Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario has a swimming hole with turquoise water

Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario is where you'll find a freshwater fjord surrounded by white quartzite cliffs. The shimmering Topaz Lake comes with incredible sapphire hues and breathtaking nature views. 

Located about four hours from Toronto, the ultra-clear glacial lake feels like a tucked-away nature oasis in northern Ontario. 

This scenic lake along the Baie Fine fjord is so beautiful it was actually the inspiration for Group of Seven artist Arthur Lismer's painting ‘Bright Land.’

Though the breathtaking views and serene surroundings in Killarney Provincial Park instantly make the journey worth it, getting to Topaz Lake is no walk in the park. 

You can find this hidden gem along the 80-kilometre loop, La Cloche Silhoutte Trail. Known as one of Canada’s most famous backpacking trails, the loop is named after another famous painting by the Group of Seven. 

The park suggests setting aside about 10 days if you plan on undertaking the entire trail, but if you start from the George Lake Campground trailhead it takes only 11 kilometres to reach Lake Topaz. 

The lake is along the Baie Fine section of the trail, nearly halfway along “The Pig” portage into Threenarrows Lake. 

Once you arrive, you’ll want to spend some time taking in the panoramic views from the peak before you jump into the inviting crystal-clear waters. Just note, if you choose to dive, it’s at your own risk. 

Since it’s a longer hike, it might be a good idea to consider booking a campsite in the park if you plan on visiting. There’s even a campsite right beside Topaz Lake, though it tends to book up pretty fast. 

If you stay a night or two, it’ll give you more time to explore the many other sapphire lakes, pine forests and jutting cliffs that span across the 645-square-kilometre park.

Lead photo by

adventuremanitoulin


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