Celebrate Healthy Parks, Healthy People with Free Day-use at all Ontario Parks
Mark your calendars! On July 16th, 2021, Ontario Parks celebrates Healthy Parks, Healthy People and offers free day-use to parks all across the province. It’s the perfect opportunity to visit your favourite park or discover a new one! For this celebration, parks offer events and activities encouraging people to get active and explore nature. Come for the day and stay through the evening as many parks are open until 10:00 pm E.T. for the event.
Why is Ontario Parks offering this fantastic opportunity? Healthy Parks Healthy People is a worldwide movement that promotes and understands the link between a healthy environment and a healthy society. Researchers have confirmed that spending time in nature improves your physical, mental and social well-being. Ontario Parks supports connecting Canadians to nature and encourages exploring some of the most inspiring and beautiful landscapes in the country. With locations across the province, Ontario Parks offers facilities and programs to help you enjoy nature in all four seasons.
The Best Parks to Visit in Ontario
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite parks we recommend exploring as part of Healthy Parks, Healthy People. Check them out, and let us know if you agree!
Home to over 100 km of hiking trails, park visitors can venture deep into the boreal forest to experience the backcountry or follow the park’s rugged Top of the Giant trail to unbeatable views of Lake Superior. The park gets its name from unique geography and rock formations that resemble a giant lying on its back. Bring a mountain bike to, explore the cycling trails and pack a bathing suit to relax on nearby beaches. There are also canoe and kayak rentals available. If you prefer to indulge in bird watching, the park is home to over 200 different species of birds!
Ouimet Canyon is a 150-metre wide gorge that runs 100 metres deep. Thanks to the unique microclimate on the floor of Ouimet Canyon, you’ll see rare alpine flowers and arctic plants, which are usually only found 1000 kilometres north of the park! The canyon was named after Ouimet Station, a former railway station near the Canadian Pacific Railway Line. Ouimet Canyon features a one-kilometre loop trail to two viewing platforms along the canyon’s rim. Once you’ve made it to a lookout platform, stop and take a few pictures of the remarkable canyon or bring some binoculars and gaze into the canopy and see if you can spot a Peregrine Falcon!
Restoule Park sits by two breathtaking lakes, Restoule Lake and Stormy Lake, and includes a stunning Maple forest. Bike or hike your way to the top of the park for a magnificent view of the lakes and local landscape. Kayak, canoe, or paddleboard along the 100 metre high Stormy Lake Bluff base or explore a more secluded area. Restoule Park is also a perfect place to camp, whether by car, walk-in, or even canoe-in.
Grundy Lake Park offers up the beauty of countless inland lakes. Canoe and kayak wherever you please and enjoy an adventure you won’t soon forget. If you decide to go swimming, you’ll find there are six separate sandy beaches to choose from! Don’t miss out on the hiking and biking trails while you’re there. A mixed forest marks this area as the boundary between north and south and is a great way to experience two equally impressive Ontario environments.
Awenda Park is made up of over 2,900 hectares of forested land on the shores of Georgian Bay. Camp in a private, shaded area and enjoy the sunset on one of the park’s many beautiful west-facing sandy beaches. Fish for bass, panfish, and pike in Kettle’s Lake or the waters between the park and Giant’s Tomb Island. If you’re travelling with your furry friend, there is a particular stretch of beach designed for dogs, just make sure they’re on a leash.
Have you visited a park that’s not on our list? Let us know and share your favourite moments from Healthy Parks, Healthy People with us!