Sunsets at Halfway & Presqu'ile Provincial parks

Switch it up this summer

Can’t get into your favourite campsite? Or are you ready to try a new park this summer?

If you love Sandbanks Provincial Park – and what’s not to love about its long, sandy beaches, warm water and walking trails along the dunes? – you might consider Presqu’ile. The park offers more than 300 camping sites in a variety of settings, 2.5 kilometers of beach, lots of trails and paths including a boardwalk that takes you into a large protected marsh, and the second oldest operating lighthouse in Ontario.

Lighthouse, a young boy dressed as a pirate with a natural heritage education staff member, a trailer having a fire at their campsite.

Fans of Algonquin Park’s wilderness experiences, particularly canoeing, hiking and wildlife viewing, will enjoy Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park. It’s situated on the historic Mattawa River fur trade route in the beautiful Mattawa Valley. The paddling is exceptional and the park offers a number of Natural Heritage Education (NHE) programs for the whole family, including a unique “Voyageur Adventure Tour”, an interpretive experience that lets you paddle back in time aboard a 30-foot voyageur canoe.

Voyageur canoe paddling in the distance, the entrance sign & staff dressed at voyageurs beside voyageur canoe.

Killbear Provincial Park is a water lover’s paradise on Georgian Bay. But once you’ve tried Awenda – also on the shores of Georgian Bay — you’ll want to go back. It offers something for everyone, from forest, bluff and beach trails to beautiful beaches, including one that’s pet friendly, and the fishing is dependably good! Awenda is also home to some 120 different species of birds, including the beautiful little endangered cerulean warbler.

A family sitting along the shoreline, a staff member walking down a path and the shoreline along Awenda Provincial Park.

Killarney Provincial Park attracts families looking for outstanding canoeing, hiking and swimming. Less well-known, but every bit as wild, is Halfway Lake Provincial Park. In addition to great canoeing and hiking, you can see nesting bald eagles and a heron rookery along the Two Narrows Canoe Route and you can often spot moose along the Echo Pond Trail. There’s also great swimming — Halfway Lake has two buoyed beaches – and a wide range of NHE programs that include forest fire management demonstrations and experiencing the night sky up close with the Sudbury Astronomy Club.

Various scenery shots and park store from Halfway Lake Provincial Park

Whether by design or chance, make this the summer you and your family explore a different park. You never know when you’re going to fall in love again!