Awenda Provincial Park is one of the largest parks in the province of Ontario. The park spans over 2,915 hectares of land. It overlooks the Georgian Bay and is found at a peninsula just north of the nearest town, Penetanguishene. The park is full of vast hiking trails and offers a huge chance to explore the beauty of Ontario.
While people living across the borders might know only of the popular parks like Banff or Jasper. We’re here to tell you that Awenda Provincial Park is no less impressive. Let’s take a look at all the things that make the southern Ontario based park an amazing place to travel.
Awenda Provincial Park: A Trusty, Complete Guide 2020
Geography of the Park
It is a very large area, as you might be able to tell from the size mentioned above. One of the things that set it apart from a lot of other similar locations is the fact that it allows pets to hang out with you at one of the dog-friendly beaches.
So, you can plan a day out with your furry friends without worrying about whether they will be allowed in or not. However, be sure to keep them on a leash so that they don’t go out of control when they see the endless stretch of the sea at the Awenda Provincial Park.
There are as many as 6 different camping grounds in the park. Large groups are welcome to camp here, as the facilities have you covered. 3 group camping sites exist only for camping for large groups of people.
A lot of the camping sites are equipped with an electrical supply so that people can still feel in touch with civilization. You’ll find red oak and sugar maple trees at the campground, which cause the sunlight to only peek through the canopy. This is can be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it.
There are five beaches in the park. As mentioned above, one of them is dog friendly. Most of the others look out to the Georgian Bay.
Roofed Accommodation and Camping Grounds
The Stone Cottage at Awenda Provincial Park sleeps 6 and is perfect for a well-planned family vacation. The hiking trails aren’t very difficult either, so it’s a good idea to spend your summer vacation at the park. The Stone Cottage is always in demand, so you should keep tabs on it during the summer for booking it.
The six different campgrounds at the Awenda Provincial Park (excluding the group campground) are known by six different names of animals. In no particular order, the campgrounds are as follows:
- Snake Campground
- Hawk Campground
- Bear Campground
- Turtle Campground
- Deer Campground
- Wolf Campground
Read more about the different campgrounds and the various experiences of the people who have been there here.
Activities at the Awenda Provincial Park
There is no shortage of cool things to do at Awenda Provincial Park. Let’s take a look at some of the things:
The Awenda Provincial Park boasts of having about 30 kilometers of hiking trails. There are plenty of shorter trails that complement the longer ones. Let’s have a glimpse at 8 of the trails that you’ll come across at the Awenda Provincial Park.
1. Wendat Trail
Among the best trails at the park. The Wendat Trail is a great option for the people who plan to bring their pets to the park for a day out. The trail is about 4.2 kilometers long and offers an elevation of 81 meters. This loop type trail is of moderate difficulty, and even beginners should not have a lot of problems going through it.
2. Awenda Bluff Trail
This is the longest trail at the Awenda Provincial Park. It takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes on an average to hike the entire 11.3 kilometers of the loop trail. Much like the Wendat Trai, dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash.
The other great thing about the Awenda Bluff Trail is the fact that it is a very easy hiking trail. It can easily be someone’s first hiking trail and be a great experience. The trail starts from Kettle Lake and hikers can view wildflower beds while going through the trail.
3. Awenda Beach Trail
This is without a doubt, the best trail for those who love the beach. This 9.3-kilometer-long trail goes out towards and later, along the beach after starting from a central point. Dogs are allowed on this trail, so you can enjoy the beach with your furry best friend.
4. Bluff Trail Loop
Another one of the loop type trails, this is also one of the easy ones. The Bluff Trail Loop matches the Awenda Beach Trail in terms of length but is easier to traverse. If you’re fit enough, then you might want to try jogging through the trail to test your physicality.
5. Brule Trail
Brule Trail is the second-longest trail in Awenda Provincial Park and is 10.2 kilometers long. The trail is also dog-friendly. The trail is of moderate difficulty and offers hikers a chance to view some serene wildflower beds.
6. Champlain Road
The Champlain Road leads to the Wendat Trail. It is 8.2 kilometers long and quite a bit of wildlife for hikers to view. This trail offers an elevation of 188 meters, and it takes about 2 and a half hours to complete the trail on an average.
7. Dunes Trail
As the name suggests, the 4.3-kilometer-long trail takes people to the dunes of the Awenda Provincial Park. The dunes have been around since the last glacial retreat, which was about 11,500 years ago. It is illegal to come in contact with the dunes, due to their fragile nature.
8. Kettle Lake Trail
The last of the prominent trails, this trail merges with the Bluff Trail and Brule Trail at some point. It is also one of the loop trails and is completely inside the land. The hike is good for nature viewing, and simple day camping. The trail is about 7.6 kilometers long and takes about 2 hours to complete on average.
