15 Best Northern Ontario Attractions You Shouldn’t Miss

Are you looking for the best Northern Ontario Attractions? Look no further!

If you have never visited Northern Ontario, you are missing out! There are so many amazing Northern Ontario attractions for you to explore on your next trip. Northern Ontario is one of the most underrated regions to travel to in the country. These attractions in Northern Ontario showcase why!

From the sapphire blue water of the Great Lakes to excellent science museums and historical parks, there are so many things to do in Northern Ontario for families! Northern Ontario has beautiful waterfalls that you will also love if you are visiting the region. There is something for everyone on this list!

A sheer rock cut that goes into the bright blue water. Viewing Lake Superior at Agawa Bay is one of the best Attractions in Northern Ontario.
Credit: Pinterest

Hike The Worlds Largest Freshwater Island

Grab your hiking boots! The Cup and Saucer trail located on northeast Manitoulin Island is one of the best Northern Ontario attractions. Firstly, the well-known trail is on the largest freshwater island in the world! Manitoulin Island has the best views of Lake Huron; one of the world’s Great Lakes.

The Cup and Saucer Trail will lake you on a 5.1 km hike. During your trek you will walk through the stunning rocky escarpment. The trails are lined by lush green forests. This is hands down one of the most beautiful Northern Ontario attractions you can visit!

Finally, this trail is popular and perfect if you love the outdoors. Manitoulin Island is known for amazing camping, birdwatching, and also backcountry hiking. The Cup and Saucer Trail is considered moderate difficulty because of the elevation! The best times to visit the island are April-October. This attraction in Northern Ontario is more accessible during the fall, spring, and summer months compared to winter.

Location: Billings, Ontario, Canada

A rocky cliff overlooking the dense forest. Manitoulin Island is one of the best Northern Ontario attractions.
Credit: CBC News

Ride The Polar Bear Express Train

A ride to Ontario’s true north! The Polar Bear Express is a nearly 300 km train ride from Cochrane to Moosonee, Ontario. The train is operated by Ontario Northland. This is one of the most unique attractions in Northern Ontario.

The train represents an invaluable piece of Canada’s history because it is the original connection from Hudson’s Bay to the rest of the Canadian transportation network. This part of the country is something you must experience for yourself! Your trip on this train will be culturally enriching. Not many people get to see this part of the world, so it is a true treat!

Finally, the train is clean, comfortable, safe and reliable. You will love this Northern Ontario attraction! Stops include Island Falls, Fraserdale, Otter Rapids, Onakawana and Moose River. Once you arrive in Moosonee, let your Northern Ontario adventure continue by booking a water taxi to explore the sub-arctic waters!

Check Ticket Prices Here: OntarioNorthland.com

Location: Cochrane, Ontario, Canada

A yellow and blue locomotive. the train is over a small bridge surrounded by green foliage.

Experience Agawa Canyon And Bay

This is one of the Northern Ontario attractions that has it all! Agawa Bay combines great beaches, Indigenous culture, archeological sites and a train ride through a canyon! It is Located in Lake Superior Provincial Park. The park is one and a half hours north of Sault Ste. Marie, ON. Agawa Bay is easily one of the most memorable things to do in Northern Ontario.

Upon arriving at Agawa Bay, you can choose to take a short hike to the beach. You can also take a slightly longer route that will take you to a cliffside overlooking Lake Superior. Selecting the longer walk is rewarding as you can see Petroglyphs painted by Indigenous peoples. These rock paintings are thousands of years old! Never seen authentic cave paintings before? This definitely one of the most remarkable attractions in Northern Ontario; you will not want to miss it!

After taking in the stunning views of Lake Superior, the largest of the five great lakes, you continue the experience with the Agawa Canyon train ride. The train departs from Sault Ste Marie. I hope you are ready for a one-day rail adventure through the heart of the Canadian wilderness. If you are looking for one of the best Great Lakes attractions to visit in the fall this is it!

Location: Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

A sheer rock cut that goes into the bright blue water. Viewing Lake Superior at Agawa Bay is one of the best Attractions in Northern Ontario.
Credit: Pinterest

Visit Canada’s Second Largest Science Centre In Sudbury

Next on the list is one of the most popular Northern Ontario attractions. Tourists of all ages will enjoy the Science North science centre in Sudbury, ON. This is also the second largest science centre in Canada. Sudbury invites you to explore and learn!

Science North is one of the best attractions in Northern Ontario. The centre features an IMAX laser theatre, and digital planetarium. There is even a beautiful butterfly gallery. Science North is known for hosting special events so there is always something new for you to enjoy.

There are so many hands-on exhibits that will provide you with an educational, family-friendly, and fun experience! This is one of the Northern Ontario attractions you do not want to forget about it!

Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Visit the Niagara Falls Of The North

Kakabeka Falls is Ontario’s second tallest waterfall. Known as Niagara of the North. It is one of the most naturally beautiful Northern Ontario attractions. The best time to visit this Northern Ontario attraction is in the spring, preferably late April or early May. This is because this is when there is the most water gushing out of the 40 metre high falls!

The mighty falls are located beside the village of Kakabeka. You can find it about a 40-minute drive from downtown Thunder Bay ON. One thing you must know about this site is that it is known for great camping and fishing.

If you are looking to grab a bite after seeing the falls check out the nearby famous Kakabeka shake shack for poutine and ice cream. This is one of the perfect Northern Ontario attractions for a day trip while visiting Thunder Bay!

One of the reasons Kakabeka Falls is one of the best things to do in Northern Ontario is because they are not commercialized in any way. You will truly feel submersed in nature as you listen to the roaring water!

Location: Thunder Bay District, Ontario, Canada

A tall, vast, flowing waterfall over a cliff with trees. This is one of the best attractions in Northern Ontario.
Credit: Pinterest

Take A Lake Boat Cruise

Bon, voyage! You may not think about taking a cruise as an attraction in Northern Ontario but, you should. It can be one of the best ways to truly enjoy the shiny clear blue waters of the north. Northern Ontario is home to more than 10,000 lakes making it the perfect place to enjoy a freshwater cruise!

Visiting Kawartha Lakes, Lake of the Woods, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Georgian Bay, Muskoka, Moose Factory and Tobermory all offer the opportunity to experience life on the lake.

One of the most luxurious options is a five-day cruise through the Kawartha region. During your stay you will experience fine dining. There are loads of chances to learn about the surroundings as well! A lake boat cruise is a great idea, it is one of the more upscale Northern Ontario attractions!

Book Your Cruise Here: OntarioWaterwayCruises.com

Location: Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, Canada

A white boat with a blue bottom saying in a river surrounded by trees. A luxurious Northern Ontario attractions.

Experience Wilderness At Killarney Provincial Park

If you want to experience the true outdoors, look no further than Killarney Provincial Park. Located an hour southwest of Sudbury, this is one of the best Northern Ontario attractions for hiking! One of the most popular hikes at Killarney is the Crack.

Firstly, this is one of the best provincial parks in Northern Ontario for back-country camping! There are many hike-in and canoe-in camping sites.

This is mainly a provincial wilderness park and remains relatively secluded from human contact. So, before you load up for back-country camping, make sure you come well prepared!

Situated on the north shore of Georgian Bay, the La Cloche Mountain range anchors the park. Finally, in addition to mountains, the park is home to wetlands, and forests. There are over 50 lakes that you will love because of the gorgeous pink granite rock. It is obvious that Killarney Provincial Park is one of the best Northern Ontario attractions!

Location: Killarney, Ontario, Canada

Cranberry Bog at Killarney provincial Park is one of the nicest nature attractions in Northern Ontario. There are red rocks pine trees and a lake.

Complete Canada’s Longest Zipline At Ouimet Canyon

If you are looking for a thrill, then this is one of the best attractions in Northern Ontario. The suspension bridge and zipline at Ouimet Canyon take you 100 m above a gorge that spans more than 150 m.

You will love visiting Ouimet Canyon! Ouimet Canyon is about an hour northeast of Thunder Bay, near Pass Lake, ON. The panoramic views are incredibly vast compared to other vantage points. The canyon also preserves unique biodiversity. Arctic flowers can be found on the forest floor here, even though the same species are typically only found 1000 kilometres north.

From the rope and wooden suspension bridge, you feel like you are floating. You are also surrounded by the dramatic, steep and rugged stone cliffs. There are several trails and magnificent lookout points for you to enjoy! Remember to take pictures!

Location: Dorian, Ontario, Canada

A deep green rocky canyon. A vast blue sky above the trench.

Travel Back In Time At Fort William Historical Park

Fort William Historical Park is one of the most popular attractions in Northern Ontario. The park is also significant historical attraction that draws visitors from all over North America!

During your stay, you can learn the history of Canada’s First Nations peoples and the story of the fur trade. There are 57 buildings on site that are reconstructions that help engage the public with local history! This is also one of the best Northern Ontario attractions that you can enjoy all year round! Fort William Historical Park is also a four seasons destination has loads of winter activities like skating and sledding.

Fort William Historical Park is one of the best things to do in Northern Ontario in winter! During your visit, you will discover that the park takes an innovative approach to tourism by focusing on history!

Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

A log fence with entrance way with a scouting post on top.

