoned Porphyry Island lighthouse, book a tour with Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior.
  • Learn more about the hauntings and paranormal investigations of Silver Islet here.

North Bay

Known for its quaint downtown, beautiful lakes and surrounding forests, North Bay has no shortage of outdoor amenities. What it also has is a healthy number of ghost stories. Tales of books falling off of shelves in local stores, infamous haunted homes and true crime stories make up a long list of strange happenings locals swear by.

The town has developed such an appreciation for their frightening and colourful past that they offer their own Haunted Hike throughout the downtown area. From the Canadian Pacific Railway Station to the North Bay Courthouse, this haunted hike hosted by The North Bay Museum is as informative as it is spooky.

Pack your bags for a weekend away and enjoy a unique mixture of Northern Ontario wilderness and dark supernatural history.

  • Learn more and sign up for the North Bay Museum’s Haunted Hike here.
  • During the daylight hours, head to the Black Forest Trail for a beautiful hike through massive red and white pines.
  • Go hiking at Laurier Woods Conservation Area and explore 250 acres of wetland and the birds that live within it.
  • For unique accommodations, stay in a yurt or cabin at the Nature’s Harmony Ecolodge in nearby Mattawa.
two canoeists on misty water at dusk
Explore the waters of Kioshkokwi Lake, next to the ghost town of Kiosk. Source: Cale Best // @calebestphotography

Kiosk Ghost Town, Algonquin Park

Located on the northern edge of Algonquin Provincial Park, Kiosk was a small town that was once home to over 70 homes, a mill, a school and a church. In the 1960s there were more than 500 residents and the community was thriving thanks to the local logging industry.

After the decision was made to no longer allow active mills within the Park boundaries, however, a mysterious fire took place and destroyed the mill. Without a viable economy, the town declined quickly, and eventually the government ordered all of its inhabitants to leave.

Though the buildings remain, so does the lingering eeriness of a place once full of life that is now a ghost town. To add to the eeriness, the 2016 film The Witch, a hauntingly dark and desolate depiction of life during the 1600s, was filmed in Kiosk at the site of the ghost town. If you feel brave, watching the movie first is a surefire way to get creeped out while hiking to the site.

Head to Kiosk in Algonquin Park to see if you can find what remains of this ghost town.

the shore of Lake Superior near Jackfish ghost town
Hike along the coast of Superior to a ghost town, often cloaked in mist, making for an even creepier experience. Source: Mason Prout // @masonprout

Jackfish Ghost Town

There’s an intrinsic creepiness associated with visiting an area that once bustled with life and now rests in a state of deteriorating impermanence. As nature reclaims buildings that once housed social gatherings or children’s classes, the feeling that life beyond the grave exists is palpable.

Not far from Rossport, the former town of Jackfish sits near the shoreline of Lake Superior and was once home to a modest number of permanent residents who worked as fishermen and fur traders. When the Canadian Pacific Railway realized Jackfish’s harbour was the perfect place for freighter ships to dock while supplying trains with coal, railway construction began. By the late 1880s, the railway was finished and the town began to flourish thanks to the resulting employment opportunities. In the 1940s, the invention of long-haul, diesel-engine trains meant the rail station and port in Jackfish were no longer needed—the beginning of the end for the small community. By the late 1960s, Jackfish had been entirely evacuated, but the infrastructure and homes of those who lived there still stand abandoned today.

For those who are as interested in Ontario’s rail history as they are in ghostly, secluded villages, make your way to the Jackfish Beach Trail, roughly 20 minutes from Terrace Bay. Experience history as you hike the 4.2-kilometre beach trail to reach the eerie abandoned neighbourhoods of this Ontario ghost town.

Plan a Trip to Hike One of These Creepy Trails

Whether you’re interested in exploring a historic ghost town or hiking wilderness trails others have sworn are haunted, the storied trails on this list are sure to provide a spooky experience. If you do go hunting for a haunted hike, make sure to bring your camera.

About Marshall Veroni

Marshall Veroni is a poet, songwriter and outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time travelling Canada in one way or another. With a background in creative writing, he is dedicated to immersing himself in small-town Ontario to cover outdoor adventures, music, the arts, food and travel. 

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