Awenda

Biking

Several kilometers of park roads are available for cyclists.

Bikes are also allowed on the Beach, Bluff and Brule Trails. Since these are multi-use trails, racing is not permitted and cyclists must yield to pedestrians and hikers.

Cyclists are encouraged to respect and protect the often sensitive environments that these trails pass through by riding only on the designated trail surface.

Birding

Awenda is home to at least 120 breeding bird species. The park’s upland forests provide a critical habitat refuge for the endangered Cerulean Warbler.

The park’s trails, lakes, shorelines, fens, bogs and campgrounds offer a mix of habitat for a variety of viewing opportunities and discovery.

Boating

Boating enthusiasts will find plenty of room to investigate Georgian Bay. Because of its size and exposed area, Georgian Bay winds can be unpredictable and quick to rise, so use appropriate caution.

The closest boat launch facilities are in Penetanguishene. Outboard motors are not allowed on Kettle’s Lake.

Canoeing

Awenda’s quiet and scenic Kettle’s Lake is an excellent location for putting in your own canoe or one you rent from the park. This small, motorboat free lake is ideally suited for the novice paddler or nature enthusiast.

Fishing

Bass, Northern Pike, pickerel and smaller panfish are commonly found in the waters between Awenda and Giant’s Tomb Island. Bass and panfish are also found in Kettle’s Lake.

Hiking

Awenda offers a nice variety of looped and linear, easy to moderate trails and range from 1 to 13 km in length. One trail provides barrier-free access.

Beach Trail – 4 km return (1.5 hours) linear, easy

This trail takes hikers along the Georgian Bay shoreline. Giant’s Tomb Island is visible from the trail. The contrast between the dry oak-maple forest of the campgrounds and the low, wet birch-cedar-hemlock forest below the bluff can be seen.

Beaver Pond Trail – 1 km (30 minutes) loop, easy, barrier free

Located in a nature reserve zone most of this trail is a boardwalk that takes you through an area altered by past and present beaver activity. Along the way you will see the remains of both a building and a bridge from the early logging days. The area also offers views of the dominant Nipissing bluff as well as excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife, wildflowers and many species of birds.

Bluff Trail – 13 km (3.5 hours) loop, moderate

This circular trail can be accessed from a number of locations within the park. It travels partly along a high bluff and partly through a low wetland. Views of Georgian Bay from sections of this trail are spectacular, especially during the late autumn, early spring leaf- free season.

Nipissing Trail – 1 km return (30 minutes) linear, moderate

The Nipissing Bluff is the dominant glacial feature in Awenda. It is a raised beach created 5,500 years ago by glacial Lake Nipissing. Today a 155 step staircase allows hikers to easily descend 32 metres down the face of the bluff, at times providing you with the sensation of being part of the forest canopy.

Brûlé Trail - 4 km return (1.5 hours) linear, easy

This trail passes through a portion of the park’s upland mixed deciduous forest. Lumbering and fires have obliterated the White Pine stands so that the majority of trees are now Sugar Maple and Red Oak. Lumbering on the peninsula was at its peak in the late 1800s. Since then the forest has been allowed to revert to its natural state but the White Pine has been unable to fully re-establish itself.

Robitaille Homestead Trail – 3 km return (1hour) linear, easy

Hikers follow this trail to an ancient dune system. The age of these sand dunes has been estimated at 11,500 years, from the time of the last glacial retreat. The dunes are a very fragile environment and we ask that you do not climb the hillside, stand on the edge of the bluff or climb down the bluff. This will allow plants to re-establish themselves and will help us preserve this area for future park visitors. On the way to the dunes, this trail passes an abandoned farmstead originally built in 1902. Remains of the stone foundations and fence rows can still be seen.

Wendat Trail – 5 km (2 hours) loop, easy
This trail begins at Kettle’s Lake. This lake is thought to be a kettle lake formed by the gradual melting of a large buried piece of ice left by retreating glaciers. Today, this area is a favoured nesting spot for the Red-winged Blackbird and the Great Blue Heron is often seen in the swamps around the lake. The trail passes the foundations of the Brabant farmstead house and barn. Attempts to farm this area in the 1930s and 40s failed due to the poor, sandy soil.

Natural Heritage Education

Awenda offers a wide variety of programs for enthusiasts of all ages. Regularly scheduled guided hikes, children’s programs, special events and evening programs occur from late June to early fall featuring the unique cultural history and the biology of the park.

Swimming

Awenda features several beautiful and natural beaches on the Georgian Bay shoreline within driving distance from the campgrounds. The most protected and sandiest beach area is at Methodist Point Bay (Third Beach). Swimmers are reminded that that there are no lifeguards at the beaches.

For a refundable deposit, you can borrow a properly fitted personal floatation device (PFD) during your stay at Awenda.

Awenda has designated a stretch of its scenic Georgian Bay shoreline as a Pet Beach. This is the only public beach in the park where pets are permitted. However they still must be kept on a two metre leash and it is the owner’s responsibility to clean up after them.

Winter Activities

The park is not open for camping, but the trails and forests are available as a backcountry style experience for the more adventuresome ski and snowshoe enthusiast.

Trails begin at the Trail Centre, a cozy wood heated log cabin. Although 17 kilometres of ski trail are often packed and set with a single track, be prepared to occasionally track your own trails due to the backcountry intent of this self-use winter program.

Snowshoeing is popular through the park’s many hectares of open bush; however there are no designated snowshoe trails.

Dogs are not permitted on winter trails and visitors must provide their own equipment as rentals are not available.

For the most current trail conditions at Awenda and other Ontario Parks check the ski trail report.