Rugged terrain, majestic mountains, incredible trees, and clear bodies of water all await in the Killarney area. The area is literally an adventure’s mecca. Whether you love to travel by canoe or kayak, or you’d rather backpack or hike, Killarney has a ton of exciting prospects just waiting for you. When you start reading about all the amazing things to do and see the outstanding photos, you’ll be able to see why this area has inspired countless people throughout history.
1. Have a rugged adventure at Killarney Provincial Park
2. Sightsee at Georgian Bay
If you’re looking for an escape this summer that has absolutely everything, you can’t overlook Georgian Bay. Located on Lake Huron, Georgian Bay is sure to delight thrill-seekers, nature enthusiasts, adventure lovers, and vacationers alike. Whether you want to get on the water and paddle the canoe routes, take in the history, soak up the sun on the beach, hike the scenic trails, camp out under the stars, see the lighthouses in the area, catch that trophy fish, or just take in all the natural wonders in the area, you can do it all at Georgian Bay. It is a bit of a hot spot tourist destination, so there are a ton of different places to stay and lots of sites to see in the area as an added bonus.
3. Explore a North Channel of Georgian Bay
The iconic North Channel of Georgian Bay in Lake Huron offers indescribable natural beauty. Whether you’re sailing, boating, kayaking or canoeing along the clear waters, or you’re hiking in the area, it’s sure to be an experience you won’t soon forget. You can also drive the area, if you’re pressed for time or require a more accessible route. The iconic bay is famed for its beauty and has inspired many different artists in the past. The rugged granite and towering pines immediately bring to mind the beauty that Ontario is famed for. If you don’t have your own boat, but want to enjoy the experience right on the water, consider hiring a charter!
4. Paddle Key River
The Key River flows for 16km from Portage Lake to Georgian Bay. The Key River is a beautiful stretch of water. It’s the epitome of unspoiled wilderness. If you’re looking to do some kayaking or canoeing this summer and you’re looking for the perfect stretch of water, consider the Key River! It flows right into Georgian Bay, which is also a scenic area to paddle. The Key River has known to be great for fishing, especially for bass. There are outfitters right on the river if you’re looking to book a fishing trip or want to stay in the area.
5. Sample fish and chips at Herbert Fisheries
Herbert Fisheries is perhaps one of the most well-known hot spots to hit in Killarney. The restaurant has been serving up their world famous fish and chips for over three decades! All the fish is caught local daily, so it’s as fresh as it is delicious, and there are five different kinds to try! Once you get a taste, we can just about guarantee you’ll be back again!
6. Adventures at the French River
The French River Provincial Park is one of the most beautiful parks you can visit in the area. It’s also rich in history and you can literally come walk the same paths and paddle the same routes as First Nations people, fur traders, explorers, and voyagers did. The park features the incredible French River Visitors Centre, which is both informative and a true work of art. In addition to the many excellent paddling routes throughout the park, there are also hiking trails, one of which leads right from the Visitor Centre to the Recollet Falls.
7. Take a look back through time at Killarney Centennial Museum
Killarney was first established in 1820 as a fur trade post. The Killarney Centennial Museum was opened in 1967. Come take in the quaint log building and learn all about the town’s incredibly interesting history. The museum has a wide variety of household antiques, photographs, and many items relating to the fishing, logging, and mining. You can still see the old jail house on site, which was built in 1886 and once housed the museum.
8. Hike to Pond Point
If you’re looking for a scenic trail that isn’t too long or too difficult, try hiking the East Lighthouse/Tar Vat Bay Trail. The trail meanders along Georgian Bay and gives you a spectacular look at the water and the iconic trees and rocks found in the area. The trail is 7km round trip and leads to Pond Point. The trail actually gets its name from the bay where fisherman once tarred their nets. If you’re interested in that little bit of history, you should look up the process. It’s quite fascinating.
9. Venture to George Island
10. Take a journey to see Killarney East Lighthouse
The town of Killarney was established two hundred years ago as a fur trading post, in 1820. The area surrounding Killarney is known for its natural beauty and rugged, unspoiled wilderness, but the town of Killarney is pretty great too. If you’re up for a unique adventure, why not work seeing all four lighthouses in the area into your trip? If you don’t have time to see all four (or some kind of watercraft!), then you should at least stop and see the Killarney East Lighthouse. Located just east of town, the lighthouse is accessible by road and overlooks the North Channel at Red Rock Point. The lighthouse was built in 1909 and in 1991 was declared a Federal Heritage Building.
11. Paddle to Partridge Island
Built in 1909, the Killarney West Lighthouse still proudly stands on Partridge Island in the Georgian Bay. The lighthouse isn’t accessible by road, so if you want to see it, you have to go on a bit of a journey to get there, which can be a ton of fun and of itself. The Lighthouse was recognized as a Federal Heritage Building in 2001. The lighthouse is located only a few kilometers from Killarney by water.
12. Visit Bustard Islands Lighthouse
Built in 1893, the Bustard Islands Lighthouses were built along the Georgian Bay to help guide ships to the mouth of the French River. The lighthouses aren’t accessible by road, but that’s half the fun of seeing them! Bustard Islands is located 50km from Killarney, but if you’re kayaking to see them and the lighthouses, you can put in at other points along the way. There’s a whole route you can take if you want to enjoy the splendor of the area.
13. Take in the fish fry
If you’re visiting Killarney this summer, you can’t miss the annual Fish Fry Weekend! The festivities are truly a blast and even better, you’ll be supporting a great cause. Dance your feet off outdoors with a live band, enjoy live music throughout the weekend, take your chance on raffles and the other contests, and of course, sample the delicious fish. The fish fry is going to be held on July 25th and 26th this year and is held at the Killarney Community Centre.
