Lace up your boots and try these hiking trails in Haliburton

Haliburton is one of Ontario’s most beautiful destinations to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. We’ve found some of the best routes for views of waterfalls, leaves changing colours, and true Canadian landscapes. Looking for some peace and quiet on the trail? You may want to consider a weekday or evening hike, as the Haliburton area can get quite busy on weekends. Here are the hiking trails in Haliburton you have to hit.

P.s. If you’re looking for more, check out Hike Haliburton—home to Canada’s largest hiking festival, held every year in September.

Snowdon Park Loop

This popular trail near the town of Minden is on the quieter side and even allows dogs to be off-leash in some areas (it makes a great workout for your pets). Since it loops around a bog/wetland area, the trail can be quite buggy in the summer—it’s an ideal hike for the cooler months. This loop is one of five trails in the larger Snowdon Park Wetland and Forest Preserve, a conserved area guarding this unique natural habitat. The other trails are well-marked and range from easy to moderate, so there are numerous options if you want to extend your hiking day.

Haliburton Forest Hiking Trails

With over 400—yes, 400!—kilometres of trails, the Haliburton Forest in the heart of the region is truly a one-stop shop and a jumping-off point for many easy walks or hiking adventures. (Note: you have to pay for a pass, which you can purchase in advance online.) If you’re overwhelmed with where to start, the hiking and biking section of the website lists trails from easy to difficult, with great descriptions for each. On the easier side, the one-kilometre Forestry Walk is popular and showcases some lovely stands of maple and beech trees. For moderate options, check out the Wild Woods walk and Black Creek trail, both described as ideal for hikers, meaning you probably won’t be sharing it with as many mountain bikers.

Barnum Creek Nature Reserve 

This area was only opened to the public in October 2020 after a private land donation. Seven trails span across Barnum Creek and the Dahl Forest, the two properties included in this nature reserve. Most trails are easy to moderate, and while dogs are welcome, they must be on a leash. Barnum Creek offers a look at the ecological diversity of the Haliburton Highlands area, including marshes and swamps, mixed-wood forests, and Barnum Pond.

Circuit of 5 Viewpoints Trail

One of the most popular hikes in the Haliburton/Algonquin Highlands region, this iconic viewpoint is well worth the effort. When the trees and shrubs are in full bloom in the summer, some of the viewpoints may be blocked but it makes for a beautiful hike. Come fall, the forest is thinner, and the air is cooler. Traversing along a classic Canadian Shield range, the viewpoint packs in everything that makes a hike in this region so great. The trail is a loop, so if you’re not feeling up to it, you can still get in great views without doing the full route. Black bears are common in this area, so be sure to brush up on your bear safety and come prepared.

Haliburton County Rail Trail

An intra-community rail trail stretching from the town of Haliburton to the town of Kinmount, this historic route is definitely a bucket list item, and is open for not just hiking, but cycling, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles. Of course, the entire trail would be quite the trek, but it allows for easy on-and-off points, and the trip will have you snaking alongside rivers, waterfalls, and numerous historic sites like old rail bridges and industrial plants. Due to the minimal incline and gentle terrain, this is a great accessible trail for people of any age and is open to dogs on leash.

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