10 Hidden Gem Hikes Near Sudbury

Sudbury is a growing city with an ever-expanding population. It’s the largest city in Ontario geographically and the fifth largest city in Canada (by area). Sudbury was initially colonized as a mining town due to the large deposit of nickel ore in 1833 but was inhabited by the Ojibwe and Algonquin people for thousands of years prior. Sudbury was a training ground for the Apollo 16 astronauts. After rudimentary mining practices, its barren, blackened rock landscape left the area devoid of trees and vegetation. Since then, Sudbury has undergone many regreening projects and has returned to life. With over 330 lakes and countless acres of forest, there are plenty of trails to explore nearby. Here is my list of 10 hidden gem hikes near Sudbury that will fire up your wanderlust and get you out on the trails!

Paradise Lagoon

Length: Varies
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate – Advanced

Paradise Lagoon is a secret swimming hole and waterfalls just 40 minutes outside the city of Sudbury, along highway 17 and Kukagami Lake Rd. This complicated hidden gem has remained a secret due to its difficulty. The roads and trails are almost non-existent, meaning you will need a truck, Jeep, or ATV to access the trail. It is beyond worth it to swim in this dreamy waterhole, which is usually a bright Caribbean blue color!

Click this link for detailed instructions on how to get here:

McFadden Mill

Length: km
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate – Advanced

This is a genuine hidden gem hike in Sudbury. McFadden Mill probably is not even the correct name for the place shown to me by my dad. It is his secret fishing spot with an abandoned mill as the backdrop! This hike is a strenuous, all-day hike, so it’s best to come with plenty of water, food, and battery power. It takes a long time to hike from the highway to the riverside, so taking an ATV or bike would be best. Once you are at the river, follow whatever trail you can or trailblaze your way north against the river’s flow. Once you reach the abandoned stone mill, you’ve made it! If you wander around the mill, be careful as open pits in the ground are almost impossible to climb out of. It makes a great day trip if you bring a picnic lunch or fish off the shore!

Click here to see detailed instructions on how to get there.

Willisville Lookout

Length: 1 km
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate

Located in Willisville, just before you reach Manitoulin Island, is the Willisville lookout. This uphill hike brings you to the top of some beautiful white granite peaks with a stunning view of Killarney provincial park, the La Cloche foothills, and other white granite mountains. Parts of the trail are a bit of a scramble, so suitable footwear is required!

Merv’s Landing

Length: 6.9 km
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Merv’s Landing is a beautiful loop trail that brings you to a lookout where you can see the white quartzite Mountains of the Killarney Mountain range. Interpretive signs along the way give you a better insight into the indigenous history of the land and the Anishnaabek people. This trail also allows for great views of the Point Grondine Park landscape. It is a bit more of a strenuous hike that involves climbing over some rocks and roots, but it is well worth the work.

Finnish Cemetary

Length: 1 km
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: Easy

The Finnish Cemetary down Long Lake Rd is a great quick and easy hike for those who like a good scare. This cemetery was in operation from 1930 until 1989, when it was abandoned. Plenty of headstones have been vandalized, although the city reopened the cemetery in 2006, and they are starting to take care of it. The cemetery won’t show up on google maps, so head down Long Lake road past highway 17. There is an entrance on the left-hand side of the road with a gate that’s usually closed. You will have to pull over and park along the road and walk back. Although this cemetery is typically empty, please be respectful when visiting.

Twin Bridges Trail, Chutes Provincial Park

Length: 6 km
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate

Not a lot of people know that there is a Provincial Park in Massey, about an hour and a half drive from Sudbury (still within Sudbury limits, believe it or not!). Still, here you will find Chutes Provincial Park. This little park only has one main trail, but it is stunning. Follow the beautiful forested trail up the river to the lookout to see the Seven Sisters Cataracts and the falls. The interpretive signs along the way give a lot of insight into the history and geography of the area.

Osprey Heights Trail, Halfway Lake Provincial Park

Length: 6 km
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate

The trail starts out meandering through mossy forests before it lifts you up over the rudder rocks of the Canadian Shield. There is a beautiful lookout that is 50 meters above Antrim Lake. It makes a great spot to stop and have lunch. This trail is open year-round, and due to the low traffic in the area, it’s the perfect place to spot birds and other native wildlife.

Recollet Falls

Length: 4 km
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: Easy

This small set of falls along the French river has been a portage spot for First Nations, fur traders, and hardy Voyageurs going back generations. This easy trail starts at French River Provincial Park Visitors Center and takes you through the forest, along the river to the falls. If you have time, be sure to check out the William.E.Small bridge.

Granite Ridge Trail, Killarney Provincial Park

Length: 2.7 km
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate

Although most people visit the “Crack” trail when visiting Killarney Provincial Park, they often overlook the Granite Ridge Trail, which offers just as spectacular of a view. You can see the beautiful white granite poking out of the La Cloche Mountains from the top of the ridge without the crowds.

Elliot Lake Fire Tower

Length: 1.8 km
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate

The Elliot Lake Fire Tower is last on the list of hidden gem hikes near Sudbury. Not necessarily a challenging hike, but it is slightly difficult due to the climb up the tower. The view from the top of the tower shows you the spectacular landscape in the Elliot Lake area. It is gorgeous in the fall when the leaves turn gold and copper.

Northern Ontario is vast, with many beautiful trails, natural wonders, and millions of unexplored acres. Get out your real adventure boots and explore all that the Sudbury region offers. Check out these other articles for more hidden gem hikes:

10 Hidden Gem Hikes Near Toronto
10 Hidden Gem Hikes Near Thunder Bay

Follow my blog for more Ontario travel!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s