Hiking Killarney Ontario

Georgian Bay Geopark Location

The Georgian Bay region of Ontario, Canada is an area of exceptional geological significance, with ancient rock formations, glacial history, and landscapes that have played a key role in the development of plate tectonic theory.

Killarney is part of the Georgian Bay Geopark, which aims to showcase this remarkable landscape through education, research, and sustainable geotourism.

Inspiring Views

Killarney was a popular destination for the Group of Seven, a renowned group of Canadian landscape painters active in the early 20th century.

The area’s rugged, picturesque landscapes, including the La Cloche Mountains, granite ridges, and clear lakes, inspired many famous paintings by the Group of Seven, and its continued popularity as a muse highlights its place as one of Ontario’s top scenic wilderness destinations.

All Ages and Levels

Pick from a variety of trails, whether you’re up for a short walk or a longer, tougher hike. The easy to moderate difficulty trails are great for active people of all ages.

Our sister property Killarney Mountain Lodge also offers guided tours of the property, or a guided hike to a lighthouse starting from the Canada House, which is a popular birding trail. Whether you’re exploring on your own or joining a guided hike, there’s plenty to see and do.

Lighthouse Trail 

Easy to Moderate | 4.5km | 1h 30min 

This is a popular trail for birding, hiking, and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day. The trail starts on the lodge property behind Canada House. There is a granite peak that has a spectacular view of the lighthouse and Georgian Bay. To shorten the hike, there are a couple of bailout sections that will take you onto the road if you find the terrain ahead too steep or difficult. 

George Island Trail 

Moderate | 6.9km | 2h 30min to 3h 

This trail is a beautiful well marked loop that starts on the other side of the channel from the Sportsman’s Inn. The trail takes you through stunning forest and along the edge of some picturesque ponds where you can see beaver lodges and a varietal of nesting birds.

Moose, bear, fox and deer are sometimes spotted. Eventually you will get to a granite ridge that can be challenging for some, but worth the effort, with views of Manitoulin Island and Georgian Bay. Consider bringing a packed lunch to enjoy at the half way point. Bring plenty of water and a bathing suit for a swim on the other side! 

Chikanishing Trail 

Easy to Moderate | 2.6km | 1h 

A relatively easy hike with historical information along the trail. Explore the famous pink granite of Killarney with incredible views out to Philip Edward Island. There are sections of the trail that can be a little tricky, keep your hands free to hold on to rocky sections to help yourself up and down the steeper sections.

There is a great swimming spot and place to have a picnic at the half way point. Parking permit required and available at the Killarney Park Office. 

Granite Ridge Trail 

Moderate | 2.7km | 1h 40min 

The trail has many expansive viewpoints with incredible vistas of the La Cloche Mountain range to the North, Collin’s Inlet and Philip Edward Island to the south.  There are some challenging sections with good hand holds to help you up and down. Parking permit required. 

The Crack Trail 

Moderate to Difficult | 7.6km | 3h plus 

Easily one of the most popular and rewarding hikes in Ontario. The trail starts flat in forest but at about the halfway point the climb begins. It turns to smooth white quartzite then some giant boulders.

Eventually you will get to “the crack” just before the summit, a giant split in the white quartzite. The last 500m of the trail are challenging but well worth the effort. This hike won’t disappoint! Bring plenty of water and a packed lunch to enjoy at the top. Poles not recommended in the final steep section of the trail. Parking permit required.  

Geopark Walking Tour

Self Guided | Easy to Moderate | 2.5km | 1h

Starting in town at the St. Paul Street Boat Launch, this self-guided tour goes through the Lodge property and includes the Lighthouse Trail.

A mixture of visits to natural formations as well as highlights of how local buildings have used the areas stunning rocks in their construction, this hike explores the 2.5 billion year geological and cultural history of this region.

Hiking Tips

Level of Difficulty

Easy, moderate or difficult is based on the average person. Depending on your abilities these hikes may be easier or even harder than your expectations. The time is also for the average person. Be prepared for any of these hike to take longer and pack accordingly. Please ask at the front desk for any advice or recommendations.  

Snacks and Water

Snacks, plenty of water (1L minimum) are essential on ALL of the hikes. A packed lunch can also be prepared for you and recommended for hikes longer than 2 hours.  


Hiking poles or a walking stick are helpful but not required. There are challenging sections on most of the trails where you may need to stow your poles and use your hands to grab onto the rock or sit on your seat to ease yourself down.  

Insect Repellent

Bug spray is a must on all hikes especially early in the season! 

Clothing and Footwear

Check the weather and be prepared for the elements. Bring an extra layer and a goretex jacket as some sections of any one of the hikes can be very exposed to wind, rain and sunshine. Sturdy hiking boots or trail running shoes are recommended as there can be wet and or slippery sections. No Flip Flops! 


A day pack is very helpful not only to carry your phone, water and snacks but it keeps your hands free incase you need to grab onto something to help yourself up or down.  

Be a Tidy Hiker!

Don’t leave any garbage behind. If you pack it in, pack it out! 


There are many different varietals of wildlife you may be excited to see and get a picture of. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE and make lots of noise. A bear cub chased up a tree may look like a great photo opportunity but Momma bear wont’ be far off!  

And one last thing!

Watch out for roots, loose rocks and slippery sections as the granite is very slippery during or after a rain. It sounds obvious but don’t hike with your hands in your pockets, doing so has resulted in injury to some as a slip can be quick and you may not get your hands out in time.  

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