Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
Explore Northern Ontario on the Boreal Driving Route

Are you planning a cross-province adventure? Review the Driving Routes in Ontario Parks.

The Boreal Forest is vast and beautiful, and completely north.

This unique ecosystem, unlike anything you’ll find in southern Ontario, covers half of the province’s land area and spans the globe.

This driving route starting in Sudbury is designed to help you discover Canada’s boreal forest. It’s a region that many Canadians will never see, and yet it offers so much in terms of history, culture and natural wonders.


Parks along this route:

There are ten stops along this route. We hope you visit them all, but if you have limited time, the must-see parks along the route are designated with an *.

Stop #1: Cape Kig Iwan Provincial Park *

hiker looking at waterfalls

Driving time: Sudbury to Kap-Kig-Iwan will take you approximately three hours. You’ll take Highway 17 east from Sudbury, then Highway 575, Highway 64, and Highway 11 north until you reach the park.

The park: Kap-Kig-Iwan’s Englehart River runs through a gorge filled with waterfalls and waterfalls, providing a spectacular backdrop for the park’s hiking trails.

The Boreal Forest is sometimes called Ontario’s “Songbird Nursery.” Thousands of birds migrate there in spring and summer to nest and raise their young. This makes Kap-Kig-Iwan a great place for bird watching.

Stop #2: Esker Lakes Provincial Park *

A guy in a yellow shirt and shorts walking on a boardwalk through a forest with tall conifers and lush green undergrowthLonesome Bog Trail – The boardwalk runs through a moist black spruce forest

Driving time: This is one of the shorter routes of the trip and should take you approximately one hour to complete. It will mean traveling north on Highways 624 and 672.

The park: Ten thousand years ago, a glacier more than a kilometer thick covered this landscape. When the ice melted, it left caldera lakes, winding esker hills, and clay lake bottoms.

See also  "Peent! Peent!" Here comes the common Nighthawk

Esker Lakes lies on the bed of what was a wide glacial river that flowed through glacial ice and, at over 250 km, is the longest. thank you in ontario.

Stop #3: Kettle Lakes Provincial Park *

KettleLakes, you could be canoeing here

Driving time: Heading north on Highway 672 and then west on Highway 101, this trip will take approximately 1.5 hours.

The park: Like Esker Lakes, Kettle Lakes reflect the remains of icebergs from the end of the last ice age. Today, the park contains 22 sparkling spring-fed lakes.

Biking, walking, trout fishing, paddling, bird watching, and swimming will keep you busy here, with plenty of trails, lakes, and beaches throughout the park.

Stop #4: René Brunelle Provincial Park

Man on bench looking at lake and sky

Driving time: Head northwest on Highway 11 until you reach René Brunelle, this will take you a little longer two hours.

The park: René Brunelle protects the northeast quarter of Lake Remi, one of the largest in the region. The lake was once home to one of Ontario’s first seaplane bases.

The Vigilance Trail takes you on a short hike along the coast to see Airplane Island and tells the stories of the pilots who flew here.

Stop #5: Fushimi Lake Provincial Park *

kayak on the shore

Driving time: Continue west on Highway 11 to two hours to reach Fushimi Lake Provincial Park.

The park: Lake Fushimi is located entirely within the park, surrounded by spruce, aspen, and boreal pine trees. A small, quiet campground sits on the western shore of the lake and provides access for boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and paddling.

There is a beautiful sandy beach in the day use area.

Stop #6: Nagagamisis Provincial Park

Sunset over the lake.

Driving time: This trip will take you approximately one hour. You will drive west on Highway 11 and then turn left to drive south on Highway 631.

The park: Here, the boreal forest is remote and accessible. Located north of Lake Superior, there is little development in the area, but Nagagamisis is right off the main highway.

In this area of ​​the forest, the sunsets are impressive. The northern night skies are always full of stars and you may even see the northern lights.

See also  5 reasons to visit Chutes Provincial Park

Stop #7: White Lake Provincial Park

sign indicating the way to a trail

Driving time: Drive south on Highway 631 until you can turn right onto Highway 17, this will take you to White Lake Provincial Park. I should take you there two hours to complete.

The park: White Lake is a hidden gem of the north that offers excellent fishing opportunities. The most popular species caught include Walleye (Pickerel), Northern Pike and Yellow Perch.

A hike along the Tiny Bog Trail will show the beauty of the area. A boardwalk crosses a swamp where insect-eating plants such as Drosera and Pitcher Plant grow.

Stop 8: Baches Provincial Park

Hiker on the boardwalk looking at potholes

Driving time: Drive south on Highway 17 until you reach Wawa, then hop on Highway 101 for the rest of your trip. It should take you a little longer two hours.

The park: This is a Nature Reserve category park, which protects an impressive boreal landscape centered on the Kinniwabi River.

The river falls through smooth, sculpted bedrock that was carved, molded and formed into a series of giant “potholes” by ancient glacial melt.

This small park is a perfect rest stop right on Highway 101, with picnic tables and outhouses, as well as a start for a short trail that will take you through a boreal wonderland.

Stop #9: Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park *

Northern lights and comet visible in Ivanhoe

Driving time: The Potholes route to Lake Ivanhoe will take you two hours driving east on Highway 101.

The park: Campers who know Ivanhoe Lake well come for boating and fishing. Good walleye, pike and yellow perch fishing can be done by boat or canoe.

Much of the park’s shoreline is sandy beach, with wide views west of the lake.

Stop #10: Halfway Lake Provincial Park *

Hiker on the Hawk Ridge Trail.

Driving time: Traveling from Lake Ivanhoe to Lake Halfway will take you less than three hours to complete. Take Highway 101 east and then Highway 144 south. You’ll find Halfway Lake right off 144.

The park: Halfway Lake’s combination of boreal forest and rugged landscape creates a hiker’s paradise. Experienced hikers will be rewarded with stunning views of the park’s many charming lakes.

For those looking for less demanding activities, rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard, or relax on its family-friendly, shallow, fine sand beach.

After Halfway Lake, the return trip to Sudbury will take you just one hour.

Total driving time: 20.5 hours

Estimated trip duration (full route): 8 – 16 days

Estimated trip length (highlights only): 5 to 10 days

It’s time to discover what makes this region so special.

Book your trip through our online reservation service.