Golden Ripples, Killarney ON, Photo by Rod Larocque

Killarney: Gem of the North

Jennifer J. Lacelle

Editor Jennifer J. Lacelle

Date Feb 10, 2021

Pristine glowing waters and sparkling mountain peaks combined with lush forestry. Ah! Killarney: four hours north of Toronto and less than two hours southwest of Sudbury. In fact, The Group of Seven were often inspired by the landscape in this area.

If you don’t feel like driving, you can always charter a plane to Killarney’s airport. The facility, which features a 3,500-foot runway, is licensed by the Canadian Federal Ministry of Transport. If you’re a guest at The Killarney Mountain Lodge you can obtain free shuttle service May through October.

Killarney is a popular tourist destination and presumably houses one of the oldest mountain ranges in existence—between 2 billion and 3.5 billion years. This range is known as the La Cloche Mountains.

The Crack Trail is one of the most popular trails available in the area. It is 6-kilometers and can be a difficult feat to climb. However, at the top you’ll see the stunning forestry that makes up Killarney. It’s approximately a four-hour hike and its suggested you be in prime physical condition and begin early in the day for your return trip.

Granite Ridge - View of La Cloche Mountains, Killarney ON, Photo by Jennifer J. Lacelle

Granite Ridge Trail is another popular activity as it’s rated moderate and only two kilometers, which is approximately one hour. At the top of the ridge, you get to see Georgian Bay’s glistening waters or overlook the deep, lush green forest of the La Cloche Mountains.

If hiking isn’t your thing maybe try paddle-boarding or canoeing. The municipality has over 50 lakes, the most famous of which being Topaz Lake. Feel free to portage or canoe to the sparkling, crystal hideaway

Autumn Reflections, Killarney ON, Photo by Jennifer J. Lacelle

All the necessary equipment can be rented from local business Killarney Outfitters. Here, you can find canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and camping equipment. To make life even easier for the outdoorsperson, they can assist with planning your trip.

For those who want to relax indoors, the history in Killarney is rich and almost timeless. This small community turned 200 years old in 2020, making it one of Ontario’s oldest settlements

Golden Sunset, Killarney ON, Photo by Rod Larocque

Tourists can visit the jailhouse (1886), museum (1982), east lighthouse (1866, rebuilt 1909) or the observatories (2010). Don’t forget to check out the historic Pitfield’s General Store, which was built in the late 1800s and is still operating!

Once you’re finished your tours of the town, and your stomach is grumbling, Herbert’s Fisheries is the place to go! They make hand made fries and coleslaw. The fish is smothered in delectable batter and completely local, being caught daily from the community’s fishermen! It was recognized as one of the top places for Fish ‘N Chips in Canada by magazine, Canadian Living, in 2013.

Another fantastic place to grab a bite during your visit is the community staple Gateway Restaurant. This café style restaurant offers homecooked meals and desserts. If you’re looking for something on the go then their bakery may be more your style with breads, pies and pastries.

Speaking of community staples, the Killarney Mountain Lodge is a vast business in Killarney. It grew in the 1940s and 1950s by the Fruehauf Corporation. In 1962, Maury and Annabelle East took over the lodge and ran it until 2015 when Holden and Carey Rhodes purchased the famed business.

The unique accommodations available can house between two and five people per room. To find a suitable room, visit their website. The lodge offers executive suites, cabins and everything in-between. They have multiple buildings at their disposal for guests to occupy.

Killarney Mountain Lodge has several fine dining options as well, including fish ‘n chips, a steak house, and a lounge to name a few.

Not to mention, their sister business, Sportsman’s Inn, also offers accommodations in conjunction with fine dining and a marina.

Sportsman’s Inn is nestled in both the community and crystal-clear waters. Their docks house at least 140 boating spaces, including the ability to dock 100-foot boats. You’re also able to “gas up” at their station.

Killarney needs to be on your bucket list as it has all the charms of a tourist destination with all the amenities you would find at home in a charming, luxurious setting.

Yachting with a Dive, Killarney ON, Photo by Rod Larocque

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