Trails - Multi-use -
Trails take you off the road for a closer look at Bluewater country’s nicest nooks. Some trails are limited to activities like hiking, biking or skiing, while other trails accommodate multi-uses such as horseback riding, motor sports and snowmobiling. Ontario's legendary Bruce Trail is a hiking path that follows the entire length of the Niagara Escarpment while many municipalities link their local trails to the Trans-Canada Trail system or abandoned railways to provide lovely, traffic free recreation corridors.
Bruce’s Caves are named after a hermit who once inhabited them at 502098 County Road 1 east of Oxenden. Follow the Bruce's Caves Road to the parking lot where a short trail leads to the caves. Sea caves are flanked by rock pillars and mossy cliffs festooned by unusual ferns. Hikers can clamber through huge archways and hidden tunnels that were eroded from the escarpment over 10,000 years ago when glacial melt waters raised the Great Lakes levels to that height.
The Georgian Bluffs Trail runs between Park Head on Grey County Road 10 through Shallow Lake to Owen Sound harbour. The trail follows a former railway corridor that crosses innumerable wetlands, forests and scenic vistas of Georgian Bay at the east end. It is a multi-use trail for hiking, cycling or motorsports year round. Trail users should be observant and careful not to run over wildlife that is very plentiful and can be closely encountered along the way.
Bruce Peninsula National Park encompasses an area primarily composed of limestone bedrock, yet it holds many diverse features. Marl rock fens and sand dunes are found along Lake Huron where most orchids grow and sunsets are among the best in the world. Towering cliffs, caves and cobblestone beaches make up the Georgian Bay shore where the views are most impressive. The park is home to wildlife such as Black bears, wolves, fishers, porcupines and Massasauga rattlesnakes. This is wilderness - campers should not leave food inside tents to avoid thieving animals! Several hiking trails begin at
The spectacular sunsets that Port Elgin is famous for can best be seen from the harbour - a must for photographers and romantics. Free parking is conveniently located directly on the beach, which is partly sheltered by a break-wall and is very popular for swimming and windsurfing. Beach volleyball courts are set up during the summer months and playground equipment provides recreation for children. Additionally, in summer the beach is home to the gazebo that provides a lovely setting for Sunday evening bandshell concerts where audiences usually honk their car horns for applause! Visitors can
Penetanguishene’s harbour, beach, playground and skate-park adjoin the Waterfront Trail that leads to Midland from Champlain Road. The town combines a colourful blend of French-Anglo culture with a full range of attractions and amenities for visitors. The Serendipity Princess paddlewheeler boat departs the Penetanguishene town dock daily for cruises May to September then offers fall colour tours on the Trent-Severn Waterway departing from Port Severn from September to mid-October.
Crevice caves are located in the Duncan Escarpment Provincial Nature Reserve located just east of Duncan along The Blue Mountains Euphrasia Townline. Massive chunks of limestone have split and broken off the escarpment to create a labyrinth of tunnels, narrow corridors and grottos along the cliffs. Networks of cedar roots splay across the rocks like tentacles groping for cracks to anchor into and the rocks harbour many unusual species of ferns and lichens. The Bruce Trail runs through the area, providing rugged and scenic trekking for hikers and skiers.
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park's Blueberry Plains Trails offer scenic hiking through high, forested dunes with scenic lookouts and ample opportunities to see wildlife. In winter, the Wasaga Nordic Ski Centre maintains 30 km. of groomed cross-country ski trails and snowshoeing areas including warm-up shelters with fires and a chalet with rentals and refreshments.
Inglis Falls is the best known and most visited waterfall north of Toronto! Inglis Falls is an 18-metre high cascade created by the Sydenham River tumbling over the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. The erosive power of the water has carved a deep gorge at the base of the falls. Water flows all year over the Falls. In the late fall season the river welcomes the Salmon Run when the salmon return to the river to spawn. Inglis Falls Conservation Area is a 200-hectare site offering something for everyone: a viewing platform to see over the stone wall; 7.42 km of trails of various
Lions Harbour Park maintains gorgeous flowerbeds and landscaping in "Canada's Prettiest Town". The park contains washrooms, a picnic pavilion, playground and a bandshell that hosts band concerts every Sunday evening at 7 pm during summer. The Celtic Roots Festival also runs at the park on the first weekend in August. The view overlooking the harbour is spectacular and visitors can see several storm stripped tree sculptures and a metal sculpture memorial to the Goderich tornado disaster.
The village of Ripley holds unusual delights on Bruce County Rd 6, east of Pine River. Lewis Park has a playground, splash pad and picnic shelter surrounded by tree sculptures located downtown at 59 Queen Street. Bruce Botanical Food Gardens, located at 62 Park St., is a horticultural paradise that preserves over 250 varieties of rare and heritage food plants. It opens for tours Wed.- Sun. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., June 1-Oct. 1 and it has barrier free washrooms: 519-386-9957. The adjacent Apple Rail Trail follows a former railway corridor for bicycling or walking through verdant countryside. The
The Beaver River is designated a Heritage River due to its beautiful scenery and important wetland habitat. A 25-km., 5-hour canoe trip is possible from Kimberley to the Slabtown dam north of Heathcote. The route begins at the Beaver River access point on Grey Road 13 just north of Kimberley. The river meanders through an extensive swamp where wildlife viewing opportunities are outstanding. North of the Epping bridge, the wetlands give way to pastures and orchards where blossoms are spectacular during May and swimming holes are inviting. The river from Slabtown to Clarksburg becomes
The double-lane paved North Shore Trail for walking, bicycling or roller-skating hugs the scenic shoreline for fabulous views of sunsets over the lake. North Shore Park has a shaded picnic pavilion and a playground alongside a spring-fed stream bordered by immaculate flowerbeds. It adjoins Port Elgin harbour where boating facilities, fishing and a fish cleaning station are available. The trail connects with the harbour walkway and extends through to South Street in Southampton.
Leamington is a small town with big city amenities situated on the north shore of Lake Erie. Leamington enjoys the best of every season: long warm summers, dazzling winters and everything wonderful in between. The award-winning marina has become the jewel of the shoreline with ample docks, patio, pavilion and play area for the whole family. A beach, playground, splash pad, and washrooms are located at Seacliff Park for everyone to enjoy. Leamington has a vibrant arts and culture scene including the Leamington Arts Centre and the newly remodeled Bank Theatre. Point Pelee National
The famous Bruce Trail follows Moore Street to the east bluff and leads up to the top of the escarpment through the Lion’s Head Provincial Nature Reserve, providing panoramic views of the bay. This area contains the largest concentration of glacial potholes in Ontario and it has many challenging rock faces that are favourites among climbers. The potholes are huge cylinders that were bored into the rock by stones caught in whirlpools during the Ice Age meltdown. Hikers can climb into and through some of the potholes that have open walls. The region also boasts the province’s
Inverhuron Mountain Bike Park is located at 77 Richards Dr. east of Woodland Court. The park has six trails that are professionally designed according to the International Mountain Bike Association rating system that allows cyclists to choose the trail best suited to their skills. A trials area has dirt jumps with a launch platform, various sizes of hits, step-ups, a step down box and a teeter-totter. A single diamond level, free ride trail features drops, jumps and wall rides. A double diamond trail has a skinny ramp of elevated supports. Additional trails are being developed.
Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Park is located north of Singhampton at 794685 Osprey-Clearview Townline (Road 31), where the Bruce Trail provides a panoramic view of Nottawasaga Bay. A side trail to the north end of the park encounters the Singhampton Crevice Caves, where huge rock chunks have split off the escarpment to form a maze of deep corridors that lead in all directions. Interesting formations include Standing Rock and yawning chasms that meet at the top to make tunnels between the cool, mossy walls that drip with condensation. Nearby Devil’s Glen Provincial Park has a scenic
Lighthouse Point Provincial Nature Reserve occupies about 100 hectares on the island's northeastern spit and has several hiking trails, a long sandy beach that extends down the island's east side and the Pelee Lighthouse. On the west side of the spit, Lake Henry Marsh offers wildlife viewing opportunities and spectacular sunsets. The Blue Racer Snake, the Eastern Spiny Soft-shelled Turtle, and the Smallmouth Salamander are among several rare species found within the reserve. There are remnants of deciduous forests, savannas and an expanse of wetland rich in aquatic plants. The reserve
Fred Raper's Park overlooks the Georgian Bay beach with a playground, ship structure, pavilion, picnic tables and free parking. Bricked sidewalks and flower gardens enhance the beautiful landscaping and shoreline view of the park.
Pretty River Valley Provincial Park is a nature reserve that straddles the escarpment southeast of Blue Mountain. The Bruce Trail and several side trails run through the area where mossy limestone, fern covered outcrops and hidden crevice caves abound. The cave passages are very narrow and fun to explore. Petun Conservation Area is another rugged trail area located just 1 km north of the Pretty River Valley trails. The park is also accessible below the escarpment from Nottawasaga Side Road 30/31 or Pretty River Road. It is not advisable to venture off trails in winter due to the danger of
The Cup & Saucer Trail is located 18 km. west of Little Current at the junction of Highway 540 and Bidwell Road. The lower trail follows the saucer, or base of the bluff while the higher trail leads around the cup at the top of the escarpment. Several trail routes vary between 3.8 and 12 km. loops. The most challenging Adventure Trail encounters steep ledges and a rock chimney that has split off the main cliff face. The highest point on the island, at 352 metres above sea level, has views of the bays and surrounding countryside that are breath taking, especially during the autumn colour
The Chrysler Canada Greenway is a 50-kilometre multi-use trail that is the southern-most section of the Trans Canada Trail between Old Castle and Leamington. It connects natural areas, rich agricultural lands, historically and architecturally significant structures, award winning wineries and many other features that make the Essex Region unique. The Greenway effectively joins 25 otherwise separate natural areas and three watersheds. It significantly improves the quality of life in the Essex Region by connecting people to nature and culture in a way that is accessible to all. Hiram Walker
One visit to historic Southampton, oldest port on the Bruce Coast, and visitors will know why it makes a great destination. The beaches are free of automobile traffic, hence the peaceful surroundings that make Southampton one of the most idyllic communities on Lake Huron. Take a stroll along the beach boardwalk to the Long Dock Beach and admire the giant flagpole at the end of High Street. A picnic shelter is located at 273 Front Street. The Chantry Dunes raised boardwalk is accessible from Island Street; the west end explores the delicate savannah ecosystem along the dunes. The beach is also
Manitoulin Island is unique in many ways – it is the world’s largest sweet water or fresh-water Island. It has more than a hundred inland lakes between its shores, and many of those lakes have islands in them! There are more than two dozen small settlements, First Nations and towns spread out across more than 160 kilometers of boreal forest, lakes, rivers, shorelines, escarpments, meadows and alvars.Follow us on Facebook Visit www.manitoulintourism.com for information on Accommodations, Dining, Eateries, Activities and the Latest Current/Upcoming Events on the Largest
Goderich is situated high on the bluffs that provide panoramic views of the lake and harbour. The sunsets are spectacular from Lighthouse Park on Cobourg St. just off West St.; there stands Lake Huron’s oldest lighthouse built in 1847. One can actually see the sunset twice by watching from the base of the bluff and then quickly climbing to the top to see the sun sink into the lake again. The park has a nice picnic area.
Kelso Beach is located at the mouth of the Pottawatomi River in Owen Sound and is linked to the downtown by the Harbourfront Walkway that includes paved bike paths, picnic areas and great views of the harbour. The park has a sandy playground, picnic shelter, concert amphitheatre, splash pad, sports fields, boat launch and trails. Camping is available across the road. Each year Kelso Beach hosts the Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival, Canada Day Celebrations, Owen Sound Ribfest and Salmon Spectacular Fishing Derby.
Lambton Heritage Forest at Port Franks encompasses oak savanna forest, high dunes, wetlands and numerous trails that allow public access to explore this rare and beautiful ecosystem. The nature reserve protects exquisite oak forests and savannah meadows with habitat for Carolinian species that only live in the microclimate along the lake. On hot summer days the scent of juniper and pine among the dunes is intoxicating and the buzzing of cicadas creates a magical atmosphere. The Karner Blue Sanctuary has several walking trails at 9904 Nipigon Street. Thedford Conservation Area has nature
The Dreamaker Family Campground is owned and operated by the Hofer family. The beautiful, quiet park makes the perfect get-away for the whole family with its heated salt water swimming pool, exciting playground, children’s wading pond, hay rides and many special events throughout the summer. Please check our website for our 2015 calendar of events: http://www.dreamaker-campground.com The park’s fun activity centres include an 18-Hole Championship Frisbee Golf Course, catch & release fishing ponds, pedal go-carts, canoe rentals, horseshoe pits, a basketball pad, soccer,
Killarney Provincial Park, the jewel of Ontario's wilderness parks, is accessible via Highway 637, Highway 6 at Charlton Lake near Willisville or Lake Panache via Road 10. The stunning La Cloche Mountains contain lakes that are famous for their azure colour and clarity. Some are so lucid that their bottoms can be seen many fathoms below. Hiking trails provide access to interior lakes and ethereal, quartz ridges with panoramic vistas from the Silhouette Trail and Silver Peak, the highest point in the park. Backcountry campsites are limited and must be reserved in advance. Paddlers entering the
Little Lake Park in Midland, has a picnic area under huge oak trees, with tennis, volleyball and shuffleboard courts, mini golf, a recreation trail, skate park and playground.
