Trail running is gaining popularity at Ontario Parks. Softer surfaces minimize the impact on a runner’s joints and back.
There are over 1,800 kilometres of park trails to choose from. Fall colours are spectacular and many parks offer roofed accommodation.
Derrick Spafford runs the trails at Frontenac Provincial Park which has one of the largest trail networks east of the Canadian Rockies. In this Park Blog, Spafford shares his three favourite Frontenac trails and offers some trail running tips, http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=6454#more-6454
Five more parks below are located in different Ontario landscapes. Each offers a good selection of trails as well as roofed accommodation. Park trail descriptions are included in "Things to Do" on each park's web page (refer to links below).
Eastern Ontario near Brockville
Combine trail-running, paddling and a stay at Charleston Lake Provincial Park's new backcountry cabin. The cabin is only accessible by water. Canoe and kayak rentals are available. Charleston Lake has heated yurts too. http://www.ontarioparks.com/park/charlestonlake
Central Ontario near Huntsville
With the addition of four new cabins, more runners are expected on Arrowhead Provincial Park's trails this fall. An Arrowhead park permit can also be used to access Algonquin Provincial Park's trails. http://www.ontarioparks.com/park/arrowhead
Southwestern Ontario near Owen Sound
Sixteen furnished yurts have given Macgregor Point Provincial Park its unofficial tag line: 'Yurt Capital of Ontario'. Park trails include the Old Shore Road and its Sunset Point, a trail runner favourite. http://www.ontarioparks.com/park/macgregorpoint
Northeastern Ontario near North Bay
Finlayson Point Provincial Park's new two-bedroom cabin is a good base for exploring Temagami's Old Growth forests. Ancient footpaths criss-cross the region and the Old Fire Tower Trail has a commanding view of area fall colours. http://www.ontarioparks.com/park/finlaysonpoint
Northwestern Ontario near Thunder Bay
Top of the Giant at 2.7 kilometres long, is a heart-pumping, zig-zag ascent that's part of an 80 kilometre trail network at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, http://www.ontarioparks.com/park/sleepinggiant Only one hour east of Thunder Bay Airport, Sleeping Giant has a Ranger Lodge that sleeps 30 and 3-bedroom cabins available for rent from September to June. XTerra, a triathlon takes place in the park on September 7. More running events at Ontario Parks this fall are included in this Park Blog post, http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=6460