A quaint Canadian town tucked away in northern Ontario, Blind River is a charming fishing town. The town gets its name from the Blind River, which flows south from Pathfinder Lake in the Great Lakes Basin into the North Channel of Lake Huron. This body of water is called “Blind River” because it’s difficult to see the river’s mouth from the lake.
The town is home to under 4000 people, making it quite a small community, perfect for a peaceful escape from the city. And if you love fishing, this town will suit you well.
Situated in the Algoma District, Blind River offers peaceful seaside views, relaxing boat tours, fishing, and easy-breezy living. If you’re looking for a fun road trip with a big pay-off (a couple of days in a serene beach town), then this post is for you.
Blind River Ontario, is a five- to seven-hour journey from Toronto, depending on your route. But, don’t worry, there are plenty of cool things to see along the way if you follow our 6-day itinerary guide.
Above Photo Credit: Blind River Tourism Board | #BLINDRIVERHASITALL
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Road Trip to Blind River Ontario
This road trip will take you through Kawartha Lakes, Huntsville, and Sudbury before you arrive in Blind River. Then It’s two days in the gorgeous town before you drive back to Toronto. We also added a stopover in Parry Sound where you can rest and refuel before you complete the last part of your road trip.
For each location in this post, we recommend leaving early in the morning to avoid traffic. The places are all no more than 2 hours from each other, but you’ll want to have as much time as possible at each destination.
We’ve outlined some great accommodation options in each location, as well as some fun activities that you can indulge in over a day-long expedition. These are outdoorsy, daytime suggestions so that you can turn in early and be prepared for more road-tripping in the morning.
Day 1: Toronto to Kawartha Lakes
Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes
For Day 1 of your Canadian road trip, you’ll be heading east through Ontario to get to Kawartha Lakes. You can take Highway 48, which will take you through a host of small Ontarian villages, as well as plenty of sprawling farmlands. You can admire the rolling hills and wide-open spaces on your drive before you arrive at your destination.
Where to Stay | Balsam Lake & More
If you’re planning on camping, you can find great family-friendly campgrounds at Balsam Lake Provincial Park. Balsam Lake is in the Great Lakes Basin, boasting over 300 kilometres of waterway across Ontario. This would be a wonderful place to try some water sports like kayaking or canoeing, or simply set up a picnic by the lake and enjoy the captivating scenery.
If you’d rather spend your first night in a comfy resort bed than camping in a tent, head to Nestleton Waters Inn in Kawartha Lakes for top-tier accommodation. You’ll find hospitable and friendly staff and all the amenities you need for a comfortable night’s stay.
What to Do | Boating & Hiking
Walk to the south end of the Balsam Lake beach and you’ll find the Watercraft Rental Center, where you can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats to take out on the water. Or, if you’d rather explore the park, you can meander along the Lookout trail. This trail is just under 3 kilometres long and will show you beautiful cedar swamps and lush meadows – if the weather permits.
Besides appreciating nature and frolicking in the water, there’s a ton to do and see in Kawartha Lakes – even in one short day. Be sure to explore the numerous farmers’ markets in town to stock up on road trip snacks!
You’ll probably be a bit sleepy after spending the morning driving (and the afternoon exploring), so now’s the time to head back to your accommodation. Kick back, relax, and refuel for the second day of your Ontario adventure.
Day 2: Kawartha Lakes to Huntsville
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Rise and shine, it’s time to head to Huntsville to kickstart Day 2. Huntsville is a hilly Ontarian city in the Muskoka Region, and you’ll see gorgeous tree-lined landscapes on your way there. Take Highway 11, and you’ll wind through stunning wetlands and hill crests that are perfect for some memorable road trip photos.
Where to Stay
Camping enthusiasts will be glad to know that there are tons of Huntsville campground sites where you can set up for the night. But if you’d prefer to stay at a hotel, you can check out places like the Best Western Muskoka Inn or the Deerhurst Resort in town.
What to Do in Huntsville
Huntsville draws in thousands of travellers every year, and it’s a small country community that’s sure to welcome tourists with open arms. Check out Huntsville downtown if you’d like to try out the local fare and browse in the charming stores. There are plenty of farmers’ markets, boutique stores, and cafes for you to try out.
There are also mountain biking and hiking trails galore in Huntsville, not to mention hundreds of freshwater lakes where you can go stand-up-paddle-boarding, kayaking, and canoeing.
We recommend hiking up to Lion’s Lookout, a viewpoint with an elevation gain of over 30 meters overlooking the stunning Fairy Lake. You’ll see awe-inspiring views of the surrounding hills and the blue lake waters once you reach the summit. The trail is relatively short, but be warned, the hill is incredibly steep.
You can find the Lookout Trail behind the Canada Summit Center. Simply follow the trail markings along the Muskoka River to reach the magnificent view that awaits you at Lion’s Lookout.
