Darlington Provincial Park

Darlington Provincial Park near Toronto has a golden sand beach perfect for swimming

Darlington Provincial Park near Toronto is a lesser-known hidden gem, boasting an expansive sandy beach that's perfect for swimming during the sweltering summer months.

Just 45 minutes east of Toronto, you'll find Darlington perched on the shores of Lake Ontario right near Clarington in Durham Region.

The park is open year-round for day use, and camping is permitted from May through October. With its close proximity to Toronto, it's great for a quick getaway or daytrip to the beach.

Besides the fab beach and camping options, the park is also popular for fishing, boating, birdwatching, and hiking, with a number of nature trails to explore.

One of these is the Darlington Provincial Park Loop, a 5.5-km trail that circles the park's campgrounds, and offers beautiful views of McLaughlin Bay. The Darlington Beach trail, on the other hand, is a 3.5-km out-and-back trail which leads to the beach.

For history buffs, you'll also find a small pioneer cemetery and log cabin from the early days of European settlements within the park.

And make sure to pack a lunch, as there are a number of picnic areas at Darlington where you can relax and enjoy the view.

The water at the beach is currently safe for swimming, but it's always a good idea to check the water quality status prior to going.

A day use permit is needed to enter Darlington Provincial Park, which starts at $12.25 per vehicle. You can reserve your pass in advance online, which is recommended (especially for weekend visits).

Lead photo by

Ontario Parks

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