Northeastern Ontario offers a variety of places to explore

Whether you’re looking for a change of pace, a breath of fresh air or a glimpse into nature, northern Ontario has an outdoor oasis waiting to be discovered.

"There’s a whole world up here to explore," said Trevor Beard, the executive director for Northeastern Ontario Tourism.

Stay-cations and exploring the north are growing trends after two years of restrictions.

Tourism officials said the north has several hidden gems for people to explore, especially when it comes to outdoor beauty.

"With our southern market people are starting to get a little bit more adventurous, travelling further north of Muskoka, they want to experience different things, we have an abundance of those here,” said Beard.

"Everything from waterfalls to old growth trees, you know, everything… museums, arts and culture, boating, pretty much anything you can do… we’ve got it up here."

With a powerful rush of water, waterfalls are usually just a quick hike away. There are several across the north including Duchesnay Falls in North Bay, Onaping Falls in Sudbury and Bridal Veil Falls on Manitoulin Island.

"The Bridal Veil out on Manitoulin Island and that in itself is a hidden gem for us," said Beard.

However, at Bridal Veil Falls, exploring the north doesn’t end at the water. Just minutes up the road is a piece of history at the Old Mill Heritage Centre.

"The history of the town itself and the pioneers, the elders who put this town together," said Rick Nelson, the curator at the Old Mill Heritage Centre.

"Also we have a military exhibit. We have a lot of veterans from Manitoulin Island and Billings Township in Kagawong, and a lot of their history is here, and of course, the history of the building itself."

Nelson said the water falls and museum go hand in hand, working together to draw tourists to the area.

"There’s a bit of a connection between the two, if you are visiting the falls there’s a trail at the base of the falls and if you follow it, it leads you right to the Old Mill Heritage Centre… it’s kind of like following the yellow brick road," he said.

It’s a vital part of the northern economy, that happens to come with some of the best scenes the north can offer.

"We live and die by tourism," said Nelson.

"We do get some subsidies from the municipality, but mostly we depend on donations so we love tourists."

Beard adds, “tourism is one of the largest economic drivers for not only our region, but the north in general and the province, I mean we are the only industry that is still in recovery mode so it’s very important that people are getting out, exploring their own backyard."

For those eager to see picturesque sights and explore what the north is all about, the options are endless. 


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