Day 3: Huntsville to Greater Sudbury
Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes
You’ve still got quite a way to go before you arrive in Blind River, which is why we’ve chosen Greater Sudbury for Day 3. After nearly three hours of driving, you’ll want to take it easy, and this town is perfect for just that.
Where to Stay
For superior comfort and coziness, try the Hilton Garden Inn or the Hampton Inn for night three of your road trip. Or, if you prefer to pitch a tent for the night, you can camp out at
Villa Maria Camp. The camp has excellent facilities, and the grounds are right by the water.
What to Do in Sudbury
Take a stroll along Paris Street to see the biggest mural in Canada. Old St. Joseph’s hospital is painted in a fanciful kaleidoscope of colours, making it a well-liked sidewalk spot. Once you’ve taken some photos, head to the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area, a large nature reserve where you can enjoy a relaxing picnic for lunch.
Day 4: Sudbury to Blind River
Duration: 2 hours
It’s finally time to drive to Blind River from Greater Sudbury. Thankfully, the journey is a mere two hours long, and you’ll have plenty of time to explore once you get there.
Where to Stay in Blind River
If you’re looking for a place to call home for a night, you can try out Lakeview Inn. The humble lodge-style rooms are cozy and comfortable, and the inn is close to all the best attractions. You’ll be within walking distance of the Blind River Marina on the north channel of Lake Huron.
Another popular lodge is A Taste of Home B&B. You’ll be greeted with excellent service and hospitality at this local gem.
There are also campgrounds in Blind River if you’re camping on your road trip. Try the MacIver’s Motel & Campground or the Mountain View Camp and Cottages.
What to Do in Blind River
Hopefully, you got an early start and arrived in Blind River in the morning. Read on for our ideas on how to spend your first day in this charming town. From fishing and hiking to picnics by the lake, Blind River is a playground for outdoorsy folk, and we’ve got loads of recommendations for you.
Breakfast at 17 Restaurant
You’re probably hungry from being on the road all morning, so head to 17 Restaurant for a banger of a brunch. This is a local favourite and serves up classic breakfast staples that are sure to tickle your taste buds, not to mention the delicious coffee.
Try the pancakes or french toast while you’re there, and sip on a hot cup of coffee in preparation for your afternoon adventures.
If you’re looking for more restaurants in Blind River, try these local gems:
- Lucky Garden
- The Butterfly Grill
- Christie’s Restaurant
- JR’s Pizza
- Rusty’s Cafe
- Mad Mat’s Rockin’ Road Food
Photo Credit: Blind River Tourism
Hiking on Boom Camp Road Trails
After a hearty breakfast, it’s time to explore and get to know the intriguing town of Blind River a bit better. Head to Boom Camp Interpretive Park for an afternoon filled with fresh air, wildlife, and beautiful natural landscapes.
Boom Camp is highly popular with bird-watchers, thanks to the abundance of bird species in the park. If you want to spot some intriguing wildlife, be sure to bring a pair of binoculars along. There are numerous trails to choose from, each with different lengths and varying skill levels.
Try the Woodland Loop if you’d like to learn more about Blind River. The trail is 5.3 kilometres long and dotted with signage explaining the geological make-up of the area. The signs also detail the mining history of Blind River and the timber logging history of the town. You’ll see lush wetlands along the way, and epic views of Lake Huron from the trail’s many viewpoints.
Boom Camp Trails | Photo Credit: Blind River Tourism
Sunset Stroll at the Blind River Marina
The Blind River Marina boasts incredible scenery of Georgian Bay, so be sure to take a stroll at sunset for breathtaking views of Lake Huron hugging the shores. The boats docked in the harbour make for a truly picturesque setting. Here you can sip wine at a local restaurant or enjoy the fresh air as you explore the docks.
There are also plenty of green spaces and playgrounds for kids near the marina. If you’re travelling with little ones, they can play in the jungle gyms while you picnic on the lawns and enjoy the waterfront view.
There are plenty of restaurants in the harbour to choose from. Stop by for a waterside dining experience, or head back to your motel for a quick bite and a good night’s sleep. Get ready for more activities in Blind River tomorrow!
Day 5: Blind River Round 2
It’s your second day in Blind River, and we’ve got a round-up of some fun things to do on your last day in town. Spend the day at a beautiful nature resort and marine, then end off your Blind River vacation with a luxurious waterside dinner on the harbour.
Blind River Farmers’ Market
If you happen to be in town on a Saturday, you’ve got to check out the Blind River Farmers’ Market. This is a haven of fresh produce and local fare and takes place every Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm. You can find the market stalls behind the Blind River Travel Information Center.
Golfing in Blind River
If you have some more time on your hands, you may want to check out the Huron Pines Golf & Country Club. Huron Pines has one of the most beautiful golf courses in Ontario, with most of the fairways lined by towering pine trees. The greens are immaculate and it’s an 18-hole course.
Some people think golf is “a long walk spoilt,” but if you’re a fan of the sport, you’ll be delighted to hit a few balls while you’re on vacation. There’s a pro shop on-site where you can grab any equipment you need and a bar and grill where you can grab a snack afterwards.
