barron canyon trail

This massive canyon north of Toronto comes with epic views

As the summer heat takes over Toronto, there’s no better time to escape the city for a day trip, or a weekend away. 

Luckily, one of the most spectacular nature trails is three to five hours from Toronto, inside Algonquin Provincial Park, and boasts the most unreal views in the entire park: the Barron Canyon.

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Algonquin Provincial Park, located between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River, is probably one of the most recognized and visited parks in all of Ontario.

Not only is it the oldest park in Canada, but additions to the park over the years have increased its size to almost 8000 square kilometres — almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island!

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The park is also one of the most protected pieces of land in the province, as it shares borders with several smaller, separate provincial parks that protect important rivers and habitats in the area.

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Algonquin is any nature lover’s paradise, with countless camping sites, hiking trails, and over 2,400 lakes within. With over a million visitors a year, it’s easy to see why this park is so popular.

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The Barron Canyon Trail consists of a 1.5 km loop that runs along the North rim of this massive, 100 metre deep canyon. This trail is no joke — it leads to a sky high, unfenced cliff top that has become the go-to spot to take that epic ‘gram. It will have you (quite literally) living on the edge.

From atop the cliff head, you’ll get a bird’s eye perspective of the gorge below, and panoramic views for miles.

This massive canyon was formed after the end of the last ice age, when the Barron River carried the entire outflow from the Great Lakes. This enormous flow of water eventually cut this canyon into the shape it is today.

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If heights aren’t really your thing, you can also explore Barron Canyon from canoe below. It can be accessed from either the Brigham Lake parking lot or the Barron River parking lot.

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After exploring the Park from above, be sure to check out the surrounding area from down below — the stunning Bonnechere Caves are only an hour’s drive from Algonquin Park.

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