The Town of Midland is situated at the gateway to Georgian Bay's picturesque 30,000 Islands. Our culturally rich town has become the economic hub of North Simcoe for economic prosperity, envious lifestyle in idyllic surroundings and an abundance of recreational pursuits. Midland flourishes with: • A vibrant and bustling downtown core consisting of unique stores and professional business offices promoted by a Business Improvement Area. • Recent commercial growth includes Wal-Mart, Real Canadian
Torrance Barrens nature reserve, located on Southwood Road 13 south of Torrance, has trails over intriguing alvars where Ontario’s only lizard, the Five-lined Skink can be found as well as other rare reptiles such as the Massasauga Rattlesnake and Spotted Turtle. These beautiful animals are protected by law and may NEVER be removed from their natural environment, which is the only place where they can truly flourish. The Barrens is also a Dark Sky Reserve where stargazing is simply amazing! The trails can be bicycled or hiked over terrain that varies from open rock alvars to forests
Highway 559 leads to Killbear Provincial Park with its beautiful sand beaches, campgrounds and picnic areas. A bicycle path runs the length of the park and the Lookout Trail offers stunning views. A nature centre and amphitheatre conduct interpretive programs and musical entertainment on summer weekends. The park also has a dog exercise area and beach for pet owners. The landscape epitomizes Georgian Bay’s eastern shoreline of sparkling water, and colourful rock outcrops bedecked by windswept pines. The coast is also famous for its scintillating sunsets over the lake.
Canatara Park is one of the largest municipal parks in Canada and features 1 kilometre of gorgeous, sandy beach on Lake Huron backed by spectacular, old growth oak forest, dunes and Chipican Lake. The entire park is interconnected by cycling trails, picnic areas and washrooms. Children can enjoy the Kiwanis Farm with its petting animals, waterfowl, streams and a dirt jump course for bikes.
The Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre lets visitors discover the secrets of wetlands with the help of staff naturalists. Look for life in the water with guided canoe excursions or the marsh from accessible floating boardwalks and an observation tower. Enjoy the grace of the magnificent Trumpeter Swans, North America’s largest waterfowl. Hike, bike or ski the trail system or visit the exhibit hall to find out more about the ecosystem or browse through the displays of books and gifts. The centre also features environment themed events and workshops for all ages. Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre
Awenda Provincial Park offers a retreat to wild shorelines, scenic trails, pristine beaches and nature interpretive programs. The shorelines exhibit gigantic boulders with colourful patterns and shapes. Cyclists may also use the Bluff, Beach and Brûlé Trails. The Robitaille Homestead Trail leads to ruins of a pioneer farm and spectacular lookout over Georgian Bay. Kettle’s Lake has a sheltered beach, fishing, barrier free ramp access, viewing platform and canoe rentals. It is one of the few lakes in Ontario that contains Eastern Floater Mussels. The park has campsites and
Massasauga Provincial Park is a wilderness park that can be reached from Pete's Place in Blackstone Harbour, from Three Legged Lake or by boat from Georgian Bay. No camping is allowed at access points, but only at designated interior sites, most of which are accessible only by boat. Permits and canoe rentals are available at Pete's Place or Oastler Lake Park. Moorings and docks are available throughout the park. The park’s features include old growth forest, plentiful wildlife, incredible geology, a maze of islands and fabulous fishing. The park contains diverse features such as
Rondeau offers unique car camping experiences in two ecosystems that are very rare in Canada. Camping in these habitats provides park visitors with the possibility of up-close interactions with rare and interesting animals including Ontario’s only lizard, the Common Five-lined Skink, and the striking Red-headed Woodpecker. The main campground at Rondeau opens the first Friday in April and closes the last Sunday in October. It is located in the north end of the park in an Oak Savanna ecosystem, within walking distance of sandy beaches, the Park Store, prime fishing
Six Mile Lake Provincial Park, located just off White's Falls Road 34, offers camping with showers, beaches, boat launches, trails and interpretive programs. The Gibson-McDonald canoe route links the park with the spectacular Three-Rock Chute and Georgian Bay.
Spirit Rock & McNeill Estate Conservation Area is located just off Highway 6 north of Wiarton. A picnic area contains the quarried stone ruins of the Corran, an historic mansion that belonged to Alexander McNeill, a prominent citizen and Member of Parliament. In 1882 the McNeill family began construction of the estate, which boasted stables, orchards, fine art, elegant stained glass, the largest private library north of Toronto and manicured gardens that contained 500 varieties of roses. The site is a lovely picnic area that displays historical plaques about its hidden secrets. The
The best access to the spectacular cliff top views of the Bruce Peninsula north of Wiarton is via Bruce Road 9 past an immaculate cliff shrine at Colpoy's Bay. Road 18 leads to Cape Croker, which has stunning views of the escarpment from the Baywatch Park lookout and picnic area. The Bruce Trail and a boardwalk traverse a wetland and rugged cliffs that surround Sydney Bay’s beaches. Cape Croker lighthouse can be seen at 75 Lighthouse Road, which is a secluded spot strewn with wildflowers. A 250-degree panoramic view of the bay is possible from the lighthouse.
MacNaughton-Morrison Trail follows the creek from the park in Exeter to Morrison Dam Conservation Area as part of the South Huron Trail. The trails are well packed for biking, hiking or skiing over scenic bridges and through riparian forests where opportunities for wildlife observation are exceptional. MacNaughton Park has manicured flower and rock gardens and an outdoor pool. It is also a good place to see Exeter's famous white squirrels that are an unusual colour phase of the common Gray squirrel. Morrison Lake is a good place to cast a fishing line or picnic in the pavilion overlooking the water.
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is unique since it is located within the boundaries of the town as a day-use park. Its parabolic dune system is the largest in Ontario. Rare plants and animals such as the Piping Plover and Eastern Hognose Snake find refuge in the park. The beach areas are numbered starting at the east end by the river mouth. Area 1 includes boat launching, fishing platforms, special events court and beach boardwalk. New Wasaga Beach and Allenwood Beach, on River Road East, are favourite spots for windsurfing and kite boarding. Area 6 has an information centre, band gazebo, soccer
Rock Glen Conservation Area is located two kilometres northeast of Arkona, Ontario, Canada at 8680 Rock Glen Road. Phone gatehouse at 519-828-3071 or phone Ausable Bayfield Conservation office toll-free at 1-888-286-2610 for information. The admission fee (subject to change) is only $4.00 per person or $3.50 per walk-in. That includes admission to Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre. Two picnic pavilions can be reserved for groups. More and more brides and grooms are being married at Rock Glen Conservation Area. Driving Directions: From Sarnia or
Walk with the squirrels and fly with the birds! The Eco Adventure Tour at Scenic Caves is a natural experience like no other. Explore the beauty and wildlife of the picturesque forest valley set in one of Canada’s eighteen designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserves as you become one with the habitat. Throughout the tour, knowledgeable guides deliver interesting information about the history, geology and the unique ecology of the Niagara Escarpment. Your three-hour guided adventure begins with gear outfitting (all provided for you), an introduction to your guides and your
Little Cove is a fascinating part of Bruce Peninsula National Park, just east of Tobermory. A small parking lot and interpretive sign are the only facilities located a short walk from the cove. It is a favourite dive site for SCUBA divers since it holds underwater cliffs, caves and concoidal fractures that are caused by post-glacial pressure releases on the rock. The Bruce Trail follows the shoreline where extremely rugged and picturesque rock formations are located. Hikers should be wary of their footing; the rocks are slippery when wet. Sea stacks, eroded passageways and holes in the
The Tiny Trail follows an abandoned rail line along County Road 6 from Elmvale through Wyevale, Perkinsfield to Penetanguishene for 22.5 km. Access points are at eight intersecting sideroads and at both ends. The trail encounters parks at Wyevale and Perkinsfield, and numerous river crossings that make up its 16 bridges. The trail also ends close to the Tiny Marsh Wildlife Area at its southern terminus, where more trails are located along the dikes surrounding the wetland. Trail uses include hiking, cycling, horseback riding and skiing.
