Trails / Discovery Routes
Trails for all seasons… Trails for all reasons!
Celebrate the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Near North with all season land and water based trails that follow historic voyageur trade routes, wind through colonization ghost towns, and dissect rugged rocky gorges with panoramic views. These unique trails of discovery – for hiking, biking, canoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and other trail related activities – form a trail network stretching to all reaches of Ontario’s Near North.
The Port Loring area truly is your four season trails destination. We have canoe routes, the historic Pickerel River, interpretive trails, hiking and cycling routes, driving tours, snowmobile trails and excellent cross-country skiing.
Two dozen portages link more than 30 lakes and rivers in the Port Loring area, providing dozens of potential routes that you can plan for yourself. Plan on a single day of canoeing to explore one of our many lakes, or a more extended journey of several days involving many lakes.
Camping sites are available along the routes, as well as at Restoule Provincial Park , Grundy Provincial Park and at many private parks in the area. Bring along your fishing rod and take advantage of our clean lakes and rivers. We have bass, pike and walleye and there’s lots of wildlife too. Don’t forget your camera.
Whether you travel by boat or canoe, navigating along the 70 km. of the historic Pickerel River is a nature lover’s delight. Follow the route of the steamer Kawigamog which carried lumber and supplies between the railhead at Lost Channel and the Port-of-Loring (now Port Loring). At its peak in the 1920’s, the population of Lost Channel was more than 1,000. You can also check out the remnants of an old bridge at Fleming’s Landing. The Bridge was part of the original Salinas colonization road and was set ablaze by sparks from the passing Kawigamog’s smoke stack. The Pickerel River is historically significant because it was used to drive logs to the many mills that once dotted its shores.
Hiking and Cycling
Old logging roads and colonization roads, some dating back to the late 1800’s’, form the basis of our hiking and cycling opportunities. Some of our tourism establishments also provide their own trails for hiking. The Forgotten Trails & the Old Nipissing Road form part of the Discovery Route Trails that also link with the Trans Canada Trail and other trails in surrounding areas.
Drive along Highway 522 during late March or early April and see dozens of deer feeding in the fields along the roadway, preparing for the journey to their summer ranges. From May until Thanksgiving, follow Highways 654, 524 and 522 to visit the artisans and crafts people on the “Country Roads Studio Tour”. This same route also forms a portion of the “Lake Nipissing Circle Tour”. Plan to visit at any time of the year, but September is a real treat when our trees are in their full autumn splendor.
Our self-guided interpretive trails will help you to get back in touch with the natural world. At Restoule Provincial Park, the River Trail, which follows along the Restoule River, is a great way to see some of the park’s natural features. The Tower Trail begins at the site of an old homestead. From there it takes you through the forest to the fire tower and a panoramic view of Stormy Lake.
The Port Loring area is at the crossroads of Ontario. The Trans-Provincial Trail System (TOPS) crosses through our area, providing a vital link between northern and southern Ontario. With 150 km of TOPS trails and more than 200 km of local trails, this area is truly a snowmobiler’s dream.
Cross Country Skiing
The Argyle Community Center (in Arnstein) provides trails for cross country skiing, as do some of our tourism establishments. Come and ski among the 10,000 deer that visit us every winter