If you just bought a home in Simcoe County or are looking to make a move soon, the warmer temperatures probably have you dreaming about enjoying the great outdoors in this area.If you are lucky enough to live here, you don’t need to travel far to experience the beauty of nature or a little recreational fun. There are many parks throughout our region that offer a little something for everyone to enjoy. From playgrounds to water fun to overnight camping getaways, Simcoe County delivers all this and more just minutes from home.
1. Sunnidale Park
2. Bear-Creek Eco Park
3. Lampman Park
4. Tyndale Park
5. J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park
6. Port Severn Beach and Park
7. Earl Rowe
9. Bass Lake
10. Six Mile Lake
Right in the heart of Barrie, Sunnidale Park and Arboretum is a whopping 48.6-acre outdoor paradise of tall mature trees and is recognized as having one of the best playgrounds in the city. The Every Kids a Hero Inclusive Adventure playground was built in partnership with the Barrie professional Firefighters Association and includes an exciting zip line that is popular with many children. The playground was built with accessibility in mind for all with mobility, hearing and visual impairments featuring ramps and specialized equipment. For those who enjoy a leisurely stroll through woodland to explore greenery and wildlife, this park offers plenty of green space with trails that are perfect for walking and jogging.
For those looking for a little discovery adventure, the Bear Creek Eco Park provides acres of marsh-like wilderness to explore. The park is home to countless plant varieties, reptiles and birds. Bring your net and bug habitats for a little biology study and don’t forget your camera to capture beautifully unique nature photos. Walk along the boardwalk that meanders through the park to enjoy the sights of turtles, frogs, ducks, geese, blue herring and so much more!
Located in north-west Barrie near the Sandy Hollow Buffer, Lampman Park provides 17.8 acres of ultimate recreation. The playground was remodelled to provide a more modern structure with even more exciting options. Don’t forget to bring your sports equipment to play on the basketball or tennis courts, baseball diamond or the skate park. Cool off with a wade in the splash pad and enjoy lunch under the shade of a picnic pavilion.
At the mouth of the southern shores of Kempenfelt Bay sits Tyndale Park, a beautiful 15-acre grassland surrounded by mature trees. Children can play on the playground then enjoy a picnic lunch under the gazebo. For a day of relaxation, soak up the sun on the sandy Tollendale Beach. Endless fun can be had building sand castles and playing beach volleyball. Looking out onto the vast open waters of Lake Simcoe, this exceptional location is great for watching boats and paddle boarders.
Situated on the southern shores of Lake Couchiching in Orillia, the J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park boasts 65 acres of great outdoor fun for everyone. It is widely known for being an active baseball and slow-pitch park featuring 2 lit diamonds. Enjoy a relaxing day waterside soaking up the sun on Moose Beach. A playground, beach volleyball courts, flower gardens, kilometres of hiking trails and a splash pad provide endless amusement along with the comforts of washrooms and fountains.
Conveniently located right off of Highway 400, the Port Severn Beach and Park is accessible by both car and boat on Georgian Bay. Spend a sunny day playing on the playground and enjoying lunch under the shade of the picnic pavilion. Or grab a snack from the snack bar then head out for adventure canoeing or paddle boarding from the beach. Public docking with hydro-hook-up is available for boaters as well as public washrooms. Little ones will cool off wading around the splash pad.
Photo: Friends of Awenda Park
Nestled in the township of Adjala-Tosorontio is a spectacular provincial park perfect for an afternoon getaway or overnight camping. Open from Mid May to early October, campsites accommodate tents, groups and RVs with barrier-free accessibility. Explore nature hiking kilometres of trails, some paved for biking or rollerblading. Then enjoy lunch under a picnic pavilion. Or head down to Earl Rowe lake for some canoeing, fishing and swimming. If lake swimming isn’t quite your thing, take a dip in the outdoor pool. Amenities of the park include a boat launch, comfort stations, store and laundromat.
The shores of Georgian Bay are home to Awenda provincial park on the northern tip of the Penetanguishene peninsula. Explore over 2900 hectares of forest featuring majestic oak and maple trees, 31 km of hiking trails and 17 km of ski trails. Although the park is open year-round, overnight camping is available from early May to early October. Six campgrounds accommodate barrier-free accessibility and comfort stations for tent and RV camping or book the 6 sleeper stone cottage for ultimate comfort. Seasonal entertainment and activities are held at the park’s amphitheatre. Enjoy canoeing, kayaking, fishing, sandy beaches and a pet-friendly beach.
Just west of Orillia, Bass Lake is a peaceful escape from the city for both day trips and overnight stays. Open early May to late September, barrier-free campsites accommodate a tent, trailer, RV and group camping with comfort stations offering a little home luxury. Explore nature on a leisurely hike through woodland trails. Or enjoy swimming, boating, canoeing and fishing on the lake. Don’t worry if you don’t have a canoe or paddleboard. The rental shop has you covered!V
The outskirts of Port Severn are home to the Six Mile Lake provincial park featuring three sandy beaches. Enjoy a summer day of swimming, canoeing, and fishing on the lake or hike kilometres of woodland trails. This cottage country retreat is home to numerous species of wildlife, reptiles, birds, insects and plants, an ecological wonderland. Visit the park for the day or book a campsite for an overnight stay.
There’s no need to travel far this summer to enjoy a little escape and activity. A daily vacation could be just steps away in your own community. Check out your municipality’s website for a complete list of parks and amenities.
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