Natalie Preddie is a travel and lifestyle writer, speaker and guest expert on Cityline, Your Morning and Global’s The Morning Show.
My first taste of adventure travel was 14 years ago on a yearlong journey across Asia. From diving to trekking, rafting to Muay Thai, I looked for activities that got my adrenaline pumping.
From there, a need for adventure travel was sparked: I zip lined in Costa Rica, kayaked off the coast of Belize and hiked in Kenya. I love global adventure travel, but continued travel restrictions mean that, once again, I will be spending my summer holiday in Ontario. Luckily, this province is home to spectacular adventure-based getaways and high-octane experiences.
Cycling and paddling
Founded by a former lawyer and venture capitalist, Get Out Toronto was born from “the realization that an urban life with a busy job and responsibilities can also be a life filled with adventure and outdoor exploration.” Get Out Toronto prides itself on the ability to help urbanites integrate adventure travel into their lives. Get Out Toronto has both day trips and weekend getaways that offer several outdoor activities including rock climbing, whitewater canoeing and paddling, and, of course, biking.
The sea kayaking paddling trips take place in several locations such as the Thirty Thousand Islands, Parry Sound and Georgian Bay. Overnight trips start with a meet and greet in the evening and a hearty breakfast in the morning with a chance to explore the surrounding wilderness. Guests can also learn survival skills like fire building, shelter building and animal tracking. Heading onto the water, prepare to discover creeks, rivers and waterfalls as you navigate through some of Ontario’s most picturesque scenery.
If cycling is your thing, spend your day mountain biking through rocky Ontario landscapes, meandering through the countryside or in one-on-one coaching with a professional cycling coach. If you want a taste of it all, Get Out Toronto offers multisport getaways where you can spend the morning paddling and the afternoon on the bike.
Weekends with Get Out Toronto finish with dinner under a sky full of stars, delicious locally sourced food and a couple of drinks, all to cap off a perfect outdoor adventure.
Diving and snorkelling
The Fathom Five National Marine Park is known as the “Shipwreck Diving Capital of Canada,” a freshwater ecosystem of ancient rock formations in Tobermory. Surrounded by grassy cliff-edge forests, these sparkling bodies of water boast 20 fascinating shipwrecks. Some boats, like the two-masted schooner John Walters, were wrecked as long ago as 1883, whereas others, such as the Niagara II, have only been under the water for 20 years. Known as one of the best freshwater dive sites in the world, Fathom Five National Marine Park also has underwater caves, cliffs and overhangs waiting to be explored by both new and experienced divers.
There are numerous dive shops in Tobermory offering guided dives, snorkelling and PADI- certified scuba diving training. Dive companies can advise on the best dive sites to explore based on the day, environmental factors and each diver’s level of experience.
A day under the water in Fathom Five National Marine Park will be unforgettable.
Hiking and axe throwing
Long Point Eco Adventures is the ultimate wilderness retreat in Ontario, with unique accommodations, an on-site winery and brewery, exceptional locally sourced food and a laundry list of exciting activities to keep you and your family entertained.
Try out your lumberjack skills throwing axes while overlooking Turkey Point Marsh, or tour the beautiful grounds, the on-site Honeybee Apiary and Mushroom Foray. Jump on a boat and discover new swimming holes, standup paddleboard across the lake, fish or kayak down Big Creek. Kids can join in a tailored stargazing program or take the interactive observatory tour for a more in- depth constellation, dark sky experience.
When it comes to resting your head at night, the options are many. Safari tents (with hardwood flooring, running water and hydro) are the perfect option for those in search of a glamping experience. The elite pod is a wooden glamping yurt built for two with all the private amenities one would need. Large groups can book a deluxe pod or cabin with a private beach volleyball court and barbecue.
Long Point Eco Adventures is the perfect experiential travel adventure for your Ontario summer getaway.