One of the biggest perks when moving from the GTA in particular are the amazing parks in Barrie and the plethora of recreational opportunities. Barrie has an abundant amount of greenspace, ranging from the expansive waterfront (link to waterfront page) to dense, forested hiking trails. One of our absolute favourites is Ardagh Bluffs! This 518 acre natural area is right in town, which means that it is accessible by foot from so many great neighbourhoods in the South West of Barrie. This is a great multi-season park that provides great opportunities for hiking, biking, bird watching, geocaching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and tobogganing. For those looking to venture outside of town for a good hike, Barrie’s surrounding areas provide some amazing trails.
There are many groomed parks in Barrie as well that provide sports fields and playgrounds. Over the last few years, the city has invested in improving community parks with many sites receiving completely new and creative play structures. Sunnidale Park in Barrie’s North end provides kids with a fire safety themed playground, complete with a zip line, while Lampman Lane Park was recently renovated to include a splash pad, new playground equipment, a skatepark and a basketball court.
Throughout the city, local Community Centres provide swimming pools, gymnasiums, workout facilities and arenas. Seasonally, the City of Barrie publishes a recreation guide with opportunities for family members of all ages to sign up for classes, including activities such as swimming, baby massage, woodworking and more! Throughout the city, you can also find 6 city-maintained outdoor rinks, as well as a number of volunteer-maintained ice rinks.
If winter recreation is your thing, Barrie is your place! We know how to do winter (which I’m sure you’ve heard). Just minutes from Barrie you’ll find Snow Valley and Horseshoe Resort, both providing downhill ski and snowboarding experiences (Snow Valley also offers snow tubing). If you are looking to venture a little further, you will find more downhill adventures at Mount St. Louis Moonstone, which prides itself on it’s freestyle terrain parks. Snowshoers and cross-country skiers in the area flock to Hardwood Ski & Bike in Oro-Medonte which offers 40 kilometres of groomed trails for outdoor fun.
The parks in Barrie aren’t just limited to the two legged members of your family! There are some great opportunities to take your fur babies on an adventure of their own at the designated Dog Off-Leash Recreation Areas (DOLRA). Sunnidale DOLRA provides over 7 acres of wooded trail area for you and your pup to wander through, while Barrie Molson Centre DOLRA provides two separate fenced off areas (one specifically for small dogs) and a natural area for hiking through. Beyond Barrie, dog owners will find off-leash areas in Bradford, Innisfil, Midland, Orillia, Penetanguishene and Wasaga Beach.