It’s hard to narrow down the best trails-with-a-view when hiking in North Bay. Surrounded by a 70-meter escarpment in the heart of the rugged Canadian Shield, on the edge of the Laurentian Mountains and bordering the Almaguin Highlands, scenic vistas in and around North Bay are as common as shad flies in July! With so many incredible heights to scale, the best thing about hiking around these parts is there are loads of options for a spectacular view—without the selfie crowds!
Let’s have a look at some of the best walking trails in and around North Bay.
1. Kinsmen Trail located between Airport Road to Stanley Street, North Bay, the length of which is 7 km ideal for hiking,walking and cycling.
This greenbelt through the heart of North Bay links with the Kate Pace Way near the waterfront, and is owned and operated by the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority. The Kinsmen Trail, a parallel paved surface, follows Chippewa Creek as it meanders down the escarpment and empties into Lake Nipissing. The parkway presents countless opportunities for recreation, education, and alternatives in transportation. It’s the perfect paved surface for bikers and in-line skaters. The trail’s easy grade makes walking comfortable for those who are young or young at heart. The trail crosses a busy Main Street via an overhead, free-span bridge on its way to linking up with the Kate Pace Way. The trail has an asphalt surface and has partial wheelchair access.
A new feature along 3.2 km at the south end of the trail is the Chippewa Creek EcoPath. The EcoPath is a community initiative to restore and enhance the natural values and heritage of Chippewa Creek through stewardship and education.
Directions – From the HWY 11/17 junction near Seymour Street, head northwest on HWY 11/17. Turn right onto Algonquin Avenue/HWY 11, and right onto Airport Road. The trailhead will be found on the right hand side.
2. Laurier Woods Conservation Area covers A 10+ kilometre trail network spanning the Woods offering excellent opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.
Owned and managed in partnership by The Friends of Laurier Woods and the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority
Located in the heart of the city, the 97 hectare (240 acre) Laurier Woods encompasses a provincially significant wetland, rocky outcrops and upland forest; and is a sanctuary to a broad range of wetland and woodland creatures, including migrating birds.
A 10+ kilometre trail network spans the Woods offering excellent opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing. There is much to appreciate and enjoy in Laurier Woods – some of which is featured at the interpretive stops along the trail. Stop at the dipping platform on the lower pond to catch a glimpse of the wetland birds and aquatic life. Have a seat at the Haist Lookout for a birds’ eye view.
3. The Trans Canada Trail, officially named The Great Trail, is a cross-Canada system of greenways, waterways, and roadways that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans.
Trans Canada Trail Ontario (TCTO) is the lead provincial not for profit organization that represents The Great Trail in Ontario, founded in 1992. TCTO’s mandate is to plan and support trail development across the province, with help from local agencies, government organizations, community associations and First Nations communities.Ontario’s section of The Great Trail stretches over 5,000 kilometres, and offers a diverse range of trails allowing for a multitude of world-class outdoor experiences in both urban, rural and wilderness settings in the southern and northern regions of the province.The Great Trail in Ontario connects a collection of approximately 150 interconnected trails.
4. Black Forest Trail located at Highway 11 North, the length of which is 1 km – 1.5 km and offers a perfect outing for educational groups, as well as individuals.
Black Forest Trails The City of North Bay officially opened the new Black Forest Trails on Highway 11 North on May 14 2010. The 1.5 km hiking and walking loop takes visitors through beautiful red and white pine forest stands. Working with the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority, the City created pedestal interpretive signs that will be scattered along the trails to provide information on the forest’s history, logging, reforestation, and the wildlife found throughout the park. The goal is that this park and the information contained on these signs will serve as a living classroom for families, groups and schools. The interpretive trail system will provide an opportunity to be active as they walk the trails and learn more about the forest environment at the same time.
5. Duchesnay Falls Trails is located just west of North Bay along Hwy 17 on Duchesnay Creek and is a 3.5 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near North Bay, Ontario
North Bay’s iconic Duchesnay Falls draws hundreds of hikers to the trails in every season. The access off Highway 17 offers the best vantage point to view the series of falls as they cascade down the escarpment. The trails can also be accessed from behind the Education Centre from where hikers are rewarded with spectacular views of Lake Nipissing amidst a wilderness setting. In the winter, volunteers groom a series of cross-country ski trails for students and the public alike.
These trails will take hikers and cross-country skiers through scenic wooded areas, over creeks on rustic wooden bridges, and along Duchesnay Creek as it cascades down the escarpment. Located in a beautiful forest behind Nipissing University and Canadore College, the hiking trails wind up and down the escarpment. Trail users can check out glacial remnants and tiny fossils. Logged by lumber baron J. R. Booth back at the turn of the century, the area still has some large pines and a variety of coniferous and deciduous species. And there’s always a good chance you’ll see some wildlife on the trails.
From the HWY 11/17 junction near Seymour Street, head northwest on HWY 17. Turn right at Gormanville Road and left at College Drive. Turn left towards the Education Centre.
Explore the scenic beauty of North Bay in any of the trails listed above and share your experience in the comment section below
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