How To Spend A Weekend In Northeastern Ontario

Ontario is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada. After all, it’s home to the capital Ottawa, vibrant Toronto, and the stunning natural wonders of the Great Lakes and Niagara Falls. 

However, in a state that’s larger than France and Spain combined, why not try and get off the beaten track? Northeastern Ontario is a dream for outdoor enthusiasts in every season. With more than 20% of the earth’s freshwater across ¼ million lakes throughout the state, you’ll easily find spots for stand up paddleboarding and kayaking. For those who prefer to stay on land, there’s endless hiking and biking too.

While travel might be limited at the moment due to Coronavirus, it’s the perfect time for locals to get to know their state better. And hey, why not plan for a future trip?  

In this post, we’ll take a closer at some activities to fill your weekend in this beautiful part of Canada. No matter the time of year! 

Go ice fishing at Lake Nipissing

Let’s begin with one of the best activities you can do in Northeastern Ontario in Winter. If you’ve never tried ice fishing before, you’ll be pleased to know it’s quite easy! All you need is some equipment, an opening through the ice, and you’re ready to go. 

Don’t have equipment? No problem. At lakes such as Nipissing, you can rent ice fishing huts, or for a longer trip, a full cabin for up to eight guests. You can even book ice fishing packages at several lakes around the region which means all the hard work is done for you – including accommodation, meals, housekeeping, and transportation.

There are several weekends throughout the year that allows Ontario residents to legally fish without a licence, one of which is Family Day. It’s ideal for a family vacation!

Go snowmobiling in Timmins

Renowned for its northern hospitality, Timmins is known as the “City with a Heart of Gold”. While you should definitely take advantage of that hospitality by visiting the city’s restaurants, bars, and shops, there are a few outdoor activities you should have on your itinerary too. 

In winter, one of these is snowmobiling. One of the biggest snowmobiling destinations in the world, there are more than 400km of groomed snowmobiling trails in Timmins alone! 

As well as the two mentioned above, other winter activities you can enjoy in Northeastern Ontario include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating (pretty much every town or city has a skating rink!)

Visiting Timmins in summer is a pretty awesome idea too, by the way. You can do the summer alternative to snowmobiling – ATVing, while the city is also a popular destination for golfers.  

Stand up paddleboarding in Sudbury

Here’s one for the warm weather. Stand up paddleboarding is one of the most fun activities you can do as a beginner, and there are plenty of places in Sudbury you can enjoy it. 

Sudbury is known as the “City of Lakes”, with more than 330 to choose from. That’s an awful lot of places where you can go stand up paddleboarding – more than any other municipality in Canada, actually!

If you’ve never tried SUP before, it’s an awesome workout for your entire body. It can increase core strength, improve cardio, and if you do it regularly, you’ll see your mental health boosted too. It’s the ideal vacation activity!

Swim at a blue flag beach

Sometimes, you don’t want to worry about what equipment you need for a day out. Sudbury alone boasts two of Canada’s blue flag beaches – and they’re both on Ramsey Lake. 

Moonlight Beach on the eastern shores is quiet, relaxing, and perfect for swimming. Bell Park Beach has a little more going on – with snack bars, playgrounds, and gazebos. It’s best if you’re travelling with the family! 

Because the lake is so close to Sudbury, you can enjoy the delights of the city in the evening too. 

Go flyboarding on Ramsey Lake

Looking to get the adrenaline flowing at Ramsey Lake? While swimming is nice, flyboarding is more of a bucket list activity that you can tick off. 

You’ll be attached to a board and a jet pack, which will allow you to ‘fly’ over the lake, and dive down up to 10 metres. It’s one of the most exhilarating sports you can do, so don’t miss your opportunity! 

Hit up the Lakes of Kivi Park

Rather than telling you what to do in Sudbury’s Kivi Park we’re just going to tell you to go there. It’s one of the best options if you can’t make your mind up what to do. When you arrive you’ll be able to choose from canoeing, kayaking or stand up paddleboarding on the lake itself – or you could take a dip in its cool waters. 

Prefer to stay dry? The lake shoreline has no permanent residences or holiday cottages, so you can take a walk all the way around. 

Go camping!

Travelling on a budget and hoping to experience the great outdoors at the same time? Forget staying in a hotel or a vacation rental, check out a campsite instead! All across northeastern Ontario you’ll find great campsites where you can pitch your tent, rent a cabin, or hook up your RV. And the good news? They’re never far from an awesome hiking trail or a pristine lake. 

Final Thoughts on how to spend a weekend in Northeastern Ontario

Well, there you have it. Those are some of the best ways to spend a day or a weekend in Northeastern Ontario. All you need to do is decide which activity you’re going to do first! 

Whether you want to spend your days paddleboarding across the flat waters of a plethora of lakes, swim at a blue flag beach, or get the adrenaline flowing with some winter snowmobiling, there are endless Northeastern Ontario adventures awaiting you. 

To get more information on what to do and where to visit on your short break, check out 

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