Killbear Provincial Park
Killbear Provincial Park’s proximity to Toronto, only three hours away, has made the park extremely popular with visitors from around the world. While the park can be enjoyed as a day-trip destination by locals and visitors alike, thanks to its compact land filled with beautiful natural features and over 30 km of Georgian Bay shoreline, we recommend making it a longer trip.
The park opens in early May and closes in late October, offering its many visitors from nearby and far away from the opportunity to explore sparkling waters, sandy shores, and forested trails. While in the park, you can engage in a number of activities, from single hour explorations on short trails to watersports or camping.
For the hikers and trail runners, four official trails offer resplendent views through sweeping pines and waterfront areas. The longest trail, at 6 km in length, is the Recreational Trail. The linear trail takes approximately three hours to complete and offers entrance to Lighthouse Point. The trail follows the main park road.
The shortest trail, Lighthouse Point Trail, is an 800 metre loop that takes you out to the tip of Killbear Point and takes about 30 to 45 minutes to complete.
Lookout Point Trail offers a moderate hike of 3.5 km with slightly rougher terrain and dazzling view of Georgian Bay. The trail takes most people 1.5 hours to complete. Finally, Twin Points Trail is a 1.6 km loop that takes most hikers 40 minutes to complete. The trail loops you through different types of forest and along the rocky shoreline for incredible views. The mostly flat trail is included in the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.
For up-to-date information and details on Killbear Provincial Park, we recommend you visit their website. For information about other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.
More about Killbear Provincial Park
Beautiful Killbear Provincial Park, just three hours out of Toronto, is nestled in Georgian Bay just north of the town of Parry Sound. Killbear is located in the heart of 30,000 islands, making it the ideal location for fishing, cruising or sailing. Additionally, the park offers many opportunities for other watersports. Its clean beaches and sparkling waters welcome windsurfers, paddle boarders, kayakers and canoers. Most beaches also have designated areas cordoned off for swimmers with ropes and buoys demarcating safe zones. The park does not rent kayaks or canoes, but many locations near the park do.
Bicycling is another popular activity at Killbear. Bicyclists are permitted on the 6 km Recreational Trail.
For those looking for an aerial view of the park, floatplane rides can be taken from the nearby town of Parry Sound.
Views of the sinking sun from Sunset Rock draws dozens of visitors each night to capture views and photos of the stunning over-water sunsets.
Wildlife viewing, including bird watching, is another popular activity at the park. Bald Eagles, woodpeckers, warblers, hummingbirds, hawks, herons and many others can be spotted around the park. For those interested, there are bird spotting checklists available at the Visitor Centre.
The park is an ecologically significant location, thanks to its large and varied types of shoreline. The wetlands support significant animal species like Blanding’s turtles and the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. The uplands of the park are home to the Hognose Snake and Live-lined Skink, which are both considered species of special concern.
For those who’d rather catch the wildlife than view it, fishing is permitted. Lake Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Perch, Walleye and Pike are all frequent visitors to the waterways of the Big Sound on the eastern side of the Killbear Peninsula. However, the waters on the Kilcoursie Bayon (the western side) are a Lake Trout sanctuary and fishing is strictly prohibited here.
The Visitor Centre is perched atop a cliff overlooking the Bay, offering visitors to the park spectacular views. Inside, there are activities for the kids, as well as mounted creatures, the Nature Shoppe and a history lesson or two on the park and surrounding region.
Killbear has seven campgrounds, ranging from beach-front grounds to standard wooded campsites. Each provides campers with different amenities, including some with food lockers for those who don’t have a car for safe storage of food.
While visiting the park, you can participate in any of their daily summer Discovery programs. The guided hikes, children’s programs and evening programs take visitors through the natural and human history of the area. The park also hosts musical concerts at the amphitheatre, featuring local musicians, such as the Wakami Wailers.
There are stores located near the entrance of Killbear to stock up on camping gear or food.
Facilities at Killbear Provincial Park include barrier-free comfort stations – with showers, flush toilets and laundry facilities – and nine designated wheelchair access campsites. The park has boat launches at both Blind Bay and Lighthouse Point Campground for small boats. There are picnic tables in shady areas, water taps and hibachis for use by visitors, along with a pet exercise area, a picnic shelter and a trailer dump and fill station.