Hardy Lake Provincial Park

Hardy Lake Provincial Park in Ontario has boardwalks over a serene lake and a small island

Hardy Lake Provincial Park has everything you need for an epic day of exploring just two and a half hours from Toronto. Hiking trails here lead around a peaceful lake, a tiny island and an unexpected waterfall and feature some of the best natural beauty in Muskoka. 

The park in Torrance is located just off Hwy 169 and comes with a few different trails to traverse: a three-kilometre loop, an eight-kilometre trek around the lake, and a seven-kilometre trail through forest and wetlands. 

Bring your good shoes and try the more challenging eight-kilometre trail. The lake views are endless and a quick excursion to a secret little island is on the itinerary during the two to three-hour journey. 

The trail circles around the shimmering Hardy Lake and travels over the rugged Precambrian shoreline typical of the area.

Since the park used to be completely underwater before the last ice age, the banks are also rich in rare aquatic plants normally found along the Atlantic coast. 

In the summer, there are a few swimming spots to enjoy along the way. Be careful if you plan on taking a dip though since the shores can be extremely slippery and the water gets quite deep. 

Follow the winding boardwalk over the lake to reach the island, which is just a small patch of land with some trees. Boardwalks extend on either side of it.

It's also along this trail that you'll discover a small waterfall, gently flowing down a slope into the lake. Although it doesn't compare to the raging cascades in Hamilton and beyond, it adds to the natural beauty of the area nonetheless. 

To extend your hike even further, the seven-kilometre trail brings you to the shore of Lake Muskoka at the south-eastern side of the park. 

This is a non-operating park, so there are no visitor facilities and biking, motorized vehicles and camping are not permitted.

If you plan on visiting and exploring Hardy Lake Provincial Park, make sure to practice safe physical distancing and pick up after yourself to leave the area as beautiful as you found it.

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