There’s so much more to this province than city lights, forests, and lakes. In fact, some of the most beautiful natural wonders in Ontario may fly completely under your radar. It’s time to make the most of your summer and explore the province.

From geological wonders to enormous canyons to a pristine beach at the southernmost tip of Canada’s mainland, this province is full of unbelievable sights and surprises.

Take a peek at some of the most spectacular natural wonders in Ontario and take your pick — which one will you visit first?

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The Sea Lion

 

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Ontario may not have the right climate for real sea lions, but we do have one famous sea lion made out of sedimentary rock.

Located in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, this rock formation has a tunnel cut through it caused by waves, creating an arched tunnel shape that once resembled a sea lion.

The unique rock remains a popular attraction inside the park.

Where: Sea Lion Trail, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Flowerpot Island

 

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When it comes to Ontario’s natural wonders, Flowerpot Island in Bruce Peninsula is among the most popular. Massive stone structures line the beach that resemble flower pots, making for some fascinating geological sights.

The pillars were naturally formed and tower high above the shoreline. The location also has plenty of caves and hiking trails to explore, as well as a historic light station and rare plants. And we need not mention the pristine waters ideal for a summertime dip!

Where: Fathom Five National Marine Park, Bruce Peninsula

Sand Hill Park

 

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We may not have many real mountains here in Ontario, but what we do have is arguably even cooler.

Sand Hill Park has towering peaks made out of sand, as well as the largest sand pile in the province that you can climb to the very top of.

“As one of Ontario’s natural wonders the Sand Hills tower 350′ above Lake Erie providing incredible views and storybook sunsets,” the website says.

Where: 930 Lakeshore Rd, Port Burwell

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

 

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This provincial park looks like it could be the northern version of Hawaii. With deer, wolf, fox, lynx and over 200 bird species, as well as jaw-dropping clifftop views of the entire Sibley Peninsula, this is easily one of the most picturesque gems in the whole province.

The rugged peninsula makes for some amazing photo ops, so be sure to pack the camera.

Where: Thunder Bay, Ontario

Dorion Tower

 

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Dorion Tower in Ontario is a soaring summit in the heart of nature and if you’re brave enough, you can even climb to the top!

No previous rock climbing experience is required for this adventure, but getting to this remote landmark is no easy feat.

You’ll need a high clearance vehicle to make your way into the parking area as the terrain is rough, and the hike to the tower has lots of hills and boulders to navigate.

However, it’s safe to say that the view from the top is totally worth it.

Where: Dorion Township, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Cheltenham Badlands

 

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You’ll find this incredible sight right in the GTA in Caledon. According to Ontario Heritage Trust, the badlands were first formed at the base of an ancient sea over 450 million years ago.

It’s known as “one of the most recognizable and visited natural heritage landmarks in southern Ontario,” and for good reason. There’s nothing else quite like it anywhere in the province and the history is equally as fascinating.

Where: 1739 Olde Base Line Rd, Caledon

Ouimet Canyon

Got a fear of heights? You may want to sit this one out! Ouimet Canyon is a 150 metre wide gorge with sheer cliffs that drop 100 metres straight down to the canyon floor, with a trail and boardwalk connecting two lookout platforms. Both stunning and terrifying at the same time, this canyon is truly one of the most spectacular sights in the province.

Where: Greenwich Lake Rd, Pass Lake

Long Sault Parkway

 

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If you love to take the scenic route, it’s safe to say that nothing compares to Long Sault Parkway. The parkway connects you to 11 islands on the St. Lawrence River between Cornwall and Brockville.

There are beaches and campgrounds to stop at along the way and you can even do the parkway by bike if you’re feeling adventurous.

Where: 22 Long Sault Dr, Long Sault

Point Pelee National Park

 

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This national park is the closest Ontario gets to Caribbean-like beaches, with 20 kilometres of pristine sand stretching along the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland.

This park is also known for its annual Monarch butterfly migration, where thousands of bright butterflies pass through the park each autumn.

Where: 1118 Point Pelee Dr, Leamington

Bonnechere Caves

 

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Believe it or not, these caves were formed 500 million years ago at the bottom of a tropical seafloor. You can explore this fascinating network of caves with a guided tour.

A trip to Bonnechere Caves is guaranteed to leave you feeling more inspired and amazed by the wonders of our planet than ever before. And be sure to dress appropriately as it does get a bit chilly down there!

Where: 1247 Fourth Chute Rd, Eganville

The Grotto at Bruce Peninsula National Park

 

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This list of natural wonders would not be complete without the ever-popular (but never overrated) Ontario gem of Bruce Peninsula National Park.

The sprawling region is home to countless ancient trees, a variety of orchids and ferns, wildlife, and multiple trails to walk through.

Also located inside the park is The Grotto, which is said to be one of the few places in the world where you can float in a subterranean body of water.

Surrounded by aqua-blue waters and rugged dolomite cliffs, The Grotto is a natural underground swimming pool in Ontario not unlike the cenotes of Mexico or the caves of Greece.

Where: 469 Cyprus Lake Rd, Tobermory

Tyendinaga Cavern & Caves

 

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What if we told you that you can journey through one of Ontario’s largest natural caves?

You can descend underground into a fascinating network of caverns and caves, filled with fossils that date back to 450 million years ago.

The limestone caves have been left completely in their original state, and the owners have taken great care to ensure that the experience is environmentally sustainable.

Where: 2623 Harmony Rd, Belleville

Long Point Provincial Park

 

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Ontario is home to some pretty spectacular natural gems, but among the most impressive is Long Point Beach, a 40-kilometre sandpit that’s gotten very special recognition.

The beach is located at Long Point Provincial Park in Ontario’s southwest. Its natural landscape is so unique it’s been recognized as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve for its “harmonious integration of people and nature.”

It’s also one of North America’s top bird-watching destinations, with over 300 different species of migrating birds and 80+ birds nesting there each year.

Where350 Erie Blvd, Port Rowan