Healthy Parks Healthy People Day 2020

Spending time in nature is good for our mind and body. We sleep better and think more clearly. Stress and anxiety slip away.

Research shows being outside can lower blood pressure, strengthen our immune system, and helps us relax.

To celebrate how great nature makes us feel, Ontario Parks is offering free day-use on Friday July 17 to celebrate Healthy Parks Healthy People Day!

kids hiking

We’re counting on people to be responsible when visiting provincial parks. Please continue to follow public health advice. Capacity will be limited at popular parks to prevent overcrowding and promote physical distancing,

To alleviate stress – rather than cause yourself more – please consider visiting parks that are off the beaten track.

Check out some of our recommendations from around the province:

Driftwood Provincial Park


The cool, clear waters of the Ottawa River are calling you. Driftwood is a great spot for a paddle, swim, or hike.

Driftwood is 2.5 hours north of Ottawa, and 1.5 hours east of North Bay.

White Lake Provincial Park

Lookout on the lake,

White Lake is an ideal spot for anglers. The lake is large and can be explored by motor boat or canoe.

White Lake is 4 hours from Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay.

Marten River Provincial Park

sunset over water

Marten River is the southern gateway to the Temagami area and makes the perfect base for canoeists, boaters, and anglers. Marten River itself provides lots of opportunities to explore, with numerous bays and long stretches of shoreline.

Marten River is 45 minutes from North Bay and 1.5 hours from Sudbury.

Selkirk Provincial Park

view of marsh from boardwalk

Selkirk offers plenty of birding opportunities along its hiking trail and the natural pebble beach. The park is 15 minutes east of Port Dover which makes for a great day trip.

Selkirk is 1 hour from Hamilton, and just over 1 hour from Niagara Falls.

Lake St Peter Provincial Park


Lake St. Peter is known for its great fishing. Paddle the lake, or hike the Lookout Trail.

Lake St. Peter is 3 hours from Ottawa and Kingston.

Blue Lake Provincial Park

boardwalk through woods

Renowned for its crystal clear waters and hiking trails, Blue Lake is an outstanding place to spend the day. Take a canoe out, go for a walk, or spend the afternoon fishing.

Blue Lake is 3.5 hours from Winnipeg and 4.5 hours from Thunder Bay.

Restoule Provincial Park


Cycle the moutain biking trails, paddle along the base of the Stormy Lake Bluffs, or hike to the top for a view of the local landscape. More than 90 species of birds frequent the waters and forests of Restoule, including Peregrine Falcons, Bald Eagles and Osprey.

Restoule is 1 hour south of North Bay, and 2 hours north of Orillia.

Point Farms Provincial Park

blue sky, lookout point over lake

This park is a gem that offers many family friendly experiences, including a large sandy beach with good swimming and 6 km of hiking trails.

Point Farms is under 10 minutes from Goderich and 1.5 hours from Kitchener.

Ferris Provincial Park

suspension bridge over river

At Ferris, you’ll find over 10 km of trails that take you through forest and riverside settings. The suspension bridge offers a panoramic view of the Trent River Gorge and — of course — the trail’s namesake Ranney Falls.

Ferris is 1.5 hours from Kingston and just over 2 hours from Toronto.

Visit our park locator to find parks near you!