Stay by the bay, with flights from Thunder Bay to North Bay.
Surrounded by scenic waterfronts, churning waterfalls, and thick woods, North Bay is brimming with untamed beauty. In this Northeastern Ontario city, you’re never far from outdoor adventure. Venture into the neighbouring wilderness to discover North Bay’s natural points of interest.
You don’t have to travel far from the city to start exploring North Bay’s landscapes. If you’re looking for adventurous things to do in North Bay, set off for the trails of Laurentian Escarpment Conservation Area. Farther afield, the tumbling waters of the Duchesnay Falls are just a short drive from the city centre. For one of North Bay’s best natural features, look no further than Lake Nipissing. This sparkling lake hosts swimmers and skaters, right in the centre of the city.
Use North Bay as your jumping off point for Ontario’s provincial parks. From the logging heritage of Marten River Provincial Park, to the island escape of Manitou Islands Provincial Park, North Bay’s nearby parks are always adventurous. With the expansive Algonquin Provincial Park within driving distance, the wilderness awaits near North Bay.
After a day in the outdoors, spend some time exploring North Bay’s more urban features. In North Bay’s FARM - fashion, art retail market - unique specialty goods like high-end soaps and hand-made leather purses are always cropping up, alongside arts events.
For more North Bay entertainment, get a front row seat at the Capitol Centre. Opened in 1929, this stage has seen legends like Brenda Lee and Johnny Cash. During your visit from Thunder Bay, keep an eye on the North Bay Nugget daily paper, to learn about what local festivals and events are underway during your stay.
Once your plane from Thunder Bay arrives, set off for the wilderness of Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.
Located in the Mattawa Valley, along the Mattawa River, Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park is a scenic escape from the city. At less than an hour away from North Bay, it’s only a short trip to reach the striking landscapes of this park. Named after French explorer Samuel de Champlain, this park invites visitors to forge their way through the canoe routes and hiking trails that trace through its over 2000 untamed hectares.
The wilderness isn’t entirely untamed and Samuel de Champlain has several useful resource centres. At the Canadian Ecology Centre, North Bay’s nature gets a scientific spin, with educational programs focused on the environment. The Mattawa River Visitor Centre focuses on the human and natural history of the park.
After exploring the fur-trading heritage of Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, follow along the routes of the Voyageurs on an interpretive canoe ride. From your Voyageur-style canoe, you’ll be able to see the same sights these famous Canadian fur-traders witnessed in years past.
Even if you don’t go on a guided ride, canoeing is one of the best ways to get to know Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park. For a peaceful paddle, try Moore Lake or Amable du Fond River’s upriver area. Cliffs tower over Long Lake, making for a dramatic backdrop as you glide across the water.
After spending time on the water, go underwater at one of Samuel de Champlain’s swimming spots. Get some sand between your toes at the Bagwa day-use area, or the Babawasse and Jingwakoki Campgrounds. No matter which beach floats your boat, the waters of Moore Lake make for a refreshing dip during your stay.
For a different view of Moore Lake, step onto the Wabashkiki Trail. This peninsular path juts out into the lake, getting you closer to the park’s wildlife and wetlands. A more challenging trek awaits on the Kag Trail, with steep sections leading to towering pine forests and highlands coated in oak trees.
After a hard hike, head to one of the campgrounds to settle in for the night and rest up for more adventures on your trip from Thunder Bay.
Enjoy wilderness without the wait in this conservation area located just minutes away from downtown North Bay. When you’re visiting from Thunder Bay, the Laurier Woods Conservation Area is an easy way to explore the outdoors in-town.
Spanning 240 acres, Laurier Woods Conservation Area was founded by the Friends of Laurier Woods in 1989. Large glacial boulders and lush wetlands created the area’s distinct landscape. As you pass through the park, the woods of white and red pine and waterways of Chippewa and Parks Creek make for scenic strolls.
For the best vantage point in this conservation area, take a trek on the 6.5 km system of trails. Learn more about the park's environment as you wander through Laurier Woods on one of the themed hikes. Experts tackle topics from using the park’s vegetation in survival situations, to how Laurier Woods native orchids survive and thrive.
On the trails, you can take the high road to the Haist Lookout for views overlooking the park, or travel to the lowlands for a closer look at wetland life on the pond dipping platform.
While you wander through the park, keep a close eye on the skies. Birds of a feather flock to Laurier Woods, making the area a paradise for amateur ornithologists. With wetland species like cormorant, swamp sparrows, and green herons known to frequent the park, you can count on checking several birds off your list.
The park’s waters are home to more than just birds. The scaly citizens of Laurier Woods Conservation Area include the populous snapping turtle and rare Blanding’s turtle. The park is also home to fuzzier inhabitants, including porcupines, chipmunks, and the ever-industrious beaver.
After a long day in Laurier Woods Conservation Area, head back to the surrounding city to explore the North Bay’s urban side during your trip from Thunder Bay.
Fly from Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT) to North Bay Jack Garland Airport (YYB), with a quick connection in Toronto. Thunder Bay to North Bay flight time is 2 hours and 50 minutes on average. Connection times vary. The distance from Thunder Bay to North Bay is around 1,235 km / 770 mi.
Enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks along the way.