The LaCloche Silhouette Trail is one of the most beautiful trails in Ontario. It runs for about 85 kilometers through the LaCloche mountain range in Killarney Provincial Park, with stunning scenery throughout the entire trail. The now-eroded mountains were once taller than the Rockies, and their appearance in some sections of the trail makes you feel more like you’re on a Greek island than in central Ontario. The path is well marked throughout, and the sites are beautiful and well maintained. The route can be done in as few as 3 days, but the Park will not pay for your rescue if you do it in under 4. I recommend 7 days, which allows you some time to relax at the sites, and let your body rest!
In terms of difficulty, LaCloche should not be attempted by those new to hiking. The terrain can be rough, especially in the rain, and planning for a week-long hike takes practice and experience, not to mention the right gear. Although the trail is only about 85 kilometers, frequent changes in altitude make it seem far longer.
- Total Distance: About 85km
- Number of days: 3+ (recommend 7)
- Trail markers: Excellent
Highlights: The entire trip was a highlight for me. The scenery is absolutely stunning, and since most people hike the trail clockwise, you can go a very long time without seeing a single person, even in high season. I particularly liked Shigaug Lake and Bunnyrabbit Lake, as both were small and remote, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, but every site had its perks.
The views from the top of “the Crack” and several other lookouts were also spectacular. The mountains are partially treed with exposed granite and quartzite rock, giving them a Mediterranean look. Combined with the turquoise waters of the some of the lakes, the scenery is unlike anything else in Ontario!
Downsides: Some portions of the trail are a little bit intense in really hot weather or in the rain. The quartz and granite rock can be slippery when wet and some areas are relatively steep. Bring good shoes for this hike! You will need them.
The end of the hike also overlaps with a popular day hike to a lookout called “the Crack”, which makes the last day of hiking a little bit crowded. This isn’t always bad after a week of solitude, but it can be a little bit annoying if its really busy.
Recommendation: If you are planning on doing the trail, pick up a copy of Jeff’s Killarney Map. The map is incredibly detailed, and annotated with important points and tips along the way.