– Discovery Routes Trails Organization - Discovery Routes is a not-for-profit trails organization that market and promotes recreational trails across the Near North region of Ontario.

Otter Lake Trail

Hiking Trail Snowshoe Trail Canoe Trail

Location Otter Lake (south access at Widdifield Station Rd; north access at McGruther’s Rd), North Bay
Trailhead UTM 630196 mE x 5139951 mN
Ownership Small portion on Crown Land; rest is City of North Bay
Management City of North Bay; The Otter Lake Friends act as volunteers
Length 4.1 km / 2.5 mile loop
Difficulty easy to moderate
Activities hiking, snowshoeing, canoeing
Amenities roadside parking, public beach, picnic area
Surface hilly, mostly dry upland with lake views on top of mature maple forest

Rules for Use

  • respect and love the land
  • keep it clean – pack out your garbage and pick up any garbage that you see

Safety Considerations

  • consider these trails as remote due to wilderness settings even though they are within City limits


  • checked for windfall after wind storms, patrolled otherwise at a minimum of once a month


After Lake Nipissing and Trout Lake, Otter Lake is the largest lake in the municipality of North Bay. The Otter Lake area is a pristine, undeveloped, very large natural area with extremely exciting geographical and natural history. It is also just 15 minutes from downtown North Bay. This are is possibly the best kept secret of the municipality. It is an excellent area in which to hike, canoe, camp, orienteer, and snowshoe. No buildings exist on the entire perimeter. There are two access roads to Otter Lake Recreational Lands – the South Access Road (Widdifield Station Road) and the North Access Road (McGruther’s Road).


South Access Road – From the HWY 11/17 junction near Seymour Street, head northwest on HWY 11/17. Turn right onto Trout Lake Road and travel for about 15 km (9.3 mi). Turn left at Widdifield Station Road, and about 4 km (2.5 mi) later you will see a sign posted on a tree at the Southern Access entrance.

North Access Road – From the HWY 11/17 junction near Seymour Street, head northwest on HWY 11/17. Turn right onto Trout Lake Road for about 12 km (7.5 mi). Turn left at Four Mile Lake Road, and after 8 km (5 mi), right on Chadbourne Drive. Mcgruthers Road will appear on the right after 3 km (1.9 mi).


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