Hiking Ontario; Hiking Trails in Cottage Country


Hiking Ontario trails whether you are briskly walking or leisurely enjoying the scenery is an excellent way to exercise and get back to nature.

Whether the Ontario hiking trails are multi-use trails for bikers, walkers, runners and even snowmobilers in the winter, or just for hikers there are a number of options in cottage country to choose from.

Be sure to remember though that there are other people hiking Ontario trails other than yourself and that there are different rules of the road for bikers and motorized vehicles than for walkers. Stay safe, respect each other and the trails will be loads of fun!

Beaver River Trail
Beaver River Trail at Clarksburg

Saugeen Shores

Both the Saugeen Rail Trail and the new Saugeen Shores multi-use trail along the shore line connect Southampton and Port Elgin.

The Rail Trail runs follows a decommissioned railway line from Grosvenors Street in Southampton to 6th Consession East of Hwy 21 in Port Elgin.

A detailed Saugeen Rail Trail Map is provided by the Saugeen Rail Trail Association and is a great resource for finding access points along the trail.

saugeen shores multi use trail
My husband and our dog Bella on the Saugeen Shores Multi-Use trail

You will see two additional multi-use trails marked on the map the North Shore Road Loop trail and the Beiner Ski Trail.

The North Shore Road Loop trail is also known as the Saugeen Shores multi-use trail and has become quite popular since being upgraded to a true trail. While many people followed the North Shore Road for biking and walking before, it is more used than ever now that the official trail has been laid.

saugeen shores multiuse trail
A biker on the Saugeen Shores Multi-Use Trail

The Beiner Ski Trail is a bit hidden but there are obvious access points along the 10th Concession. There are other trails like this that are hidden in the woods between South Street and the 10th Concession with the most obvious access point being in the Pegasus Trails neighbourhood. Another trail that isn't that obvious takes you from the Port Elgin Beach all the way to McGregor Point.

Rail Trails

Saugeen Shores isn't the only cottage town in Grey Bruce Counties that has its own rail trail. In fact there are seven rail trails for hiking Ontario, everywhere from Chesley to the Georgian Bluffs.

The beauty of rail trails is that they are multi use and therefore geared to all sorts of activities from walking to cycling or skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months.

rail trail Georgian Trail
Georgian Trail at Christie Beach

A few of the notable trails are the Georgian Trail that runs 32 kms from Meaford to Collingwood, the Bruce County Rail Trail that runs 80 kms exiting in two directions from Port Elgin and the CP Trail from Owen Sound to Dundalk running 77 kms.

The Bruce Trail

The Bruce Trail might just be the most famous Ontario hiking trails especially in cottage country.

The Bruce Trail
Thanks to Anne Douglas for this picture of the Bruce Trail (Sydenham Section)

While the Bruce Trail runs along the Niagara Escarpment from Queenston (Southwest of St. Catherines) to Tobermory, the portion from Wiarton to Tobermorry is actually along the Bruce Peninsula.

There are other cottage country portions of the Bruce Trail, it loosely follows the Georgian Bay shoreline from Collingwood to Wiarton.

rail trail markers
Rail Trail markers along the Georgian Trail

Of course we haven't covered all the hiking trails in all of Ontario. If you have a favourite trail we invite you to share it with us!

Where is your favourite Hiking Trail?

Do you have a Hiking Trail others need to try out? Share it!

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