The Best Hiking in Ontario


139 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-88830-256-8





Reviewed by M.M. Glenn

M.M. Glenn was a freelance librarian residing in Oakville, Ontario.


Doug Robertson became the Executive Director of the Bruce Trail Organization in 1980, a natural outcome of his childhood ramblings, degrees in biology and geography, and a career in environment and ecology. Robertson enjoys nature, and he sees hiking trails as a link between humanity and nature’s beauty.

Ontario is fortunate in possessing a variety of trails: rugged terrain to satisfy the enthusiastic, adventurous, experienced, backpackers, as well as gentle rolling pastoral landscape for the novices. The trails described by Robertson in The Best Hiking in Ontario are divided into five groups: trails built and maintained by the Federation of Ontario Hiking Trail Associations; provincial park and crown land trails; Conservation Authority trails; national park trails; and other trails. Only those over twenty kilometers, or about one day’s hiking, have been included in these selected 43 detailed descriptions.

The information provided is: managing organization with its address and telephone numbers, location, length, degree of difficulty, and comments. Each trail also has a black-and-white map, which plots the trail and indicates neighbouring cities, towns, and highways.

Scattered throughout the publication are black-and-white photos pertinent to the specific trail description or topic discussed. Health and safety tips, animals to avoid, precautions to deter disorientation, and other subjects are discussed briefly at the end of the book.

The Best Hiking in Ontario begins with the Trail User’s Code. If everyone — novice hikers, bird-watchers, marathon backpackers — would adhere to these rules, there would be no need to be concerned for the preservation of our lakes, streams, forests, and woodlands. However, such is not the case. Legal restrictions in the form of Trespass to Property Act and the Occupiers Liability Act have had to be passed to insure protection. These acts have been reprinted in the appendix.

Addresses for the Ministry of Natural Resources District Offices and the Conservation Authority Offices are also included in the appendix. The “Other Reading” section is referred to in the text for those who are interested in detailed information on a particular topic.

Robertson does not list any fees for memberships, maps, transportation, or camping and park entry, nor does he provide hours and dates of operation, etc. The result is that this publication will not become outdated, with the exception of addresses: the trails, maps, degree of difficulty, and comments will remain the same for today’s hikers and those of the future.


Robertson, Doug, “The Best Hiking in Ontario,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 18, 2024,