Parks Open

Photos and Story by Carly Freeman 

This weekend, Canadians from coast to coast will be celebrating the unofficial start to summer. For many, the Victoria Day long weekend marks the end of winter’s bitter grasp and holds the promise of sunshine and warmth. Certainly something to be celebrated!

For those who love to leave their busy schedules at home and escape into the calm of nature from time to time, this weekend is extra exciting, as it also marks the opening weekend for our local Ontario Parks. Both Silent Lake Provincial Park and Lake St. Peter Provincial Park have unlocked their gates and are welcoming visitors for the season!

With 335 Provincial Parks in Ontario, it never ceases to amaze just how unique each individual park is.  Only a mere 63kms apart, however similar the landscape may be between Silent Lake and Lake St. Peter, each park boasts its own character and experience. We’ll let you decide for yourself which park’s offerings are best suited to you and your adventure desires.


  1. Silent Lake Provincial Park: with trails ranging from 1.5km, 3km and 15km there is a perfect hike for all experience levels.
  2. Lake St. Peter Provincial Park: crossing rugged terrain and heading uphill, these trails are both challenging and rewarding. The spectacular lookout view is well worth the effort!


  1. Silent Lake Provincial Park: this park is named Silent Lake for a reason; it’s a motor-free lake. This makes for a truly quiet and relaxing paddle. Rent a canoe or kayak on site and spend the day exploring the pristine waters. Depending on water levels, adjoining Quiet Lake and Soft Lake can sometimes be accessed via a short portage.
  2. Lake St. Peter Provincial Park: with a boat launch at the eastern edge of the property, park visitors can launch their boats and spend the day tubing, water skiing or fishing. Canoe and kayak rentals are also available for rent if you are interested in enjoying a slower pace.


  1. Silent Lake Provincial Park: in addition to traditional campsites, Silent Lake PP offers waterfront walk-in sites perfect for campers looking for a more wilderness experience. They also have cabins and yurts for those who are interested in a bit more luxury or travelling with larger groups.
  2. Lake St. Peter Provincial Park: a favourite with RVers, this park boasts sixty-five spacious sites sheltered by mixed forest, many of which will accommodate large trailers. Not to mention, just a short walk down the road you can cool down with ice cream from the Scooped Moose at West Pines. Bonus! 

Now that you have all the facts, and with summer on the doorstep beckoning you outside, which Hastings County Provincial Park are you ready to explore?

Please remember to celebrate safely, only leave footprints when in nature and respect the fire bans in place.  Happy Wandering!