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Summer Road Trip 2015: Northwest Ontario

After last year’s epic adventure to Australia, this year’s summer holiday needed to be a bit more subdued. My husband suggested a road trip across Canada — from Ottawa to Vancouver. Um, how is that scaling back exactly? He then countered with a camping road trip in Northern Ontario. I was not excited: is there anything but mosquitoes in Northern Ontario?

I was wrong. So very, very wrong. For our 10-day trip, here is the route we took:

1. Ottawa to Killbear Park Provincial

Photo collage of Killbear Provincial Park

2. Killbear Provincial Park to Manitoulin Island

Photo Collage from Manitoulin Island

3. Manitoulin Island to Lake Superior Provincial Park (Agawa Bay)

Lake Superior, Agawa Bay, Ontario

4. Agawa Bay to Sudbury

Photo collage from Sudbury, Ontario

5. Sudbury back home to Ottawa

For a bird’s eye view, it looks like this on the map. It was a fair bit of driving, but then we’d stay somewhere for at least two nights and that made it quite relaxing.

road trip 2015

It’s a bit ambitious of me (especially since I still haven’t managed to write much about our trip from last summer, oh, and did I mention I start a new job on Monday?), but I hope to share some highlights from each of the above locales with tips and tricks we picked up along the way in case you decide to go one day.

All in all, it was a really beautiful trip. The kids and the adults all enjoyed each locale so much. There were special highlights (and lots of laughs!) everywhere we stopped. And did I mention that the beaches are spectacular?


If you’ve been to Northern Ontario, what was your biggest highlight? If you’ve never been, do you have any specific questions from our trip that I can help with?


  1. Excellent! I am already planning our summer 2016 trip and it will be to Manitoulin. Though it has been 20 years since I was last there, it looks just as incredible. Thanks for sharing!

  2. We did a similar trip this summer, and I saw Lake Superior for the first time (Pancake Bay and Agawa Canyon) – I was so blown away by the colour of the water. Never thought you would see those blues outside of the Caribbean! We went back around through Sault Ste Marie/Michigan and London, Ont on the way back. The highlight for me was both the views of Lake Superior, and Mackinac Island in Michigan. An island with no cars, that you take a ferry to and can bike around. So beautiful! We stayed across the water in St Ignace, and there were a lot of activities for the kids at night (fireworks, movies in the park). Although because we were so north they all start a little late! Oh another highlight was the fact that we saw 4 of the great lakes on our trip, so it was practically educational?! We did 2600 kms from Ottawa, and it didn’t seem overwhelming at all. Highly recommend it!

    • Hi Stacey – Wasn’t Agawa Canyon amazing?? And yes! It felt like we were at the ocean … the crystal clear blue water, the sandy beaches, and the lapping at the shore line. I haven’t heard of Mackinac Island before. It sounds sound interesting – I have it on my radar now! I agree that it it definitely an “educational” experience and the driving really didn’t seem overwhelming. We would do a big chunk all in one day and then rest for a few days with no driving.

  3. I guess the cross-country road trip would be scaling back in that it didn’t require flying to another continent. Glad you found a good compromise and had fun.

  4. Theodoros says:

    What beach is the above?
    Looks so peaceful…..

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