It is the last days of summer and I decided to make the most of it before I head back to graduate school next week and full time work. Getting out of the city is always on my mind. If you don’t have a car and want to leave the driving to someone else after a busy week – Parkbus can help!
With that goal in mind, I chose the Killbear Provincial Park with Active Days and Parkbus (https://activedays.parkbus.ca/) trip. Active Days encourages folks to try something new, expand their comfort zone and/or engage in something they already love. I went for it and joined their group hike to Killbear Provincial Park!
I met the Active Days crew at 34 Asquith in Toronto which is located about 100 meters from Bloor-Yonge subway entrance (Yonge Street Entrance). They will drop you off at the same location. The group of hikers were a nice mix of young and old. Experienced and not so experienced hikers. There were even some wonderful newcomers to Canada who were willing to explore Killbear with the locals.
We were on our way by 7:30 a.m. heading towards Killbear Provincial Park. Killbear Provincial Park is located on Georgian Bay in the Parry Sound District of Ontario, near the town of Nobel. Killbear combines sandy beaches typical of the Great Lakes with the rock ridges and pines of the Canadian Shield.
The park is ecologically significant for its large and varied types of shoreline. As water levels in the Great Lakes fluctuate over a time span of decades, different wetland, meadow and shoreline vegetation types were created.
After picking up some passengers at the Major Mackenzie and Hwy 400 Park and Ride we were on our way to our first pit stop, the Honey Harbour General Store for snacks and a bathroom break. I made sure I packed a lot of snacks for my trip, a book, bananas, good hiking boots, a light day pack, a baseball hat, water and bug repellant.
When we arrived at Killbear Provincial Park, we dropped off some passengers at the Visitors Centre. I nipped out and visited the Nature Shoppe to grab a Ontario Parks Crest. As part of Ontario Parks OP125 celebrations last year, they designed a set of 84 park crests for their parks (http://www.ontarioparks.com/parksblog/park-crests/#more-26003). Each crest has its own design, reflecting the park’s identity. I grabbed the Killbear Provincial Park crest.
When we arrived at the drop off to start hiking we were ready! The hike took place on the traditional territories of the Ojibway and specifically the Wasauksen First Nation. The terrain was easy to hike and we were able to cover a lot of ground very quickly. The Lookout Point Trail was a nice trail to get warmed up with. Our guides Marlon and Caitlin made sure they chatted us up and took care of us on the hike.
The neat thing about Active Day hikes is you can be social if you want or not. I like to be a bit of both. I naturally gravitate to people who are in tough careers and need a break outside of the city. As we chat, we share similar narratives and hiking helps in soothing out our stress.
A hot tip, be sure to check out “Sunset Rocks”, “The Tree” and “Harold Point Rocks”. They provide wonderful views for Instagram pictures as well as some light up hill hiking. You can even get pretty close to the water for a swim or a dive.
There was a cautionary sign when we entered the park that there was an active bear on the grounds and to avoid eating and dropping food in the parks. We luckily didn’t run into the black bear. 🙂
In terms of food options there isn’t a lot to buy on the grounds. My suggestion is to pack a few sandwiches for your trip. You can fill up your water on the grounds from a few drinking water pumping stations.
After a long day of hiking, sitting on the beach, climbing rocks, watching waves, feeling the sun on our skin and enjoying good company, we were on our way back to Toronto. We had a great time saying goodbye to summer with Active Days and Parkbus. They are a few hikes still available going into the Fall. Be sure to check them out.
A heartfelt thank you to Parkbus, they are gifting my readers with a 5% discount using the referral code, 1039euiwod. Tell them I sent you and have fun! @ParksCanada @Parkbus @mec @environmentca @OntarioParks @TourismeOntario #OurNature #goodtimesoutside #parkbusgotmehere @ @KillbearPP @ontarioparksNE
Have fun! Looking forward to my next trip with Parkbus!