Killarney Provincial Park is world renowned for backcountry hiking along the ridges of the La Cloche Mountain range. It’s one of the top 10 hiking trails in Canada and is definitely one of the most rugged. Killarney is a must, and so too are sturdy walking shoes, a camera and good preparation.
The full La Cloche Silhouette trail is a 78km loop, so it’s 7-10 days of backpacking and camping through pristine forests, sapphire blue lakes, stream crossings, rockslides and gleaming white quartzite rock. There are some very steep sections and the rocks can be slippery when wet, so it’s definitely not a trail for beginners. Hikes in Killarney average 8 to 10km per day, so consider this when planning your visit and when in doubt, choose the shorter day. Keep in mind that there is a specific site reserved for each night and that camping off trail or disregarding the planned route is highly discouraged by Killarney Provincial Park.
Situated near the shores of Georgian Bay, the weather in Killarney changes quickly, so equip yourself for all types of conditions. It’s very different carrying a multi-day backpack for nine consecutive days than day hiking on a weekend, so doing some advance practice is recommended.
Wildlife is abundant in Killarney; hawks, osprey, beavers, bears and even moose, so slow down and take your time to notice. Also if you go make sure you know how to hang your food and garbage bags properly.
A good topographic map is essential for a trip through Killarney and is available at Killarney Outfitters – http://www.killarneyoutfitters.com or through Friends of Killarney Park – http://www.friendsofkillarneypark.com/ The map from the Friends of Killarney Park has more info and lots of tips for anyone planning to hike this trail. There is also an Ontario Park Office on the highway for assistance.