10 of the Best Hiking Trails Near Sudbury, Ontario

Located in Northeastern Ontario, Sudbury is a city surrounded by the vast wilds of Temagami, further northeast, as well as renowned provincial parks like Killarney and French River. Georgian Bay is not far, nor is Manitoulin Island—in fact, the possibilities for adventure are seemingly endless.

For the outdoor adventurer, Sudbury is an ideal hub. Canoeing, mountain biking, camping—and of course, hiking. Here are 10 of our favourite hiking trails in and around Sudbury:

A.Y. Jackson Lookout Trail

Length: 2.1 km

Elevation gain: 64 m

This trail is moderate with some steep and rocky portions. Wear good boots. The most precarious part is from the parking lot to the bridge. The views of the waterfall are absolutely stunning. It starts off linear and then loops after the bridge. It’s located off of Hwy 144, five kilometres north of Dowling. A.Y. Jackson was one of the members of the well-known Group Seven Canadian artists and painted this site, titling his work “Spring on the Onaping River.” The A.Y. Jackson Welcome Centre is nearby. 

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Points Trail

Length: 4.2 km

Elevation gain: 154 m

The trail is one of many options to hike at the Laurentian Conservation Area, close to the University in Sudbury. It’s a moderate trail with two circuit loops; both overlook Lake Laurentian. The terrain is a bit rocky with multiple steep up-and-downs. Some sections run close to the cliff edge, and the scenery is incredible.

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Lake Laurentian Loop

Length: 10 km

Elevation gain: 270 m

This 10-kilometre loop is part of the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area and goes all the way around the lake. The hike is challenging in some places. Hikers should be prepared for walking on rough terrain. Scenic lookouts are found along the way, including one with a stunning panoramic view. The eastern portion is definitely the more difficult, with rocks and steep inclines. 

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Hawk Ridge Trail 

Length: 15 km

Elevation gain: 403 m

This loop trail is part of Halfway Lake Provincial Park, located just north of Sudbury. It’s the most difficult trail in the park, measuring a total of 15 kilometres, and takes most hikers about six to eight hours to complete. The Hawk Ridge Trail extends off the more moderate Echo Pond Trail and heads into the interior of the park. A section of it leads through a portion of forest that was devastated by a tornado in 2002. It connects to several lakes along the way and several clifftops that provide incredible views. The highest lookout is over Three Island Lake. It is possible to camp on a few selected overnight campsites, but the majority of people make it a one-day outing. 

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Osprey Heights Trail 

Length: 6 km

Elevation gain: 162 m

This is another loop trail in Halfway Lake Provincial Park, located just north of Sudbury. It a moderate-to-difficult path that takes about two to three hours to complete. It’s situated on the east side of Highway 144—across from the park campground, and runs northward. It begins with a lowland first bog but then climbs sharply up into a section of pink granite, thick conifer forest and a cliff edge—Osprey Heights—provides a great view from 50 metres atop of Antrim Lake. 

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Lake of the Woods Trail

Length: 3.5 km

Elevation gain: 102 m

The Lake of the Woods Trail is relatively new, opening in 2010, and makes for a great alternative to the much busier day hikes near the Killarney Provincial Park campground. The access is located at the eastern section of the park, part way down the Bell Lake Access Road (across from the Turbid Lake Access), off Highway 637. It’s a moderate loop trail, with a few steep climbs and takes about three hours to complete. The trail eventually descends back down to the closed in forest and crosses over a few quaint streams. It then follows the shoreline of a small lake—Lake of the Woods—where a bridge/boardwalk takes you over to a small island. 

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A-Mik Zii-Bi (Beaver River) Interpretive Trail

Length: 3 km

Elevation gain: Minimal

Point Grondine Park is a new addition to the Killarney region, south of Sudbury, developed in 2016 by the Anishinaabek people of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. They’ve created two day-use hiking trails, (and an overnight backpacking trail). The A-Mik Zii-Bi Trail is the shortest, and easiest, looping three kilometres and taking under two hours to complete. The trailhead access is located south off of Highway 637, 38 kilometres east of Hwy 69 heading towards Killarney. This is a signed interpretive trail that highlights the local Indigenous knowledge of a variety of plant medicines found throughout the route. It’s a great way to learn the ways the Anishinabe connect to the land. You’ll need a day permit to explore the trail. There’s a fee station at the access or you can get a pass online.  

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Merv’s Landing 

Length: 7 km

Elevation gain: 237 m

This is the most scenic trail in Point Grondine Park. It’s also a solid day hike, measuring seven kilometres, with some steep climbs and a few beaver dams with narrow handcrafted pine boards to balance across. The access is the same as the A-Mik-Zii-Bi Interpretive Trail, located south of Highway 637, 38 kilometres east of Hwy 69 heading towards Killarney. It’s also a loop route, beginning and ending in the same spot. The trail works its way through stands of mature pine, maple and birch, with scenic views along Mahzenazing Lake, and an outstanding view from the Recollet’s Summit which overlooks the southern range of Killarney’s La Cloche Mountains. There is interpretive signage placed at the summit which highlights the connection the Anishnaabek have to this landscape. There’s a burial site on the summit for two members of the Recollet family, hence the name. It’s an important place for local Indigenous people.

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Silver Peak Trail

Length:  5.5 km

Elevation gain: 543 m

Hiking for the day to the highest point in Killarney Provincial Park’s La Cloche Mountain Range comes with some challenges. First, the starting point to the trailhead can only be reached by canoe or kayak. You park at the Bell Lake access and then paddle west around the first peninsula to the trailhead. It’s approximately a three-kilometre paddle. Then, the hike up is a tough 5.5 kilometres, making this a solid full-day hike. Pack a lunch, bring plenty of water and don’t even consider attempting it after mid-morning (it’s at least a six-hour hike). The trek up is worth it, however. From the top of the molded white quartzite is a clear view in every direction, allowing you to witness the majority of the park’s lakes, rolling mountains, lush forest, beyond to the expanse of Georgian Bay and the Sudbury smokestacks can even be seen in the distance.

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The Crack

Length: 7 km

Elevation gain: 234 m

This trail, starting just east of Killarney Provincial Park’s campground, is shorter than the trek up Silver Peak, and has better views of the park. It’s not easy though. The parking area is located seven kilometres east of the main campground, on the north side of Highway 637. The six-kilometre linear trail begins relatively flat until it makes a sharp turn northward, towards “The Crack.” It gets steeper once you’ve hiked past Kidney Lake to the west. You’ll scramble up slippery mounds of quartz, keeping to the trail by blue trail markers and the odd rock cairn. The last section is through a dark rock crevice—a “crack” in the ridge—where you have to pull yourself up and over large boulders blocking the way. The final view is marked by an old stout white pine, weathered and rooted on a slab of quartz. From here you can view northward and see Killarney and O.S.A. Lakes—the centrepiece of Killarney park—and the full length of La Cloche Mountain’s south range. To the south is vast Georgian Bay.

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