14. Discover a canoer’s paradise
If you’re looking for a true adventure this summer, you have to experience the canoe routes network in Killarney Provincial Park. The park is 645 sqft and has over fifty lakes. This is backcountry exploring at its finest. The beautiful, clear lakes are said to be a highlight of the park, but it’s a close tie between the water and the incredible La Cloche Mountain Range that is situated in the park. You can truly immerse yourself in the wonders of nature in the park. The scenery will definitely leave a lasting impression and you won’t forget the journey anytime soon. You can also backcountry camp along the way, and also do some hiking if you’re interested.
15. Take on the challenging La Cloche Silhouette Trail
16. Fish all day
If you’re planning a trip to the Killarney Provincial Park, you should definitely pack your rod and tackle too! With over fifty lakes in the park, there are some great opportunities to catch that trophy sized monster you’ve been waiting for. Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing is stellar, and pike fishing couldn’t be better. Perch and lake trout can also be fished for in some of the lakes. Note that some of the lakes in the park do not allow fishing, so consult the website as to which lakes do so that you can plan all the lakes you’d like to visit. The park is vast, at 645 sqkm, so you might have to come back a few times to try all the lakes you’d like to.
17. Explore a Baie Fine
At nine miles long, Baie Fine is one of the largest freshwater inlet in the entire world! The area is known for its outstanding quartz cliffs and insanely gorgeous scenery. It’s actually a favorite sailing destination, so if you happen to be a sailing enthusiast looking for a new corner of the world to explore, you’re in luck. You can also enquire about going on a chartered boat if you want to see the area. You can also paddle in with your canoe or kayak, or take a hike in the area if you’re in the mood to explore.
18. Stay right at the marina
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect Killarney dining experience, drop on by the Sportsman’s Inn Resort & Marina. The mouth-watering, unique dishes will be sure to satisfy even the most critical foodie in your group. The restaurant overlooks the marina, so you won’t get a much better view and there is live music on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer. Oh, and if you’re looking for a place to stay, they have that too! The Inn boasts gorgeous rooms and since the marina is close, you can spend your downtime watching all the boats come and go.
19. Design your own kayaking adventure around Phillip Edward Island
So you love kayaking? Get ready to have your socks knocked off. We have the perfect adventure planned for you. You can choose from a number of different access points, but wherever you start, the Phillip Edward Island awaits. The island is only a kilometer from Killarney’s main shores, but it’s 50km to go around. You can literally spend days paddling and exploring. There are a whole bunch of other islands close by as well, if your adventurous spirit isn’t quite satisfied. The kayaking around the island is rated as novice to intermediate in difficulty, so if you’ve always wanted to pack up the kayaks and experience something new, now is the time.
20. Explore your way to Badgeley Island
The Badgeley Island Rear Range Tower, located on Badgeley Island, was built in 1905. It was designated as a Federal Heritage Building in 2006. Like the Killarney West Lighthouse, it’s also not accessible by road. If you want to venture out to see it, you have to take to the water. The lighthouse marks the entrance to the North Channel. If you’re looking for a beautiful stretch of water to explore in the area, you definitely shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to boat down North Channel. It’s truly an unforgettable experience, and you can work the lighthouse into your sightseeing. Details
21. Spend the day hiking
While the Killarney Provincial Park does have the strenuous and lengthy La Cloche Silhouette Trail, the park also features five other hiking trails that can be hiked in a day. The Chikanishing Trail, Cranberry Bog Trail, and Granite Ridge Trail are all moderate and difficulty and can be completed in anywhere between an hour and three hours. The Lake of the Woods Trail takes up to three hours to complete and is a little bit more challenging, while the Crack trail is difficult (and shouldn’t really be attempted unless you’re an experienced hiker). The trails all offer absolutely stunning views of the park, including the La Cloche Mountain Range. You’ll be able to take in sparkling bodies of water, rugged landscapes, majestic trees, and maybe even enjoy wildlife sightings. Whatever trail you choose, you’ll be sure to remember the experience for years to come.
22. Choose your camping style at Grundy Lake Provincial Park
Camp out this summer at Grundy Lake Provincial Park. Summer wouldn’t really be summer without spending at least one weekend out camping. Grundy Lake offers all sorts of different campsites that can be enjoyed from those looking for a more relaxing RV site, to those wanting to rough it and do some backcountry camping. Of course, the park also has a ton of other stuff to do including canoeing and kayaking routes, hiking and biking trails, and sandy beaches with swimming areas. No matter what level of getaway you’re in the mood for, you can be sure that your getaway to Grundy Lake will be a unique experience.
23. Tantalize those taste buds
If you’re looking to tantalize the good ol’ taste buds in Killarney this summer, you have to stop by Aunt Bea’s Corner Kitchen. The pizzas are seriously the best. The burgers are a close second and the hand-dipped corn dogs will have you salivating for days to come. Oh, and of course, how could we forget about the poutine! If you’re in need of some good quality comfort food, you can’t go wrong.
24. A stay at the lodge
Looking to stay in style this summer? Look no further than the Killarney Mountain Lodge is the place to do it. The lodge combines that good old fashioned log and pine lodge feel with all the luxuries to make your stay a pleasant one. Choose from a room, a cabin suite, or even a chalet. The Lodge also boasts some excellent dining options, and of course, it’s located close to all the action-packed adventures that Killarney offers.
25. Take a hike to Recollet Falls
If you’re visiting the Killarney area and happen to stop by the French River Provincial Park, you have to see the incredible Recollet Falls. The Recollet Falls Trail actually starts by the French River Visitor Centre. The hike is around 3km and is rated as moderate in difficulty. The falls are truly breathtaking, so if you have time after you see the Visitor Centre you should consider doing the hike, or if you’re looking for an afternoon activity, this should be it.