Boreal Route

The Boreal Route in Ontario is an epic road trip through 10 provincial parks

Ontario road trips are an amazing way to see the province's beauty at your own leisure, from passing by rolling meadows to sparkling lakes.

One route to add to your list is the Boreal Route, which takes you through the expansive and unique ecosystem comprised of uninterrupted forest that covers half of Ontario's land area and stretches around the globe.

Boreal Route

Boreal Route map by Ontario Parks

The Boreal Route spans 1,700 km and includes a whopping 10 provincial park stops, most of which are less-visited hidden gems filled with lakes, waterfalls, and countless adventures.

Most begin the road trip from Sudbury as a starting point and follow the loop in a counter-clockwise direction. With a total drive time of 20.5 hours, the trip duration can last anywhere from 8 - 16 days if you plan to hit all the suggested stops.

The first leg of the tour is driving from Sudbury to Kap-Kig-Iwan Provincial Park via Highways 17, 575, 64, and 11. A must-see is the Englehart River's cascading waterfalls set against the park's scenic hiking paths.

Continue north on Highways 624 and 672 to Esker Lakes Provincial Park, a testament to the ice age with kettle lakes, esker hills, and the province's longest esker. If you go in August, you might even get a sweet treat from the sprawling wild blueberry fields.

Kettle Lakes Provincial Park is third on the list, 1.5 hours from Esker Lakes. Here, grab a kayak and paddle around 22 pristine lakes or go biking, hiking, or fishing.

Two hours northwest up Highway 11 is René Brunelle Provincial Park, where you can look into Ontario's aviation history and see the site of a 1922 bush pilot plane crash on one of the trails.

Fushimi Lake Provincial Park is 2 hours westward on Highway 11 and the farthest north point of the loop, where you'll find a serene lake surrounded by a Boreal mix of spruce, poplar, and pine, perfect for water activities.

Turning back south from Highway 631, stop at Nagagamisis Provincial Park, a quiet serene park boasting breathtaking sunsets and potential Northern Lights sights.

White Lake Provincial Park is the 7th stop on the route, which is a popular destination for fishing. Also not to be missed is the Tiny Bog Trail showcasing unique flora.

Just over 2 hours south on Highway 17 and Highway 101 is Potholes Provincial Park, which features glacial potholes, mini waterfalls, and dense boreal forests.

Ninth on the list is Ivanhoe Provincial Park, falling 2 hours eastward on Highway 101. Hang out at the long, sandy beach or trek along the trails that will lead you through ancient glacial landscapes with kettle lakes and eskers. You might even spot a resident white moose.

The 10th and final stop on the list is Halfway Lake Provincial Park, nearly 3 hours from Ivanhoe. The blend of rugged landscapes and Boreal forest is nothing short of spectacular.

Halfway Lake is just an hour away from Sudbury, which will bring you right back to where you started. While the Boreal Route is certainly one of the most ambitious road trips, there are tons of routes a much shorter distance away with equally beautiful scenery.

Lead photo by

Elena Berd

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