Camp At Algonquin Provincial Park

Your trip to Ontario is not complete unless you visit Canada’s oldest provincial parks. This is one of the best attractions in Northern Ontario for camping. If you are someone who loves the outdoors you will love exploring Algonquin Park!

Firstly, this Northern Ontario Provincial Park has over 7000 sq/km of pristine wilderness that has remained mostly untouched. There are so many lakes, hiking trails and history throughout Algonquin Provincial Park that make this the perfect place for camping!

Are you looking to experience the North? The Kiosk Campground is the northernmost camping site at Algonquin Park. Lake of the Two Rivers Campground has one of the best beaches in Northern Ontario. Both of these sites have unique offerings. During your visit you will find a campsite that has everything you are looking for and more!

Location: South Nipissing District, Ontario, Canada

Rocks overlooking a large lake with smooth water. The trees in the background have fall colours. The nature at Algonquin Park make it one of the best Northern Ontario attractions.

See The Northern Lights

There are many places to see the Northern Lights in Canada. While its true you will see the best views of the Northern Lights in The Arctic, they can be regularly seen throughout Northern Ontario!

Manitoulin Island, Moosonee, Lake Superior, Killarney Provincial Park and Pukaskwa National Park are also some of the best spots in Northern Ontario to catch the lights. This is one of the attractions in Northern Ontario you should plan ahead for. The Northern Lights are most commonly seen from October through late March!

Many small towns in Northern Ontario are the best places to see the northern lights because they have limited light pollution. See this list of the best small towns to visit in Northern Ontario.

Location: Moosonee, Ontario, Canada

The night sky filled with Northern Lights they are streaks of bright green light.

Mine For Your Own Amethyst

The Amethyst Mine Panorama is located 60 km east of Thunder Bay, Ontario, in the town of Shuniah. This is truly one of the most unforgettable Northern Ontario Attractions because you can dig for your own Amethyst.

If you are looking for an adventure this summer, then you will love this! You can enjoy a guided or self-guided tour while you collect your own amethyst. The Amethyst Mine Panorama is one of the must-see attractions in Northern Ontario, you will not want to miss it!

Finally, After your day exploring Ouimet Canyon, this is the perfect attraction to extend your time in the North.

Location: Dorian, Ontario, Canada

A large piece of purple amethyst crystal.

Drink Beer Brewed In The North At Lake Of The Woods Brewing Company

You will want to take a six-pack home after visiting one of the best attractions in Northern Ontario if you love beer! The premium handcrafted beer is born and brewed in the north! The Lake of the Woods region is special because the corners of Ontario, Manitoba, and Minnesota intersect on these shores.

If you are looking for more things to do in Kenora before your Brewery tour, you can visit museums and art galleries that are nearby!

Firstly, during your tour of the Kenora Brewery, you will learn that The Lake of the Woods brand is more than 120 years old. As you learn about the history of the beer and how they make it, feel free to ask questions. There are usually brewers around who are passionate and will love to chat with you about the hops!

Finally, you can also feel like you are giving back, supporting this brewery. The brewery also plants one tree for every beer sold! Making this one of the best Northern Ontario attractions you can feel good about visiting!

Location: Kenora, Ontario, Canada

The exterior of a brick building with sign that reads "Lake of the Woods." This brewery is one of the perfect things to do in Northern Ontario.

Ride The North Bay Heritage Train And Carousels

No one is too old to experience the magic of a whimsical carousel. This is definitely one of the best Attractions in Northern Ontario near North Bay!

There are two carousels to ride. The lovingly restored Heritage Carousel or the new Winter Wonderland Carousel. The carousels are conveniently located on North Bay’s waterfront near the museum. These Northern Ontario attractions have been handcrafted by local artists. They have so much detail! The carousels are truly a work of art you do not want to miss!

Looking to take another ride? You can take a nostalgic tour on North Bay’s Heritage Railway. All of these attractions in Northern Ontario are great things to do for the whole family!

Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada

A blue and white carousel horse. One of the best attractions in Northern Ontario.

Take A Picture With The Big Nickel And Tour Dynamic Earth

One of the most recognizable Northern Ontario attractions in Sudbury ON’s Big Nickel! The 12-sided 30 foot tall replica of a 1951 Canadian Nickel is the largest coin in the world.

It is one of the most popular roadside attractions in Northern Ontario because it is a perfect Instagram opportunity. Tourists come to Sudbury just to take a picture. You can take one that looks like you are holding up the coin!

Dynamic Earth is home to the Big Nickel! It provides an immersive hands-on science education centre. You can take a guided underground tour and an outdoor science park. Finally, this is one of the perfect things to do in Northern Ontario if you want to learn more about the region. For example, did you know Sudbury is famous for mining!

Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

A meadow of flowers that looks up at a statue of a big nickel.

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