Blind River Fishing at Lake Lauzon Resort & Marine
Lake Lauzon Resort & Marine is a premium resort offering superb fishing, watersports, camping, and everything in between. From picnic tables to beaches and saunas, this resort is like a little paradise in Blind River.
You can purchase a day pass to access the resort grounds from 9 am to 9 pm every day. The pass will give you access to the sauna, the beach, and the picnic tables by the lake. Not to mention some swim rafts you can take out on the water.
You can also rent a motorboat if you’d like to go fishing or just explore the lake and enjoy the scenery. You can rent boats by the hour, half-day, or full-day. Boat rental can cost anywhere between $100 and $300 per day, depending on the size of the boat.
Lake Lauzon Resort also has its own Summer Sports Club, where you can rent bicycles, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, wave boats, and floating lounges. The club even has lawn games to rent, so you and the family can play a game of croquet or beanbag toss on a sunny morning.
We recommend hitting the farmers’ market in the morning, then spending the day at Lake Lauzon Resort and picnicking with all the delicious treats you found. There are also many farm stores in town where you can buy goodies if you miss the market.
Waterside Dinner at Pier 17
Pier 17 is an absolute must in Blind River, boasting awe-inspiring views of the marina and an array of delicious food on the menu. The restaurant is elegant and classy, with huge windows so you can take in the lake views. There’s also a patio where you can enjoy some fresh air, as well as a great bar with a billiards table if you’re up for a game.
The Pier 17 staff are truly attentive, and there are different specials added to the menu each week. Expect house burgers, light meals, pasta, sandwiches, and steaks, as well as gluten-free and vegetarian options. Of course, there also tons of seafood options to try, too. Order the Louisiana shrimp and crab cakes, they’re to die for.
Day 6: Back to Toronto
Blind River to Parry Sound: 3 hours 20 minutes
Parry Sound to Toronto: 2 hours 20 minutes
Hopefully, you had a blast in Blind River and you’re ready to head back to Toronto. Of course, this fun road trip would be incomplete without a stop along the way home. Parry Sound is a beautiful body of water on Ontario’s eastern shores, and the town with the same name is just as delightful. You’ll have a fairly long journey to get there, but the pay-off will undoubtedly be worth it.
Photo Credit: Adam Schoales
What to Do in Parry Sound
Assuming you left in the morning, you should have some pleasant daylight hours to take advantage of in Parry Sound. You’ve still got nearly three hours of driving to get back to Toronto, so hiking is definitely off the table. But you may want to move around a bit and stretch your legs after driving from Blind River. So, how about climbing 130 steps up to an observation tower?
The Fire Tower is a must in Parry Sound, offering panoramic views of Georgian Bay from 30 meters in the air. Since you’re only in town to rest and refuel, Tower Hill is a wonderful way to see the entire place from above before you head home.
Once you’ve taken some gorgeous photos of the bay, descend the stairs and find your way to the Tower Hill Heritage Garden on the grounds. These picturesque gardens were built in 1920 and are still home to some of the original flagstone paths. You’ll see gorgeous flowers, manicured lawns, goldfish ponds, and much, much more at this charming park.
It’s time to grab a much-needed lunch after a long morning on the road (and a tough climb up Fire Tower). So, where can you grab a bite in Parry Sound?
Trestle Brewing Company is an excellent choice if you want good food and an even better vibe. The gastropub-style brewery offers craft beers on tap, loads of carnivore and vegetarian options, and a wonderful view of the nearby Seguin River to boot. Try the Dirty Bird – this coleslaw and chicken sandwich will blow your mind.
Interestingly, you can spot the historic CPR Trestle Bridge from the deck of the restaurant. This is the longest rail bridge in Ontario, crossing the valley of the Seguin River. The bridge was completed in 1907, and today makes for an intriguing view and great fodder for your travel journal. Snap a photo of you and your travel group under the bridge to commemorate your stopover in Parry Sound.
When you’re ready to say goodbye to this charming town, get back in the car for the final stretch of your epic road trip. Thankfully, it only takes 2 hours and 20 minutes to drive to Toronto from Parry Sound, depending on what route you take.
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Enjoy the Town of Blind River, ONT
You’ll have quite an adventure if you embark on this exciting trip through Ontario. We outlined some amazing spots for you to check out on your way to Blind River. Whether you’re hiking in Kawartha Lakes or fishing in Parry Sound, Canada is filled with beautiful destinations any road-tripper would love.
You can follow our exact itinerary or shift things around to make your road trip work for you. No matter the route you take, you can enjoy all of the attractions on offer in Kawartha Lakes, Huntsville, Sudbury, Parry Sound, and Blind River.
If you’re looking for more inspiration on cool spots in Ontario, check out the best Ontario weekend getaways. This beautiful region has so much to offer. Have an excellent vacation in Blind River, Canada!