Summer is officially here! Under normal circumstances, that means it’s time for vacations and family parties. Unfortunately, Ontario is still in a precarious situation thanks to COVID-19. Even as we see more vaccines administered and our cases continue to dip, now isn’t the time to drop our guard. Thankfully, there’s still a ton of fun outdoor activities you can do in Barrie this season!

Even if you were hoping to do other things this summer, this city is still full of options for those who want to have at least some kind of plans. At the time of writing, all of the following outdoor activities are open for you to enjoy this season. Still, be sure to double check relevant websites for COVID-19 guidelines and potential closures, and please follow all protocols! Hopefully this will be our last pandemic summer, but we can still make the most of it!

Adventures by the water

First, summertime is the perfect chance to enjoy the water, so of course, we have some waterfront activities for you. Thankfully, the water options in Barrie this season are plentiful. If you’re active and into sports, this is the best time to take advantage of activities such as kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. Since these aren’t options during any other season, you may as well enjoy them this summer!

One well-known business that allows you to take advantage of these activities is Happy Paddling on Centennial Beach. You can rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards from them to take out and explore the water. If you’re not experienced or comfortable going out on your own, you can also take kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding lessons through Happy Paddling. As their website says, be sure to book ahead and arrive early!

Biking trails

There’s tons of biking trails and paths for you to enjoy in Barrie this season. Biking is a perfect summertime activity, when the weather is nice and there’s plenty of scenery to enjoy. Barrie’s waterfront trail on Kempenfelt Bay is largely considered to have the best biking options within the city. All of Barrie’s lakefront parks provide access to this flat paved trail, which is just under seven kilometres long. This makes it a perfect biking experience for adults and kids!

You can also venture just outside of Barrie for some unique biking experiences. The Oro Medonte Rail Trail follows an abandoned CN rail line, for example, which gives bikers an interesting ride. Copeland Forest Trails have beautiful forested paths in a car-free zone, with easy parking and picnic spots to enjoy. Finally, Horseshoe Resort has lots of different bike trails for all abilities and biking preferences. 

Walking trails

Barrie has some of central Ontario’s best hiking and walking trails for you to enjoy this summer. Since there are endless options for walking around Barrie this season, here are a few highlights recommended by Tourism Barrie that you should check out.

Sunnidale Park is a 48.5 acre park that hosts a community center, playground, and the Barrie Arboretum. This makes it a spectacular location for walking and hiking, with several options based on your preferences. 

Ardagh Bluffs is a gigantic, 524 acre zone that includes 17 kilometers of walking trails in an Environmentally Protected zone. There are no cars permitted in this area, which makes it a quiet and safe space for walkers to enjoy.

Nine Mile Portage Heritage Trail runs from Memorial Square in Barrie to Fort Willow Heritage Site in Springwater. It has both steep routes and simple flat walks, so you can head out on this adventure with any skill level.

You can find more information about all these locations here!

Time to relax!

Is there anything better than sitting back and relaxing on a hot summer day? This summer, pack a picnic for you and your family and head to any park or waterfront area to enjoy the day. Again, the waterfront is at its best during this season, so don’t miss out on it. You can also head to a beach if you want to feel like you’re on vacation somewhere far away. Centennial Park & Beach is a popular option because of its walkable distance from downtown Barrie. It also has sandy shores and amenities such as a playground and beach volleyball courts. Johnson’s Beach is another great destination. It’s near the North Shore Trail, which gives visitors the opportunity to hike and explore.

Outdoor adventures

Finally, there’s tons of outdoor adventures for families and friends to enjoy in Barrie this season. A couple of the most exciting options are horseback riding, and making your way through a forested adventure/obstacle course. Glen Oro Farm offers guided horseback riding tours, where you can travel through fields and forests in small groups. The riding group size maxes out at six people, which is great if you’re a new rider or want a private experience with friends and family. Treetop Trekking, just outside Barrie, has outdoor adventure courses and ziplines in the forest for a cool nature experience. Visitors can travel over suspended bridges and swinging logs as they navigate this exciting location. 

Even if this summer doesn’t turn out to be what you had in mind or hoped for, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to enjoy it. Staying outside with friends and family is one of the best ways to stay active, social, and safe as we begin to emerge from this pandemic.

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