• Menu
  • Menu
Spring Ontario ParksSpring Ontario Parks
Ric McArthur/Flickr

Ontario Parks Spring Activities

The Ontario provincial parks are vibrant and stunning around springtime. There are wildflowers in bloom, rare butterflies fluttering and flocks of migratory birds making the parks their home. Enjoy all of these delights at the many parks in Ontario. The following are five parks that are a must visit during the season, though several other Ontario parks can prove to be delightful too!

Algonquin Provincial Park

Moose

Algonquin Provincial Park is lovely for all seasons, but it’s especially picturesque in the spring. Enjoy a day of observing birds or spotting moose on Highway 60. Algonquin has a wide variety of flora and fauna that is in full bloom around this time of the year.

When to Go and What to Do

The park is operational through most of the year for overnight camps, backcountry camping, and day use. Campgrounds like Achray and Brent typically open in late April as spring comes to Algonquin later than most other parks, owing to its higher elevation. You can enjoy the crisp spring air watching rare birds (spring arrivals and migrants) in Algonquin’s precious forest. Over 260 birds have been recorded to nest at the park through the year. You can also enjoy a day of fishing in one of the many lakes in the park. Spring is a great time to catch fresh Trout for the frying pan.

Algonquin Park also has some of the best opportunities to spot moose. The season is a favorite time to see moose on the side of the road.

Moose that don’t get enough salt in their winter diets are attracted to the salt left behind after the snow melts away from the roads. They come out to make use of this unnatural source of salt. There are chances you will see herds of moose at once. Be sure to observe from a distance and with respect, though. Be on alert while driving as moose may often be crossing roads and are surprisingly hard to see.

Fees

The day use permit for the park is $17.oo. The cost of most spring activities in the park is included in your daily use permit unless you’re participating in special park workshops or events.


Presqu’ile Provincial Park

Red Trillium

The Presqu’ile Provincial Park also doubles up as a bird sanctuary, given that it has such a vibrant variety of bird species. It’s a migration hub in the spring and has a record number of sightings of waterfowls in March and warblers and shorebirds in May. Enjoy a day of fresh air and birding at Presqu’ile!

When to Go and What to Do

Presqu’ile is open for day use from January to December, and for camping and overnight use from April to October. The Victoria Day weekend hosts the Warblers and Whimbrels Weekend. There are guided walks to observe and identify migratory birds. There are also evening programs that introduce the audience to facts and trivia about the whimbrels and the vibrant warblers that often pass through the park at this time of the year. Don’t be surprised if you get to see over 100 different species of birds on a typical birding weekend.

You can also enjoy a walk through the Lighthouse Foot Path, a 20-minute trek which connects the Lighthouse Interpretive Centre with the lighthouse. The lighthouse offers spectacular views of Lake Ontario and Presqu’ile Bay and the waterfowls that come near the water bodies in the springtime. The Lighthouse Interpretive Centre is open on weekends in the spring and fall. The lighthouse is the second oldest operating one in Ontario.

Fees

The daily use permit is $11.25 minimum. You can also enjoy spring nights in the park by booking campgrounds or roofed accommodation. The charges are separate for those. There are over 300 car-camping sites that you can make use of throughout the park.


Bronte Creek Provincial Park

Bronte Creek through Lowville Park

The Bronte Creek Provincial Park offers many experiences that you can enjoy as a family. There are campgrounds you can rent, recreational vehicles or other roofed accommodation through the year. Enjoy the beauty of nature in great hiking trails and perhaps even take a dip in the 1.8-acre outdoor pool!

When to Go and What to Do

Spring is a great time to enjoy Bronte Creek. Several migratory birds are popular in the park through the season. The park is known to be home to over 190 species of birds. But one of the best spring experiences is the Trillium Trail, a kilometer-long trail to see breathtaking wildflowers and admire the gorgeous valley floor. Trillium, the provincial flower, is in full bloom during the season and the trail is the best way to enjoy them. The great thing is that the path is wheelchair and stroller friendly so that everyone can enjoy this experience.

The Spruce Lane farmhouse also has some exciting activities for both children and adults. Enjoy some tea and cake in the Victorian way to celebrate Victoria Day. You can learn how to make proper Victorian tea and learn more about the history of Victorian traditions. It’s a unique living history museum. There are also unique quilts, crafts, and woodwork available for sale. The activities will be guaranteed to keep the children engaged with live farm animals scurrying about for the children to play with and learn.

Fees

The daily vehicle permit costs $17.00. It includes a one-day trip and is charged per vehicle. There is no per person charge, and you may also walk or bike into the park for free. The fee covers all day-use areas (except for the pool). You can also use the campgrounds until 10:00 pm. The pool charges are $3.75 for ages 18+; $2.75 for ages 4-17 and free for children aged three and under. There are no additional charges for the animal barn. It is included in your daily permit.


Bon Echo Provincial Park

Blue Jay

The Bon Echo Provincial Park houses a part of the Mazinaw Lake, which is the seventh deepest lake in Ontario, making it one of the highlights of the park. There are activities you can enjoy around the lake through the year, but spring is a beautiful time to spend a day on or by the lake.

When to Go and What to Do

Bon Echo is open from mid-May to mid-October though the dates are subject to change depending on weather conditions. An excellent springtime activity is to take the interpretive boat tour of the Mazinaw Lake, which last up to 45-minutes.

You can also hike up to the Mazinaw Rock, a formidable granite cliff that rises 100 meters above the water and houses old cedars and several at-risk species of fauna. The hike is accessible through the Cliff Top Trail, the only approach to which is through the water. A ferry can take you till the start of the trail from where you can make your way up to finish the 1-hour long hike. Three observations decks offer gorgeous sights of the lake. Make sure to visit the collection of 260 pictographs, painted using red ochre by Algonkian-speaking peoples, which date back between 100 to 3,000 years.

Fees

The daily use vehicle permit is $11.25/day/vehicle minimum. There is no charge for people walking or cycling into the park premises. If you want to use the ferry to the Cliff Top Trail, it will set you back $5 plus HST for passengers two years or older. Infants below the age of two can get onboard free of cost but still need a ticket.


Killarney Provincial Park

Fungi - DSCN0324 ep

Killarney Provincial Park is a unique 250-square-mile expanse which houses the splendid Georgian Bay Coast of pink granite, the white quartzite ridges of the La Cloche Mountains and over 50 lakes set among the Jack Pine Hills. The park is a great way to enjoy all the seasons!

When to Go and What to Do

The park is typically open for day use and overnight camping through the year, unless the weather conditions don’t permit. Each spring, the park conducts a loon count. It’s a great way to not only spot loons in the park and help survey their population but also to spot and identify other bird species that often migrate to the park during spring.

If you want to get dirty and do your bit to give back to your community, you can participate in the annual spring cleanup weekend at the park and help ready it for the summer. You can help clean and rake roads, plant more trees, build boardwalks, etc. as part of the cleanup. It’s a great way to spend some time in the outdoors and also give back to the community.

Fees

The daily use vehicle permit is $14.50. This includes fees for parking at designated spots and multiple entries within the same day. There are also several campsites, yurts and roofed accommodations you can book through the year for varied prices.


Final Thoughts

Spring is an amazing time of year to enjoy in Ontario. The parks are full of activities and events that you can enjoy. Even if you want to discover things on your own, you can pack a picnic and take off on a trail to admire the beauty of the season. Be sure to pack and dress smartly. The weather in the onset of spring can still be somewhat chilly, so be ready in case of a sudden frost!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *