Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is one of Ontario Parks’ crowning jewels. Located on the south shore of Georgian Bay, in the inlet of Nottawasaga Bay, its most famous feature, not surprisingly, is its namesake, Wasaga Beach.
Soft, sandy shoreline stretching 14 km makes Wasaga Beach the longest freshwater beach in the world, and one of Ontario’s most beloved beachy destinations. Enjoy a refreshing swim or join a volleyball game. Feel the sun on your back, sand between your toes and a fresh, warm breeze on your face. Savour an ice cream cone or a chill beer as the sun slowly sinks over the blue horizon. Panoramic vistas of the Niagara Escarpment and westerly views set the stage for some of Ontario’s most dramatic sunsets.
It’s easy to see why this is one of Ontario’s most visited provincial parks. But the beach is just the beginning — there’s so much more to discover in this paradise. The Nottawsaga River flows alongside the beach, through the park and empties into Nottawsaga Bay. Unique (and protected) sand dunes hug the riverside. Incredible wetlands and woodlands extend beyond. And a well maintained network of paths, trails and boardwalks offer amazing cycling, hiking and snowshoeing adventures.
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More about Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
Nottawasaga Bay provides shelter from the rougher open waters in Georgian Bay, creating a long, shallow, temperate bay area, perfect for swimming, especially during the warmer summer months from July to September. Wasaga was the first park in Canada to meet a Blue Flag status, a world-recognized designation awarded for strict adherence to environmental, accessibility and safety standards. All of these factors make Wasaga extremely popular in the summer, but luckily the beach is actually made up of a string of six distinct beaches, each with different characteristics.
The two beaches closest to town tend to attract the crowds of sun worshipers, where young people looking for a social beach experience are drawn. The remaining beaches a little further from the main strip are quieter and perfect for families and picnickers. Further east, you’ll find wind and kite surfers riding the waves in the no swimming zone towards Allenwood Beach.
The Wasaga Visitor Centre is located at the entrance to the Nancy Island Historic Site, a commemoration of the HMS Nancy’s pivotal engagement during the War of 1812. The site features the charred hull of the ship, as well as a small theatre, museum and lighthouse. The visitor centre provides historical information as well as useful details and a map of the park.
From coastal to forest trails, past dunes and wetlands, diverse landscapes make hiking a delight in this park. Choose from over 25 km of trails varying in length and ease. The park is a temporary home to over 200 species of migratory birds, most notably the Piping Plover. Over the past few years, this endangered shorebird has been increasing in population, nesting in the sand dune system.
Located within the park on Blueberry Trail, the Wasaga Nordic and Trail Centre maintains a network of over 30 km of trails throughout the park for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. Brush up your ski skills with a private lesson, rent your equipment for a day on the trails, and enjoy a light refreshment upon your return.
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is a day-use only park, so there are no camping sites or overnight facilities, but given its close proximity to the town of Wasaga, visitors will have no trouble finding alternative accommodations like cottage rentals or beach motels. Nearby, Awenda Provincial Park and Craigleith Provincial Park do offer camping for those who wish to sleep under the stars.