Gone to Awenda, and I’ll be back when I wanna. It’s got a ring to it!
And yes! Awenda is as beautiful as she sounds. From crystal clear water to an abundance of beautiful birds and having one of the best sunsets in the world, this park offers something special for everyone. Whether you are looking to sit back and relax on the beach or endure one of many hiking trails, Awenda Provincial Park is one of my top favorites and this is why.
Heading to another Neck of the Woods from the City of Toronto to the town of Tiny in Penintagushine, I set out on yet another weekend adventure of debauchery and shenanigans and this time with another awesome couple and of course My Hubby!
We arrived after only 2 hours which isn’t bad considering we left on a Friday evening. We arrived pretty late too which I don’t recommend due to the trouble we had setting up our tent after dark. Duh! As soon as we arrived, we hit up the information desk and booked our campsite at #169 DEER which is a radio-free zone and only because the others were filled. This was our second mistake seeing as we travelled with another couple who sometimes get pretty noisy, if you know what I mean. Before we left the information desk, I had to ask if there had been any bear sightings yet this year, and if you follow my posts regularly you would understand why. I was pulled aside by the park rangers who then told me there had been a bear sighting last week on one of the trails we had planned on hiking. No sweat?! YA RIGHT!
Waking up Saturday morning to a gorgeous day was a win and what wouldn’t be more suitable than a day at the beach, so we jumped in our buggy and headed down to the beach parking lot and walked along The Beach Trail which started at beach #1. Awenda is on the northern peninsula of The Georgian Bay and I’ve never quite seen water like this before. So crisp and clean! Beach #3 and #4 are the most popular but in order to get there you must walk past #1 and #2 down The Beach Trail or the shoreline if you choose to catch some sun. Beach #2 is Pet Beach which is a long and luscious stretch of pet friendly shoreline and let me tell you, any dog would feel like a king/queen bathing in these waters.
The most beautiful beach was the fourth, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it as the shore is filled with giant rock boulders and arrays of colourful pebbles which lay beneath the crystal-clear water, and no I am not exaggerating.
The water is magnificently breathtaking and if you find the right spots it makes for great swimming. We choose a spot where we could walk out to the rocks and sunbathe and head back in to the water when it got too hot, and believe me, it did!
Heading back to the car parking lot with no pit stops took us around 30 minutes and I must add that I wouldn’t mind doing that walk again. It’s extremely enjoyable and if you could I would recommend heading down that same trail for sunset, as National Geographic had rated it one of the best in the world.
Who knew that my own backyard could have so much beauty!
History & Wildlife
Turns out Awenda is one of the oldest forests in Ontario and is protected by the city as a Natural Environment Park meaning there isn’t much activities or water sports happening in the day for kids, but if you are into exploring and hiking you will not get bored here. The forest had been logged once before so this is actually second-growth of mostly maple and oak. The glaciers had formed the Kettle Lakes
after the second ice age so there is lots of history at this park and because of this it is known to be a breeding grounds for various types of birds and amphibians. One of the most memorable moments was witnessing a giant owl swoop down from a tree while driving though the campground at night. We must have frightened the poor guy! Along with the owl, we were lucky enough to see many species of birds, salamander, wild turkey and by the end of it we were feeding chipmunks out the palms of our hands.
There is a tremendous amount of wildlife so be sure to bring your camera and even snap a few selfies if you’re into that sort of thing. Something I found extraordinarily nice about this park is the full tree coverage effect which makes waking up in the mornings much more enjoyable. There is nothing worse than waking up to the blistering sun beating into your tent in the AM.
Unfortunately we didn’t witness any deer or bear this camping trip but we did have an enormous racoon that was about the size of a baby deer, visit us every night; so be sure to keep your campsite clean and tidy! We did however see many types of fungi and wild flower on The Wicket Trail, a 7km hike around the Kettle Lake which I do recommend. It’s a bit marshy with many hills so be sure to wear proper hiking shoes and oh yes! Beware of the bear!
Awenda is a huge park and even spending a week here may not be enough, and so I must come back to indulge in all of what she has to offer, next summer. The cleaning stations are fully renovated and always clean which is a huge plus because nothing is worse than camping and not being able to hygenic. The only downfall was that the campground is full of poison ivy so be sure to watch where you step especially on The Beach Trail, parking lots, and campsites.
Until next time…Awenda!