Thu. Feb 29th, 2024
Healthy Parks Healthy People Day

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

Research shows that being outdoors can lower blood pressure, strengthen our immune system, and help us relax. With more than 330 provincial parks, there is plenty to do and see in Ontario’s parks.

To celebrate how good nature makes us feel, we’re partnering with SAIL to offer free day use on Friday, July 16 to celebrate Healthy People in Healthy Parks Day.

Mark your calendar and get ready to explore!

Hit the trails to find a new path, sunbathe on the beach or canoe through some of the most magnificent scenery in our provincial parks.

children walking

Please plan and be aware of any public health guidelines, closures or restrictions that may be in place.

Reminder: Our parks can be very busy. If you visit one of the 17 parks testing early day use, we highly recommend reserving your spot in advance to avoid disappointment.

To relieve stress, rather than cause more stress, consider visiting parks that are off the beaten path.

Check out some of our recommendations from across the province:

Driftwood Provincial Park

bank

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

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

Marten River Provincial Park

sunset over the water

The Marten River is the southern gateway to the Temagami area and is the perfect base for canoeists, boaters and fishermen. The River Marten itself offers many opportunities to explore, with numerous bays and long stretches of coastline.

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

Selkirk Provincial Park

view of the swamp from the boardwalk

Selkirk offers many opportunities for bird watching along its walking route and natural pebble beach. The park is 15 minutes east of Port Dover, making it a great day trip.

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

Lake San Pedro Provincial Park

forest

Lake St. Peter is known for its excellent 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 the forest

Renowned for its crystal clear waters and hiking trails, Blue Lake is a great place to spend the day. Take a canoe, 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

Be aware

Cruise the mountain bike trails, paddle along the base of Stormy Lake Bluffs, or hike to the top to take in the local scenery. More than 90 species of birds frequent the waters and forests of Restoule, including the peregrine falcon, bald eagle and osprey.

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

Point Farms Provincial Park

blue sky, viewpoint over the 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.

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

Ferris Provincial Park

suspension bridge over the river

In Ferris you will find more 10 kilometres of trails that take you through forest and riverside environments. The suspension bridge offers a panoramic view of the River Trent Gorge and, of course, the Ranney Falls that give the trail its name.

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

Visit our park locator to find parks near you!

Ontario Parks thanks corporate partners like SAIL for their support.

Interested in supporting Ontario parks? Become a corporate partner or donate here.