Ontario’s “deep south” provincial park – at the same latitude as Northern California. Campgrounds are situated among a tangle of creeks in a beautifully wooded Carolinian forest setting with a number of creekside campsites. Trails wind through a southern style Carolinian forest. Many migratory birds pass through and Point Pelee National Park is only 20 minutes away. The day-use area features two kilometres of sandy beach and a children's playground. Unique foot bridges over a creek system connects campgrounds to day-use areas.
Rare plant habitats with exquisite wildflowers such as Lakeside Daisies and Dwarf Lake Irises can be found at Bruce Alvar Nature Reserve, just off Highway 6 a half-kilometre north of Dyer’s Bay Rd. The best season for viewing flowers is May to mid-June. Alvars are bedrock pavement areas that have little soil and undergo extreme climatic fluctuations. As a result only the hardiest plants can thrive there, some of which are found nowhere else in Canada. Visitors should stay on trails to avoid damaging the fragile growth underfoot.
Beautiful Joe Park in Meaford is dedicated to the memory of all dogs that have been loyal companions and service animals to assist people in distress. Special monuments in the park commemorate Margaret Marshall Saunders' contribution to the humane treatment of animals through her internationally renowned novel "Beautiful Joe" based on her visit to Meaford and published in 1894. Other monuments acknowledge the contribution of K-9 units to police forces and rescue efforts during the September 11 bombing attack on New York. Other plaques list fond memories of pets by their owners. The park has
Champlain-Wendat Rotary Park marks the 1615 meeting at Penetanguishene between Samuel de Champlain and the Wendat First Nation in historic Huronia. Bronze sculptures of "Champlain's Rendezvous" as well as Governor Simcoe and a giant effigy of Champlain's famous astrolab, grace the park. The waterfront trail connects the park with lovely flower gardens, a beach, skatepark and Penetanguishene harbour.
A lush Carolinian forest oasis at the southern tip of Canada, Point Pelee National Park resounds with migrating song birds in the spring, hums with cicadas in the summer, flutters with Monarch butterflies in the fall and is a peaceful place of reflection in the winter. Point Pelee National Park is the most southern part of mainland Canada and has one of Ontario’s finest Carolinian habitats and Great Lakes marshes. The park gives refuge to more rare or endangered plants and animals than anywhere else in Canada. Visitors can stroll through the cattails along the 1.4-km., floating marsh
Cathcart Campground is located north of Sombra on the St. Clair Parkway, a scenic route of beautifully landscaped parks, trails and boating facilities maintained by St. Clair Township along the St. Clair River. The park has riverfront campsites, sheltered boat launch, a playground and a huge picnic pavilion in view of the gorgeous blue water of the river. All campsites have water and sewer hookups. The St. Clair River Trail offers safe, off road cycling and hiking all the way to Corunna. Located close to the USA-Canada ferry crossing in Sombra.
Cabot Head Road runs through the hamlet of Dyer's Bay and becomes increasingly austere until it reaches the lonely promontory. The Cabot Head Lighthouse, built in 1896, is a museum that contains nature displays and historical artifacts. The tower provides a panoramic view of the shoreline. A walkway leads to the Wingfield Basin and the shoreline lookout has a picnic area. Several shipwrecks lie within the natural harbour and they can be easily explored by snorkeling. Towering cliffs of the Cabot Head Provincial Nature Reserve make an impressive backdrop to this esoteric place. Nestled
Kolapore Uplands Wilderness is located on Road 2 between Ravenna and Feversham with over 60 km. of well-marked trails exclusively for cross-country skiing in winter, and hiking, mountain biking or hunting from spring to fall. The area contains over 5,000 acres of hilly forests, high escarpment outcrops and swamps, intersected by several creeks and it is easy to get lost so visitors should carry a trail map. Maps are available at local stores or information centres. Some trails are very steep and should only be attempted by experienced skiers. The wilderness abounds with wildlife and remnants
Bala Falls has beautiful water cascades and picnic areas that overlook the Moon River at the outlet of Lake Muskoka. It is a popular spot for wading and swimming during summer when the current is not too strong. It is also a popular staging area for mountain bikers who enjoy rock hopping over the ledges. The twin chutes are especially scenic during autumn when the maples display colourful leaves.
Jack Miner became the founder of the migratory waterfowl refuge system by creating the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary in 1904. Five years later he pioneered the banding of migrating waterfowl; the recovery data was instrumental in the establishment of the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1916 between the USA and Canada as no government banding programs had been in existence at that time. The Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation was established in 1931 in the United States and in 1936 in Canada to continue the good work of Jack Miner. The Foundation is a charitable organization that operates
Erieau is located at the end of County Rd 12, which leads through lush farmland past McGeachy Pond Conservation Area with its lookout platform and scenic shoreline trail, which is perfect for cycling or walking to Erieau's business district, sandy beach and harbour. The narrow jetty to the lighthouse is intriguing and Rondeau Bay has some of the best walleye and bass fishing on Lake Erie. The Erieau Marsh Trail begins at 17689 County Road 12 and follows an abandoned railway corridor past Rondeau Bay for excellent viewing of wildlife. The former Erie & Huron Railway was built along the
Misery Bay Provincial Nature Reserve is located south of Elizabeth Bay. It harbours rare plants and animals such as the Lakeside Daisy, Pitcher's Thistle and Blandings Turtle among its fens, dunes and limestone alvars. The fissured, flat pavements are easily accessible for wheelchairs in many places and they create a surreal landscape as they gradually slope into the shoreline. Misery Bay has a wide, shallow beach that sweeps around the bay, offering excellent wading areas. The park has several trails and an interpretive centre. It is one of the island’s best bird watching spots.
Manitou Falls is a pretty little waterfall hidden in the Manitou River valley near Michael's Bay on Manitoulin Island. The pristine stream cascades over limestone ledges on its course to the bay. Several trails lead through fields and along the river's edge, which is a lovely place for a picnic. The location is on private property, so visitors should respect the premises. A public boat launch and toilets are located at Michael's Bay Park on Lake Huron, which is a popular fishing spot for Rainbow Trout and salmon. Blue Jay Creek Provincial Nature Reserve is located across the estuary on the east side of the bay.
