Mara Provincial Park
Mara Provincial Park is a family favourite each summer for its safe, sunny beach, playground, nature trail and convenient campsites. The park is one of only three located on the shores of Lake Simcoe.
The Indigenous name for Lake Simcoe is Ouentironk, the Huron word for ‘beautiful water’. More than a dozen rivers, streams, creeks and tributaries flow into Lake Simcoe, including the Trent-Severn Waterway, which connects Lake Ontario to Lake Huron. The lake and its surrounding waterways, woodlands and wetlands create a diverse habitat, and home to many species of birds and fish. There are over 50 species of freshwater fish in Lake Simcoe alone.
Situated on the northern shore of Lake Simcoe, Mara Provincial Park is a 45 hectare parcel of seasonal-entry park land known foreasy access to the lake, from the sandy beach to swimming, paddling and boating. The closest urban centre is Orillia, which is a breezy 15-minute drive away along Highway 12 across the Narrows channel between Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching.
Its proximity to the city and its family-friendly recreational activities make Mara Provincial Park an attractive spot for daytrippers, although the park also offers camping facilities. Both electrical and non-electrical campsites are available, all conveniently located close to the comfort station equipped with flush toilets and showers. Two campsites are designed with barrier-free access. An additional comfort station with flush toilets only is available in the day-use area, along with a picnic shelter, a playground and taps for drinking water. Not far from the park are restaurants, shops, gas stations and boat rentals, and campers can pick up ice, firewood and old-timey ice-cream treats from the registration office.
For up-to-date information and reservation details on Mara 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 Mara Provincial Park
Mara Provincial Park was designated as a recreation class park and offers families a variety of beach- and water-based activities.
For such a small park, the beach at Mara is impressive. It is one of the most popular beaches in Lake Country for its size, cleanliness and facilities. The clear, shallow shoreline in the designated swimming area means the water is warm and safe for younger kids to splash about in. The swimming zone is open mid-June to early September.
Lake Simcoe is prime fishing water. Rent a boat locally or charter a fishing guide to head out for a day. Popular catches include walleye, trout, bass and perch.
There is a short nature trail in the park, and it’s a great way to stretch your legs and possibly spot some local wildlife. Look out for great blue herons, green herons, cooper's hawks and osprey, all drawn to the wetlands and lake waters.
Like many of the family friendly parks in Ontario, Mara Provincial Park offers kids the opportunity to take part in the Discovery Program in July and August. Join park staff on an exploratory nature tour to discover unique plants and animals. Kids can follow along with a Discovery Activity Log, and they’re encouraged to take the Discovery Ranger Pledge to receive a Discovery Ranger Button. It’s never too early to foster a love for the outdoors.