You can rent a bike at the Awenda Provincial Park if you know how to ride one, of course. Biking is allowed on the Bluff Trail, the Brule Trail, and the Beach Trail. Try not to indulge in racing, as it could land you into trouble!
The trail authorities insist that the people who rent bikes only ride them through the places where cycles are permitted to be used. It is also important that cyclists do not harm the environment or bother the pedestrians at the trails.
The Awenda Provincial Park is in touch with the Georgian Bay, and that gives the place the potential to have visitors participate in various water activities. Some of them include:
The boats launch from the nearby town of Penetanguishene. Boating on the Georgian Bay can be a truly wonderful experience but you should be wary of the winds which blow along the bay. This is because the winds are quick to gain speed and might even topple some boats over if they’re feeling mean enough.
Much like the bikes, you can borrow a canoe at Awenda Provincial Park as well. The calm waters of the nearby Kettle’s Lake are well suited for beginners to try their feet out on. Please contact the park to know the exact details of the canoeing facilities they offer. Kettle’s Lake is absolutely motorboat free, which is why it offers a great opportunity for beginners.
There are five different beaches at Awenda Provincial Park. One of which is a dog beach. It is the owner’s responsibility to take care of their pets, and also to clean up after them. People at the beach are required to have a PFD for the people who might need it. You can bring your own, or can borrow one from the park.
The beaches do not have a lifeguard, so be careful when you head out to the seaside.
Between the waters of Awenda Provincial Park and Giant’s Tomb, you’ll come across plenty of chances to land yourself a feisty one. The species of fish that can be found in this stretch include Bass, Northern Pike, pickerel, and smaller panfish.
The bass and panfish can also be found in the waters of the neighboring Kettle’s Lake.
The Awenda Provincial Park has over 120 species of birds. Some of the species sighted include the Hooded Warbler, Canada Warbler, Red-headed Woodpecker, Wood Thrush, Pewee, and Bald Eagle. These birds are all at risk of extinction. The birds are migratory, so there is a chance that a lot of birds that you might come across in one season might not be there in the next one.
The Canadian government does a great job of promoting its tourism. The Awenda Provincial Park has educational/discovery programs held throughout the year for people to enjoy.
On the discovery program, you’ll be guided through the park on hikes, special programs for children, and special evening programs during the months of summer through fall, within the Awenda Provincial Park.
This is also a great opportunity to get to learn about the vast history and biology of the park in detail. Speaking of the history of the park, which is a very long one, read all about it here.
Facilities at the Awenda Provincial Park
- One of the campgrounds at the park is pet-free and radio-free. This campground is known as the Snake Campground.
- People decide to camp in all sorts of things at the Awenda Provincial Park. Some people opt for tents, others opt for car camping.
- Comfort stations are present in all of the park’s campgrounds. These comfort stations are equipped with showers and flush toilets for people to use.
- Picnic shelters are sources of roofed accommodation for the people who come to Awenda Provincial Park for a picnic. These facilities provide a great experience for visitors.
- The park store at the Awenda Provincial Park is a very convenient find for the tourists. It is located just outside beside the Campground Office and is the place to find all your essential supplies.
- Propane cylinders can also be found at the park store.
- Electrical extension cords, personal floatation devices, canoes, and bikes are the things that Awenda Provincial Parklets its visitor’s rent.
- Park officials are constantly on duty throughout the park, watching out for possible threats or emergencies.
Awenda Provincial Park in Summer and Winter
Summer is one of the best times to visit the park. The temperature near Awenda Provincial Park reaches around 25 degrees Celsius (77 F) in the hot weather. You’ll find a lot of people visiting the beaches and sunbathing.
There will be quite a few birds that you can view during the summer at Awenda Provincial Park you might not find during the winter.
Similarly, there will be species that you find in the winter that you won’t find during the hotter months of the year because most of the birds that you find in the area are migratory.
It is safe to say that if you’re looking to Awenda Provincial Park for a hiking experience without much hassle, then be sure to come here during the summer season.
This is because the hiking trails get shrouded in snow during the colder part of the year.
You can visit the park in the winter for a ski or a backcountry hiking experience. Camping is not allowed during the winter due to the possible hazards that might occur.
However, it is really warm and cozy at the Trail Centre. It is a very nice log cabin with an atmosphere which is very welcoming during the colder months. Also, all the trials start at the Trial Centre during the winter.
Another downside to the Awenda Provincial Park during the winter is the fact that pets aren’t allowed, for safety reasons of course. The equipment that was for rent during summer is no longer present during the colder part of the year.
Snowshoeing is pretty popular at the Awenda Provincial Park during the winter. Although there are no specific snowshoe trails for visitors to travel on, the people still try it out just for the fun of it.
The Awenda Provincial park has a lot of competition from nearby parks. Since it’s an establishment in the mid-70s it has come a long way.
Awenda Provincial Park is one of the best tourist attractions in British Columbia. Be sure to check it out if you are ever in the area, you most certainly won’t regret it!