Exploring Ontario’s Great Lakes

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Most people who are up to date on their geography know that there are five great lakes in North America. They’re enormous freshwater lakes that connect to the Atlantic Ocean and boast beautiful scenery all around. What fewer people know is that four of those lakes have land borders in Ontario. The only one of the five Great Lakes to not be situated at least partly in Ontario is Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan is certainly beautiful, but to keep the flavor of the best of Canada strong, we’re going to take a look at a couple of the lakes in Ontario. 

Lake Superior

It makes sense to start out with the largest lake and that is, by some margin, Lake Superior. This lake is the largest freshwater lake, by surface area, in the whole world and holds more water by volume than all of the other great lakes combined. In fact, 10% of the entire planet’s freshwater can be found in this very lake. Naturally, there’s plenty of it to explore, even just the banks that border Ontario, but we’re going to start in the Lake Superior Provincial Park. 

This park is perfect for those who want to really get a feel for this enormous lake as it has numerous different activities that show you some of its most beautiful areas. If you’re up for an adventure then perhaps the best way to explore the park is by canoe. You can rent a canoe through the visitor centre and then set off on your chosen adventure. A particularly nice overnight canoe journey for those who are still novice canoers, or those who like to take things steady is the Fenton Treeby loop. This ten-mile trip is circular and can easily be completed in a couple of days by even a very steady rower. You’ll get to see six of the smaller lakes, as well as plenty of unspoiled Boreal forest and some of the most impressive hill landscapes in Ontario. It’s a good idea to bring a tent and sleeping bag with you, as there are several great camping spots en-route that make for the perfect place to stop, rest, and refuel, ready for the next day.

Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario is the next place we’re stopping off and with one of its banks in the bustling city of Toronto, and the other just a hop onto land away from Niagara Falls, this might be the most dramatic of the great lakes. In order to get the most out of your great lakes tour, staying in the hustle and bustle of things is recommended for this lake. The Fallsview Resort is a brilliant choice, as it’s right in between Lake Ontario and Niagara Falls, as well as this, it has plenty of entertainment options for the evening, including a state-of-the-art casino. If you’re looking to get a little practice in before you hit the card tables then there are a plethora of Ontario casinos to choose from and the hotel are very happy for you to use their wifi to practice. However, before you venture into the casino for the evening, there’s a whole day of sightseeing to do first!

Whilst not strictly on Lake Ontario, a visit to Niagara Falls is something you’ll never forget. These powerful cascades straddle the border between New York and Ontario and are so breathtakingly beautiful that you could easily spend a whole day here. However, heading just across the land to the border of Lake Ontario will provide you with a more relaxing afternoon of sightseeing. It’s here that you’ll find a quaint town called Niagara-on-the-Falls. This 19th century town features immaculate gardens, a thriving cafe culture and stunning views of both the Niagara river and Lake Ontario.

Lake Huron

Our final stop on the tour is Lake Huron. This is yet another beautiful lake that’s known for its sand dunes and wetlands, making it the perfect spot for nature enthusiasts. In order to get the best views of the lake it’s possible to charter a boat and venture out to Manitoulin Island. This island is the largest lake island in the world and is easily reached from Georgian Bay, as long as you have an experienced skipper. Lake Huron has been responsible for many shipwrecks in its history, so navigating it is best left to the professionals. The island is so large that it’s home to several lakes itself, as well as entire communities that call it home. Stopping off to enjoy some local produce is a rewarding way to end a day’s boating and hiking.

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