Northwinds Beach is located directly beside Highway 26 at Craigleith, where visitors can enjoy a sheltered, sandy pocket along a shoreline dominated by shale ledges where anglers can drive directly up to the edge of Georgian Bay to fish from their vehicles. During summer, the beach is a popular spot for windsurfing, paddle boarding and kayaking rentals. The Mary Ward shipwreck and Nottawasaga Lighthouse lie 4 km offshore where they can be viewed by boat. Just across the highway, Craigleith Heritage Depot has a visitor information centre and museum that exhibit Petun First Nation
The Menesetung Bridge-Tiger Dunlop Trail begins at Goderich harbour behind the grain elevators and it can also be accessed from North Harbour Road. The trail may be walked or cycled and the first 4 kilometres are wheelchair accessible. The view from the bridge above the estuary is spectacular and many an angler has a favourite spot to fish for salmon or rainbow trout along the Maitland River’s expansive valley. From there the trail continues east along the Goderich-Auburn Rail Trail. Another option is the Heritage Tree Trail that leads west to the lake past a massive 200 year-old oak
A.Y. Jackson, a founding member of the famous Group of Seven Canadian artists, painted the scene of High Falls entitled "Spring on the Onaping River" in 1953. The scenic lookout and many other vantage points from a bridge and trails around the falls can be visited from the Onaping Falls pavilion and picnic area. Interpretive signs, rock exhibits and mining equipment relics describe the singular geology of the region that was shaped by a massive meteorite impact 1.8 billion years ago. The lookout is fully accessible, but the other trails are quite steep and rough in places.
Colborne Riverside Park has limited parking for day use only and a steep trail that leads to scenic cascades over ledges in the Maitland River. The trail joins the Maitland Trail through lush forest along the river. The park has a good fishing hole and favourite swimming spot for youths who like to jump off the rocks into the river.
Bell Park has a variety of attractions surrounding its picnic areas and lovely flower gardens on the shore of Ramsey Lake off Paris and York Streets. Canoe and kayak rentals are available for excursions on the lake. The Bell Park boardwalk joins the Jim Gordon Walkway that links Science North with Bell Park beach. The Sudbury Mining Heritage Sculpture is a spectacular, 5-metre high bronze casting of hands reaching into the earth. It stands on an outcrop in Bell Park as a tribute to the people who forged the community. The Grace Harman Amphitheatre hosts live entertainment during summer. Lily
The scenic route along Road 1 through Balmy Beach offers panoramic views of the bay and nearby Indian Falls, a bight shaped, 15-metre cataract. A short trail leads through the woods from the picnic area to the cascade and numerous ferns and wildflowers may be found in the area. The falls are most impressive after substantial rainfall augments their flow. A small beach is located across the road on Old Beach Drive. Pay-by-phone parking is available at the Conservation Area.
Point Edward's Watefront Park has a fantastic view of the twin Bluewater Bridges spanning the St. Clair River between Michigan and Ontario as well as the constant parade of boat traffic between the river and Lake Huron. Enjoy a stroll or bicycle ride along the Bluewater Shoreline Trail, snack on fresh fries or ice cream from the food concessions, visit St. Paul's Anglican Church with its historic mariner traditions or see the Port Huron lighthouse across the river. Boaters can use the services of local marinas. The nearby Point Edward Casino offers gaming and entertainment on the shoreline in
Head west off Stokes Bay Road to Myles Bay Shore Road and Sandy Beach Road to find Black Creek Provincial Park, an idyllic beach bounded by wooded dunes and a creek that lazily meanders into the sheltered bay. The day use park has free parking, toilets, picnic tables and hiking trails along the creek. It is a great spot to launch a small boats or kayaks to explore the convoluted shoreline and islands around Stokes Bay.
Pristine, sandy beaches, trails, breathtaking headlands, boat dockage, camping and cabins can be found on Beausoleil Island, part of Georgian Bay Islands National Park. The park also provides nature interpretation programs. Access is by private boat, local water taxi or DayTripper* park ferry from Honey Harbour. The park is also the gateway to Georgian Bay’s fabulous 30,000 Islands, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve that is unequalled in its beauty and biodiversity. It is the world’s largest fresh-water archipelago. The region contains the iconic, windswept pines, oak savannahs and
Thornbury’s harbour has a fish cleaning station, sheltered dockage, boat launch, playground and washrooms beside Little River Beach. A scenic path leads over a footbridge to the Bayview Park beach and gazebo along Bay Street where Sunday Night Jazz Concerts perform during summer. Fishing is outstanding at the mouth of the Beaver River. The Georgian Trail cycling path connects Thornbury with Meaford and Collingwood along a former railway corridor.
The Beaver River is a busy spot for anglers during spring and fall Rainbow trout and salmon runs. A fishway allows fish to bypass the Thornbury dam when they swim upstream and a viewing platform enables visitors to witness the spectacle. The Lookout has interpretive plaques and lovely flowerbeds that enhance the view beside the bridge. The Riverwalk and lookout in Thornbury are part of the Georgian Trail recreation corridor, a smooth path for hiking, biking and skiing between Collingwood and Meaford.
Grundy Lake Provincial Park has beautiful camping and beaches, including group campsites, drive-through sites for motor homes and secluded back country sites. The park contains old growth forest, trails and scenic lookouts and it is home to some rare species such as the Pink Lady's Slipper and Blandings Turtle. It has a nature display centre and operates guided hikes, canoe instruction and nature interpretive programs. All the park lakes are free of motor boats to keep them quiet and free of pollution. Canoe and boat rentals are located outside the park at the junction of Highways 522 &
Tobermory’s two national parks feature an exciting Visitor Centre, located on Chi sin tib dek Road or off Head Street at the southeast edge of the village. Exhibits explain the fascinating geology, ecology and cultural history of the parks with a tour through a mock-up cave, secrets of the underwater park and a miniature lighthouse. A film show takes visitors on a helicopter ride over the peninsula’s most spectacular scenery. Interpretive programs put people in touch with indigenous plants and animals they might encounter in the wild. A 20-metre high, wooden lookout tower, the
Branton-Cundick Campground is located just north of Sombra on the St. Clair Parkway, a scenic route of beautifully landscaped parks, trails and boating facilities maintained by St. Clair Township along the St. Clair River. The park contains a children's playground, picnic pavilion and picnic area set among giant shade trees in view of the brilliant turquoise expanse of river. All campsites are serviced with water and sewer hookups. A boat launch provides easy water access for water sports and fishing. The St. Clair River Trail runs through the park and continues along the river as an off
The 14-km Trout Hollow Trail forms a loop along both banks of the Bighead River Conservation Area. The trail is marked with yellow blazes and follows the valley through open meadows, thick forests and some steep ridges that make for challenging hiking. Many high lookouts afford spectacular views of the river's braided channels and rapids. The Bighead River is well known for its sustenance of Rainbow trout, and good fishing holes can be found along its course. The trail also encounters several historic ruins of a sawmill, electric power station, grist mill and water flume. John Muir, the
The Rotary & Algonquin Regiment Trail may be traversed on foot or bicycle from Great North Road around the harbour to the marina, Old Town Beach, Coast Guard Station and Waubuno Park Beach. The trail affords a good view of the Seguin Falls and it is lit for safe use at night. A Skate & BMX Bike Park with ramps is located on Great North Road.
Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area is located east of Clinton between Hydro Line Road and Summerhill Road. This 2,200-hectare, diverse wetland provides superb opportunities for wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, hiking, horseback riding and canoeing. Facilities include viewing platforms and trails that can be hiked along raised dikes. Water access is not permitted from May 15 to August 1 to minimize disturbance to nesting waterfowl.
Inverhuron Provincial Park has one of the most spectacular beaches and best sunsets in the world, with picnic and washroom facilities, a boat launch and camping May to October. The park also contains a 4,000 year-old aboriginal archaeological site and is developing an amphitheatre for interpretive programs. Native artifacts found in the park can be viewed at the gatehouse. An historic pioneer cemetery and lime kiln are located in the park. Scenic Drive Trail can be biked along the coast. The landscape along the Huron Fringe has interesting formations such as sand dunes, limestone outcrops,
Oastler Lake Provincial Park, located on Oastler Park Drive, has a lovely beach for warm swimming in its sheltered, inland lake. Serviced campsites and picnic areas are available as well as wilderness walk-in sites. A wetland trail, dog exercise area, boat launch and canoe rentals are available. Motor boats are allowed on the lake.
The Pottawatomi & Jones Falls Conservation Area has several wooded trails that cross the Pottawatomi River to reach Jones Falls beside Highway 6 at Springmount. Numerous ferns and wildflowers can be seen in the forest. The trails start at the Grey-Bruce Information Centre, which has a picnic area and washrooms.
The beautiful clear waters of the North Channel await your arrival into the Port of Little Current. Enjoy some of the best boating in Lake Huron on your trip through the North Channel, staying a while in the quaint town of Little Current. Little Current is a picturesque small town, its downtown bustling in the summer months with boats, and travelers strolling the newly renovated docks. From the Downtown Docks you are at a prime location for just about everything you need, and from Spider Bay Marina just a short, scenic walk to downtown Little Current. Browse the shops on Water Street, grab
The Museum building holds collections regarding the United Empire Loyalists and artifacts and information on the People of Essex County and their involvement in the defense of their country in the Fenian Raids, Boer War, World War 1, World War 2, Korea, Cold War, Peacekeeping, Bosnia, Afghanistan and much more. Two new displays featuring police uniforms from three different groups: the OPP, RCMP, and the Kingsville Police Force and a display of municipal flags from Gosfield North, Gosfield South, and Kingsville from pre-amalgamation until present are available. A recent article in the
The pretty town of Meaford hugs the south shore of Georgian Bay where the blue waters stretch to the horizon, affording grand sunsets as well as prime fishing and boating. The harbour, with its tidy walkways, is a snug haven for pleasure craft, while the downtown shows off fine Victorian architecture. The Westfort retired coast guard vessel is displayed beside the harbour along with other marine heritage artifacts. The Georgian Trail links Meaford with Thornbury and Collingwood along its scenic, packed cycling path. The Bighead River estuary is a good spot for Rainbow trout angling in the
Saugeen First Nation is located north of Southampton at Chippawa Hill. Access to the Saugeen River is possible at the reserve's west entrance from Grant Ferris Fisherman's Park on Hwy 21, or Indian Agency Road off Hwy 21. Visitors may stroll through the lovely Rock Gardens and nature trails that offer a spectacular view of the Saugeen River valley. The historic Wesley Centenary Church presides over the site. The community hosts its colourful PowWow the second weekend in August.
Wawanosh Park offers a quiet camping experience along the Maitland River. The park has 30 campsites available for seasonal camping only. Facilities include tent and trailer sites, a picnic shelter, playground, walking trail and terrific fishing. This Conservation Area has recently been the site of several stewardship projects including stream naturalization work. Day use visitors are welcome. Wawanosh Park is a good spot to launch your canoe to explore the Maitland River.
At Benmiller, the Maitland valley becomes steeper and increasingly scenic along the river’s course. Falls Reserve Conservation Area offers camping amidst lovely, quiet surroundings. The park has campsites, a day-use picnic area, showers, snack booth, a playground, horseshoe pits, volleyball court and ball fields. The 230-acre park rests on the terraced banks of the valley, where nature trails lead through hilly terrain covered by hardwood and evergreen forest. The river runs over a series of shallow limestone ledges, picturesque falls and deep pools that provide excellent swimming and
Bridal Veil Falls cascades into a verdant rocky glen just above the village of Kagawong. The falls have hollowed out a rocky alcove where visitors can take a natural shower or walk behind the falls. Scenic trails and a bridge intersect the gorge and connect with the trailhead at the estuary where there is ample parking. The White Pine Walk displays seven “Pathway of Peace” spiritual aphorisms throughout the woods behind the community centre. Children can explore a cedar maze beside the centre. The Kagawong River is navigable into Kagawong Lake from the boat launch where boat
On the west shore of the peninsula, the Singing Sands Beach at Dorcas Bay has extensive sand flats, wooded dunes and a picnic area. The gradient of the beach is so shallow that bathers can walk out for hundreds of metres. It is one of the best places in Ontario to see rare flowers such as the rare Ram's Head orchid and Showy Lady's Slipper; 44 species of orchids grow on the peninsula. Other unusual plants that grow in the wet fens are Indian Paintbrush and the insect eating Pitcher Plant, which derives much of its nutrients by digesting insects that fall into its jug like appendage. These
You’ll find 75 acres of natural paradise less than two hours north of Toronto or 2 hours south of Sudbury in the heart of Georgian Bay Country, the world’s largest fresh-water archipelago - the 30,000 Islands. Settle into a spacious open or wooded site among windswept pines and nature at its finest. Feel the sun warm your soul by day, then gather by the fire and marvel at the “Near North” starry skies by night. ATV and nature trails are accessed directly from your site. Enjoy the heated pool, trampoline, mini golf, gift boutique, wagon
Windmill Lake Wake & Eco Park is a unique, environmentally sustainable outdoor recreation park on Ontario's West Coast. Set in over 200 acres of forest, fields and with a private 40-acre lake, WLW is the perfect setting for all your outdoor fun year-round. Activities include cable wakeboarding, stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and much more! We have beginner as well as intermediate/advanced wakeboarding cables, and we are also the first bi-level wake park in Canada. Located only 5 minutes from Bayfield and the beaches of Lake Huron, WLW is also home to a full-scale
Take a hike along one of the most beautiful old growth forest trails in Essex region. While exploring this 19-hectare Carolinian woodland, you’ll see Tulip-tree, Sassafras, Black Gum, Sycamore and Flowering Dogwood trees, as well as wildflowers such as Trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, May Apple, Spring Beauty and Columbine, to mention just a few. Kopegaron Woods Conservation Area is renowned for its spring wildflowers and is a great place for photographers to hone their skills in the brilliant sea of colour that lines the trails. Boardwalk trails meander through this conservation area, and
