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Tips nature oriented destinations

8 posts
Tips nature oriented destinations

Hello everyone,

next summer my girlfriend and I will be visiting Canada, more specific, we will be flying to Toronto.

As far as cities go, I was thinking about Toronto and Montreal. But we really want to mix it up with nature, so I was thinking about Algonquin park (bus)? What other options are there to do for a few days?

We will be doing everything with train or bus, as we prefer to travel that way and we are not able to rent a car yet. We will be arriving the 2nd of september, and leaving the 16th of september. I was thinking to visit Toronto from the 11th, so we have 3 full days there, as we have to leave very early the 16th. In Montreal I'm looking to spend about three days.

So we have around 6 days to do some more nature oriented stuff. What do you recommend?

Thanks :)

23 replies to this topic
1. Re: Tips nature oriented destinations

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Gaspesie Region...
Level Contributor
2,243 posts
77 reviews
2. Re: Tips nature oriented destinations

Rouge Park. There's even a campground.

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/rouge

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,400 posts
26 reviews
3. Re: Tips nature oriented destinations

I would like to point out that Algonquin Provincial Park while accessible via the Parkbus service is about 3.5 hours from Toronto. You cannot do that as a day trip and would need proper camping gear to make it worthwhile.

The Niagara Escarpment is a good option and easily accessibly by train in the summer even by bus I believe. With that in mind you also need to keep in mind the fact that Ontario is massive and not easily accessible by bus or train.

You could check out Manatoulin Island or Thousand Islands but in reality you would need to plan a trip there. The more forested areas of Ontario are hard to reach by transit with the exception of SOME of the conservation areas.

Honestly I would spend a few more days in Toronto and hit up Niagara region (Niagara-on-the-lake, Niagara Escarpment, Niagara Falls). There is no point in going to the provincial parks which are hard to reach without a vehicle and likely requiring camping sites being booked if you do.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,400 posts
26 reviews
4. Re: Tips nature oriented destinations

Oh and in addition to being 3.5 hours away Algonquin Park is 60 KM across with only a highway traversing it. Unless you have a vehicle (which in this case you do not) I would not bother going there. You would be limited to the Lake of Two Rivers campground and the nearby trail.

Toronto
Destination Expert
for Algonquin Provincial Park
Level Contributor
4,216 posts
5. Re: Tips nature oriented destinations

Sorry but it's very difficult to visit any real nature-oriented destinations by public transportation (considering that places you go to get away from civilization generally, by definition, don't have concentrated enough human traffic to make public transportation effective). Algonquin Park gets very limited bus service through ParkBus, not even sure if there would be runs during your dates, and as Richard W points out, your activities once there would be limited if you didn't have a vehicle to get around.

What exactly is preventing you from renting a car? Tell us more about your constraints and what flexibilities you might have and I can try to make some suggestions.

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
Level Contributor
83,325 posts
103 reviews
6. Re: Tips nature oriented destinations

If I may add...

Algonquin is approx. 2945 sq mi / 7630 sq km. making the park more than 1/5th the size of Switzerland. (41,290 km²)

Most people go to the park for its remote wilderness and to camp in the great outdoors.

Best Regards

Merida, Mexico
Level Contributor
2,676 posts
12 reviews
7. Re: Tips nature oriented destinations

However, there are meet-up groups, the Sierra Club might run trips, you can connect with other tourists willing to rent a car at local hostels, you can inquire at Mountain Equipment Co-op. You won't be the only ones in town without a car looking to get away. There are ways of connecting those with cars and those without...I wish I could provide more concrete solutions but I don't know enough.

Gaspesie Region...
Level Contributor
2,243 posts
77 reviews
8. Re: Tips nature oriented destinations

Also, between Montreal and Toronto, there is Sandbanks Provincial Park, Parc de Plaisance that has canoe & bike rentals (https://www.sepaq.com/pq/pla/)

There is white water rafting near Grenville & Pembroke, with on site camping. There are some wildlife preserves along the route too, but harder to access by bus.

As others have said, it doesn't sound like Algonquin is the best choice given what you've said. There are lots of other parks that are more manageable for a short visit.

Toronto
Level Contributor
5,062 posts
34 reviews
9. Re: Tips nature oriented destinations

Unfortunately Canada (and North America for that matter) is not designed in such fashion to tour without a car. In Canada you generally OK without a car in big cities like Toronto or Montreal but if you plan to head outside cities, a car becomes essential most of the time. Unless you find a tour group going up to Algonquin Park, it will be very inconvenient to go up there using public transit.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
9,850 posts
140 reviews
10. Re: Tips nature oriented destinations

Why would you want to go to Algonquin Park, just stay in Toronto and you might be lucky:

This is today in the city:

theloop.ca/watch/…

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