Canadians love to spend time outside in summer. While the winters are famously cold here, summer in Northeastern Ontario is sunny and warm, with the average temperature in Sudbury hitting a perfect 76.1°F (24.5°C) during the month of July.
There’s plenty for outdoor enthusiasts to do during the summer months, including hiking, and cycling. With 330 lakes surrounding the Greater Sudbury area, water sports are also extremely popular. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or a thrilling aquatic adventure, the lakes of Sudbury offer summer fun for everyone.
Get Wet: Sudbury’s Water Sports
Cool off at one of the many beaches around Sudbury such as Bell Park or Moonlight Beach, both of which lie on the edge of Ramsey Lake. At Bell Park, you can book an hourlong ride on the William Ramsey Cruise Boat for a relaxing boat trip and breathtaking scenery. An aqua park is coming to Ramsey Lake in 2022, filled with floating structures which are perfect for kids—or for those who are just kids at heart!
If you’re keen to see the scenery on your own steam, head out to the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park. It will take about 90 minutes by car to get there, but it’s well worth the drive. The 23,148-acre (9,368-hectare) park encompasses nine lakes with an established canoe route that’s based on the traditional travel routes of Northeastern Ontario’s aboriginal people. There are even spots along the travelway where you can see pictographs drawn by these groups.
Nearby Chinguchi is the largest lake in Greater Sudbury: Lake Wanapitei. Formed from the crater of a meteorite that struck Earth more than 30 million years ago, Wanapitei is the place to go for fishing in the area as the deep, uneven bed of the lake creates an excellent habitat for all sorts of aquatic life. If you cast a line here, you can expect to get nibbles from bass, walleye, and lake trout.
A short drive northwest of Sudbury, you’ll find Windy Lake Provincial Park. With nearly a mile (1.6 kilometers) of beachfront, Windy Lake is a great option for swimming, catching a tan, or building sandcastles. Campgrounds are available to book from May to September, and you can even reserve one of four yurts to camp out in style!
Another great lakeside spot is Kivi Park. With more than 480 acres of space, it’s one of the best places to explore Canada’s boreal forest and Precambrian Shield. There are also canoe rentals at the Crowley Lake Outpost if you’re looking to get out on the water.
Dry Off: Lake Country on Land
Even the most serious land-lover can enjoy plenty of activities around the lakes of Sudbury, including hiking, camping, and golf. There are hundreds of trails in the Greater Sudbury area, many of which can be found in the nearby parks and campgrounds. Hiking or cycling along these trails is a great way to explore the surrounding landscape and spot some of the local wildlife.
Onaping Falls is also known as High Falls, and for good reason – at 150 feet (46 meters), it’s one of the largest waterfalls in Northeastern Ontario! To view the falls, drive northwest of Sudbury to the town of Onaping Falls and hike the 1.2-mile (1.9-kilometer) A.Y. Jackson Lookout Trail, named after one of the members of Canada’s famed Group of Seven.
If you’re looking for something a little more leisurely than a hike, head to Bell Park at Ramsey Lake. The park has a 0.6-mile (1-kilometer) long walkway that is part of the Trans Canada Trail and Waterfront Trail that winds along the edge of the lake. You’ll start off at the ever-popular Science North and wind along the water’s edge until you reach a blue flag beach. Along the way, there’s a lovely gazebo where you can stop and take in the scenery or stop for a bite to eat, if you’ve packed a picnic—as we suggest you do.
Sudbury takes pride in its natural beauty, which is why its regreening efforts have been such a success. In an effort to reverse some of the environmental effects that mining has had on the city, nearly 10 million trees have been planted in Greater Sudbury. Thanks to the regreening efforts in Sudbury, it now has the cleanest air quality in the province!
One place to go to see the revitalization in action is the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. Open year-round, there are more than 2,400 acres of protected green space perfect for hiking, cross-country skiing, or bird-watching.
You can even tick off some water-related activities in town. For a quiet retreat in the heart of Sudbury, visit the Grotto Lady of Lourdes. This 5.1-acre park features flower gardens, statues representing various world religions, and a Greek-inspired structure overlooking Ramsey Lake. And if you’re in town during Sudbury’s festival season, you can satisfy your inner water enthusiast and film critic by attending the annual Paddling Film Festival.
Lakes, trails, and ales, Northeastern Ontario has it all. To discover more of what this diverse destination has to offer, visit our Northeastern Ontario Travel Guide.