Here’s how to visit Ontario Parks for free this summer

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More than anyone, cottagers understand the importance of connecting with the outdoors. Not only does spending time in nature benefit your physical health, but it has a positive impact on your mental well-being. To encourage this connection, Ontario Parks wants you to take advantage of their Healthy Parks Healthy People campaign by getting free day use on July 21. All operating Ontario Parks will have free admission until 10 p.m., so grab your family and friends, and head to a participating park to celebrate. Plus, many of the parks are running special events for the day—check them out!

Note: additional charges may apply for extra activities like equipment rentals, camping, or entrance to pools.

Ontario Parks Free Day Use Events

Murphys Point Provincial Park 

Grab your running shoes to join a hike on the Silver Queen Mine Trail and explore the historic mica mine from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pre-register by visiting the park’s gatehouse or call 613-267-5060. Leashed pets are welcomed on the hike but not in the mines or buildings. 

Want more? You can also attend an Art in the Park session with Chief Park Naturalist Rache at Murphy’s Point’s main building. Head to the park’s website for more details.

Darlington Provincial Park 

How does starting the day with a mindfulness-focussed guided hike at 10:30 a.m. sound? Or you can unleash your inner artist by participating in a painting program at 1:30 p.m. No registration required.

Bon Echo Provincial Park 

Catch a musical performance by various artists playing at Bon Echo Provincial Park’s main beach from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Plus, you can satisfy your hunger and grab a hotdog or burger from noon to 2 p.m. 

Turkey Point Provincial Park

Visit the Trailhead of Lookout Bluff and chat with a Park Ambassador to learn tips for discovering its incredible views before venturing out on your own hike. You’ll be able to share your wildlife sighting stories with the group and pick up a Discovery book on your way out. 

Pinery Provincial Park 

Get the buzz on the Bumble Bee Community Science Program hosted by experts at Wildlife Preservation Canada. You’ll learn about these essential flyers, participate in hands-on surveying, and discover how to identify pollinators. Register here

Neys Provincial Park

Calling all history buffs for an adventure! Join the Guided Hike: Remnants of the Past to learn about Neys Provincial Park’s important role in the Second World War. Explore Area One and the remains of the POW Camp 100 on an hour-long walk led by a Discovery Program Interpreter, starting at 2:00 p.m.

Blue Lake Provincial Park

Engage your five senses and deepen your connection with nature on the Boulder Ridge Trail at 2:00 p.m. Don’t forget your closed-toe footwear and insect repellent. 

Bronte Creek Provincial Park

Stop, smile and strike a pose! You are formally invited to Bronte Creek’s Red-Carpet Ceremony from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Plus, you can enjoy a picnic, hike a trail, tour the Spruce Lane Farmhouse, or explore the Nature Centre. More details will be released on the park’s Facebook page. 

Sibbald Point Provincial Park 

Bird lovers can unite for an exciting event from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Campground Playground to learn all about migratory patterns, nest protections, and appreciating the songs of our beloved birds.

Driftwood Provincial Park

Discover the natural habitats of Driftwood Provincial Park and learn how to reduce human impact on their homes. 

Rock Point Provincial Park

Stay tuned for a packed day of family-friendly events from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rock Point Provincial Park. Specific details will be released on the park’s website and social media.

Rondeau Provincial Park

Stop by the Visitor Centre at 1:00 p.m. for a Nature Journaling workshop and attend a talk on debunking myths about bats at 9 p.m. 

Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park 

Head over to the Mattawa River Visitor Centre at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to absorb important information on the area’s plants, animals, and cultural history. The Visitor Centre is open every day in July and August from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Killbear Provincial Park 

If you love music, you’ll want to check out Doogie and Dunn Concert featuring Douglas John Cameron and Duncan Fremlin, performing songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Stoming Tom, and many more. 

Long Point Provincial Park 

Boo! Visit the Park Office at Long Point Provincial Park to learn all about the creepy creatures that lurk in our parks at dark. Don’t worry, you won’t encounter any because the event is from noon to 1:00 p.m. 

For a full calendar of events at each park, visit Ontario Parks

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