Awenda Provincial Park

Awenda Provincial Park in Ontario is a hidden gem with breathtaking beaches

Awenda Provincial Park is often touted by staff and visitors as a hidden gem, boasting gorgeous cobble beaches, lush forested trails, and serene campsites for those looking for to escape into nature.

Located just over 2 hours north of Toronto near Midland, the park is perched on the shores of Georgian Bay and spans over 2,900 hectares.

Awenda is open year-round and offers a ton of recreational activities, including biking, swimming, hiking, and camping during the summer months, as well as skiing and snowshoeing on its 17 km of backcountry trails in the winter.

Those coming for the day can set out on a hike on over 31 km of trails which wind through the park. A favourite among hikers is the Beaver Pond Trail, which leads you through a picturesque wetland where you can take in the park's rich biodiversity.

The trail was once part of a flooded area due to a beaver dam, but since has built a boardwalk that crosses the creek — hence its name.

Another popular hike is the Beach Trail, a 4 km linear stretch connecting all four of the park's beaches. You'll be rewarded with stunning views of the bay from the shoreline, including from an accessible viewing platform from which you can spot the remnants of a shipwreck.

The beaches at Awenda extend over 6 km, and the calm waters make them a perfect place for swimming or water activities. Beach 1 is the most popular, with a mix of stones and pebbles overlooking Giants Tomb Island across the water.

If you brought a pet, Beach 2 is the park's only dog-friendly beach and has some facilities like picnic tables and washrooms. Beach 3 is the sandiest beach of the four and can be found in a sheltered bay.

Beach 4, on the other hand, is the farthest away from the parking lots on the western edge of Methodist Point. But if you're looking for the best sunset spot, this is the location you'll want to check out.

Birding is another favourite activity at Awenda, as the park's upland forests are home to over 200 bird species, with plenty of viewing opportunities from the trails, shorelines, bogs, and campgrounds.

To fully immerse yourself in the park's natural surroundings, camping is one of the best ways to do it. Offering 6 shaded campgrounds to choose from, the sites are spaced out further apart than most other provincial parks, so you'll get plenty of privacy.

If you're interested in a stay with some added comforts, there's also one fully furnished refurbished cottage that sleeps 6 you can book.

To visit, you'll require a day-use permit, which costs $18 per vehicle. You can book this online along with your camping reservation if you wish to stay overnight.

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Awenda Provincial Park

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