Holiday Beach Conservation Area offers a long sandy beach on the Lake Erie shoreline, plus many other amenities. It is ideal for a day at the beach, a beautiful picnic, hiking, cycling, fishing and controlled waterfowl hunting in the autumn. Holiday Beach Conservation Area has serviced seasonal campsites, new showers and washrooms, large shady picnic areas, a playground, nature trails, a boardwalk, and a three storey observation tower. It is also one of the sites at which Conservation Education Field Studies are conducted. Holiday Beach and Big Creek Conservation Areas received international
Visitors can explore the world-renowned village of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Midland, an authentically re-created 17th century fort and site of the early Jesuit missions to the Huron. Costumed interpreters add realistic perspective to the palisade community, while an audio-visual presentation and museum provide historical background. Sainte-Marie is located on Hwy 12 East and opens May to Thanksgiving daily 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sainte-Marie Park, a spacious picnic area beside the Wye River, is located opposite the enclave on Wye Valley Road and links the site with the Tay Waterfront Trail
Pinery Provincial Park is located on Lake Huron near Grand Bend, Ontario. It is a natural environment-class Provincial Park created to help preserve Ontario's largest oak savanna and its 9 km. of beach dune ecology. To preserve this habitat, a population control program for White Tailed Deer has been implemented. During the early 1960s, when the value of native savanna was not recognized, large numbers of Red and White Pine trees were planted in the park, displacing the native vegetation. That is also how the park got its name. The Old Ausable Channel is a wide, slow-moving river which flows
The Bayfield River is an excellent, clean tributary for fishing Rainbow trout, especially at its estuary in Bayfield. The riverflats just east of the bridge over Highway 21 is a good place to cast from shore. The harbour at the mouth also has several marina facilities with full services for motorboats and yachts. The river is also an exciting white water route for experienced canoeists and kayakers. It can be paddled from Clinton to Bayfield in a day and there are numerous rapids (maximum Class 2) and a few timber hazards enroute. A low dam is located just above the Clinton Conservation Area
Downtown Midland has an immaculately landscaped waterfront with harbour services, entertainment, picnic areas, paved bike trails and specialty shops to interest visitors, with free 3-hour parking at community lots. During summer, the harbour hosts fun activities for visitors at its Waterside Wednesdays. Tay Waterfront Trail extends through Midland from Penetanguishene to Waubaushene. It is paved past the Wye River and has a packed surface eastward. Midland Tours 30,000 Island Boat Cruises operates the 300-passenger Miss Midland that departs from the town dock daily. Take a 2 1/2-hour
Harrison Park, off 2nd Avenue East, has a campground, mini-golf, tennis and tranquil ponds where visitors can rent boats to paddle among the waterfowl. Beautiful flowerbeds, bridges, trails and playgrounds line the watercourses. Weavers Creek boardwalk follows the valley to waterfalls behind the park's swimming pools. Salmon swim up the river to spawn in autumn and they can be viewed in the park or at the fish ladder on 6th Street West off 2nd Avenue West. The Black History Cairn is a symbolic rendering of the search for freedom by black American slaves that pioneered the area in the 1800's.
The Goderich-Auburn Rail Trail (GART) follows a remnant of the 1907-1989 CP Railway bed that provides a packed pathway for cycling, hiking and skiing and horseback riding as far as the Maitland River and continues on the east bank to Auburn; snowmobiling is allowed on the east section of the trail only. The trail passes through thick forest, wildflower meadows, ponds and fields for unparalleled views of wildlife and the countryside. Near its beginning at Lake Huron, the trail passes a side trail to a massive, 200 year-old oak tree and the Meneset Arboretum at kilometre 2.75 where native trees
At the remote western tip of Manitoulin Island stands the Mississagi Lighthouse Heritage Park. Its austere, surrounding landscape is fascinating to explore. Deep rock crevices and grottos indent the shoreline, and limestone ledges are ideal for swimming and diving. The old foghorn station, lighthouse and originally furnished light keeper’s home open for tours as a museum during summer.
Durham Conservation Area is located within the quiet Town of Durham along the scenic Saugeen River. Like all of Saugeen Conservation’s camping parks, the sites are large, spacious and tucked in amongst mature trees and woodlands. They offer the perfect setting for the ‘real’ camping experience! Durham has over 200 campsites, both serviced and non-serviced. Although the campground is located within town, it is private and quiet offering visitors a secluded location to enjoy their camping experience. Regardless of which site you choose, you’re never far away from the
Hike, bike or ski the Saugeen Rail Trail, a scenic recreational trail free of motorized traffic, located on a former railroad corridor that runs inland between Port Elgin and Southampton. Facilities include washrooms and a historical display of the former Port Elgin railway station where the trail crosses Elgin Street. The trail continues south of Port Elgin onto the Bruce County Rail Trail. It ends in Southampton at the corner of Peel Street and Laird Lane.
Towering cliffs surround the hidden enclave of Hope Bay with its lovely beach. Washrooms and a picnic site adjoin the beach. A trek along the Bruce Trail to the Jack Post Side Trail on the north escarpment reveals giant glacial potholes in the beautiful, old growth forest of Hope Bay Forest Nature Reserve where many rare ferns grow along the limestone cliffs. The cylindrical potholes were eroded out of the bedrock by spinning boulders caught in giant whirlpools during the previous Ice Age meltdown. They attest to the power of the vortices that were created as water surged between gaps in the escarpment.
The trail head map is located near the picnic pavilion. The cycling trails are marked with a triangle and are quite narrow. Hikers should respect cyclists' right of way on these trails to avoid collisions. The Memorial Groves and its benches provide a tranquil space ideal for quiet reflection. The Peace Garden is an area set aside south of the Memorial Groves to honour past, present and future Canadian peacekeepers. From June to early September, visitors may enjoy an evening of music and refreshments at free outdoor concerts. The Weil Stage, the only outdoor amphitheatre in the area, hosts
Fathom Five National Marine Park contains both significant geological and man-made heritage sites such as unusual rock formations, shipwrecks and lighthouses. Flowerpot Island Tour boats visit the shipwrecks before docking at Flowerpot Island. Flowerpot Island cruises last an hour and twenty minutes and passengers may disembark to return on the boat later. A visiting fee is charged by Parks Canada. Flowerpot Island has two rock pillars on its east side that were created by wave and ice erosion. These sea stacks look like huge flowerpots; hence the name. Flat limestone shelves at water
Let the waves lull you to sleep at Lakefront Bed & Breakfast Retreat, a romantic adult getaway. Step out from your private room with ensuite bathroom, internet access, microwave and views of the water and beach access onto the sea-like shore. Hike, bike, jog, swim, or storm watch in the summer. In winter, ski or snowshoe the hard-packed 8-km loops on the nearby Stoney Island Conservation Area trails. Guests can enjoy their own private, lakefront patio or enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk or the sandy beach to admire the beautiful sunsets.
Saugeen Bluffs Conservation Area (SBCA), is located along the beautiful Saugeen River. This hidden jewel is home to 185 spacious campsites tucked amongst a mature woodland. Quiet and scenic, this campground is perfect for anyone looking for a great camping experience. Saugeen Bluffs has both serviced and non-serviced sites, ready to accommodate everything from a simple tent to a modern RV. For those interested in canoeing or kayaking, SBCA is one of the main stops along the 100-km Saugeen River Canoe Route. SBCA offers many of the amenities of any campground, including outdoor pool,
The Community Waterfront Heritage Centre is located at the harbour in Owen Sound's former 1930's CN Railway Station. The museum displays all sorts of historical artifacts relating to the marine and railway industries that helped to shape the city as a major Great Lakes port. Exquisite models of ships adorn the exhibits and a full size railway dining car awaits inspection by visitors. From mid-June to mid-August, the site hosts Harbour Nights Sunday Concerts with a variety of live entertainment in summer. The famous Ancaster Tug is displayed beside the building and visitors can tour the
The Maitland River is one of the best rivers for bass and Rainbow trout fishing plus salmon at its estuary. The most popular section for anglers is between the Highway 21 bridge and the river mouth. The Maitland offers paddlers a variety of scenic surprises from Wingham where the Middle Maitland joins the North fork all the way to Goderich. Canoeists and kayakers can expect to see nesting Bald eagles, osprey, waterfowl and deer enroute. The river passes the historic Ball's iron bridge and two conservation areas along its course; Wawanosh Park above Auburn and Falls Reserve at Benmiller.
Metcalfe Rock is a popular escarpment climb at the west side of Kolapore Uplands Nature Reserve. Numerous climbing routes exist along the limestone cliffs that range from easy (Peanut Butter, Pick-Pocket) to intermediate (Mother of Jam, White of Spring) to advanced (Jam, El Camino, Anvil Rock) in difficulty. Belay anchors are fixed above the cliffs to prevent damage to trees along the edge. Professional rock climbing and caving outfitting and lessons are available from adventure tour guides such as Free Spirit Tours - 705-444-3622. The Metcalfe Crevice Caves feature narrow passageways,
Point Farms Provincial Park once was the site of the grand Point Farm Resort hotel (1872-1915) that served over 1900 guests with up to 700 meals per day at its peak. After the resort's decline and demolition, the present park was founded as Huron County's only provincial park. It has beautiful, sandy dunes and beaches including a dog beach for pet owners. Facilities include a boat launch, picnic and campsites, two playgrounds, beach volleyball nets and a ball diamond. Three nature trails complete a 6-kilometre loop through the park. Interpretive programs and special events round out activities for visitors.
The Kincardine Trails system runs throughout the town with numerous scenic loops that follow the Penetangore River and other green spaces. The trails are best accessed from Geddes Environmental Park, which has a lovely picnic area, Peace Labyrinth Garden and plenty of parking. Points of interest include lookouts, bridges, forests, wildflower meadows and a massive ash tree that displays knots resembling a face.
Cedar Beach is a popular sandy spot for swimming, sunbathing and picnicking. Located at the mouth of Cedar Creek, it is also a good spot for fishing. The Cedar Creek basin is probably the most significant, most extensive and beautiful natural area in the Essex Region. Contributing to the diversity of this area are Carolinian woodlands, rolling landscapes, creeks, tributaries and abundant wildlife. Cedar Creek is a pristine natural area offering excellent bird watching opportunities. Be inspired by the sight of eagles soaring, herons and egrets wading, and turtles basking on logs. View the
Port Severn Park is situated on a scenic peninsula surrounded by the harbour where boaters and pedestrians can enjoy the view and facilities along the waterfront. These include a picnic pavilion, playground, splash pad, snack concession, paved pathways, washrooms and boat dockage. The Muskoka Tourism Information Centre is located across the road from the park with the Bressette Homestead Museum & Lockmaster's House along with other historical artifacts from the village.
The Shipley Trail is a hidden gem in the midst of a busy resort town such as Port Elgin. It best accessed from the Town Pond Trail at the end of Upper Avenue where fishing is allowed for youths 16 and under. The trail continues south to join the Shipley Trail at the bend in Mitchell Lane where it follows the post glacial shoreline ridge of Lake Huron through scenic forest interspersed by rolling swales and spring fed trout ponds. The trail ends at McKinnon Lane, which links to Shipley Avenue and Gobles Grove beach.
Fish Point, on the southwestern tip of Pelee Island, is a 110-hectare Provincial Nature Reserve. It features dunes and the intriguing, crescent shaped sand spit that constantly shifts with water erosion along this most southerly tip of Essex Region that is inhabited. Middle Island, an uninhabited nature reserve located a bit further south, is the absolute most southern land in Canada. Dangerous rip currents can be present at the tip during windy conditions so swimming there is not recommended. Hiking and cycling trails and continuous beaches provide access to the area. Fish Point contains
Skinner's Bluff is accessed north of Lake Charles via Centre Road and east on Colpoy's Range Road to a small parking area before the road descends a steep hill. Friendly horses often greet hikers at a pasture beside the trail entrance. The views are magnificent from the east and north sides of the escarpment, high above the forests and islands of Colpoy's Bay. The cliffs present sheer drop-offs and overhanging ledges in places where the Bruce Trail follows the edge of the escarpment. The views are especially striking during the autumn colour displays.
The Brant Tract is a multi-use, year round trail system. This 781-acre property consists of approximately 25 kilometres of trails. These trails range from single-track, double-track to roadways suitable for all levels. The two road systems located on the property are the West Road and the East Road. The 15 kilometres of single-track wilderness trail can be accessed from either of the main road systems in the park. These single-track trails have been professionally constructed for mountain biking using the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s trail construction standards.
Goderich's tidy, landscaped waterfront is perfect for swimming, water sports and picnics; 1.5-km. boardwalks connect three lovely beaches that have playgrounds, washrooms, snack booths and flower gardens. During summer, the Celtic Blue Highlanders preserve tradition by Piping Down the Sun every Friday one hour before sunset at the beach. The Marine Heritage Walkway features signs that describe hidden points of interest and history about the town’s waterfront along the beach paths, harbours and bluff lookouts. The Sifto salt mine operates a veritable underground city of roadways and
MacGregor Point is one of the most unique natural places along the Lake Huron shoreline. A complex ecosystem unfolds at this all-season park on a seven-kilometre stretch of coast, just south of Port Elgin. Numerous hiking and cycling trails allow access throughout the park as well as the Gore Drain Trail link to Port Elgin. Park interpreters offer a full summer program of activities including guided walks by the shore and through silver maple swamps, cattail marshes, ponds, fens and bogs that reveal unusual inhabitants. A Ducks Unlimited wetland within the park augments the habitat for
Adjacent to Lake Erie, the walking trails, nature centre, washrooms and viewing towers at Hillman Marsh can be accessed from the main entrance. Swimming beaches are accessible North Beach parking lot on Mersea Rd. 2 and from South Beach parking lot located on East Beach Road. The area also has cross-country skiing, fishing, canoe and kayak launches. The nature centre is open at limited times during the spring with educational displays about flora and fauna typical to the area. Witnessing migration activity at the Spring Shore and Songbird Festival in May is one of the highlights of
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