Bonnechere Provincial Park

We just got back from spending a few days in Bonnechere Provincial Park.  It was my first time there and it definitely won’t be my last.

The park is located along the Bonnechere River and the sandy shorelines of Round Lake.  We stayed at the Fallen Tree Cabin which has waterfront access to the Bonnechere.  It was nice to have a roof over our head due to the rain, heat for our daughter due to the cool nights, and a canoe for convenience.  This rustic cabin had everything we needed including firewood, a BBQ, and a refrigerator.  It was a nice little home away from home.

11053714_777174745004_5691095498169325620_o

11872109_777175777934_1768779826615086268_o

11947908_777174809874_4470639546341391428_o

11885115_777174839814_7823574053382907198_o

11012140_777174864764_458268591092747037_o

11896336_777174919654_8138907576241250316_o

11947700_777174929634_4452893194251114214_o

11952856_777174979534_383057174990023970_o

There is a lot to do in and around the park.  We took Lux on her first canoe ride down the Bonnechere River and she seemed to like it.  She was happiest at the front of the canoe where she could see everything ahead of her.

11898937_777180972524_7091993932570445102_n

After our canoe ride it was nap time but we still wanted to explore the park some more so we put her in her OnyaBaby Carrier and let her sleep while we hiked along the McNaughton FIT trail which is a shaded 2km pathway that follows the shores of the Bonnechere River where it flows into Round Lake.  I’m really excited to take Lux back here when she is a bit older because this hike is a great educational experience.  There are posts along the trail that act like a “museum on a stick” where you can learn about the natural and cultural heritage of the Bonnechere River.

11219449_777175453584_6144281339036724192_o

11882808_777175538414_219431804491015948_o

11895273_777175368754_8057654490333013293_o

11884732_777175303884_1669472064781568849_o

Hiking can make you work up an appetite and there’s nothing better than cooking over an open flame.  We had a nice supper followed by a delicious desert… S’MORES!  This was our daughters first bonfire and the look on her face when she first saw the flames was priceless.

11864848_777177699084_4374356010329457706_o

11168957_777177798884_8836859934564970519_o

The next day we woke up and went for a morning canoe ride followed by another hike.  This time we chose a hike that we had to drive a little bit to get to.  We had researched different trail options before coming to the park and narrowed it down to a few that we wanted to do.  We really like hikes with a lookout so when we saw the Whispering Winds Lookout Trail, we knew we had to hike it.  The trailhead can easily be missed as the sign is small and there isn’t a big parking lot like most of the other park hikes but it was actually kind of nice because it means it wasn’t overly busy.  We actually had the trail and lookout all to ourselves!  It was a short hike (took about 10 minutes to get to the top) with a beautiful view.  This would be a beautiful hike to do in the fall.

11895273_777178193094_6678390745936361379_o

11953410_777178262954_2438818182860119555_o

11899770_777178956564_8071784887800214960_n

11885672_777178552374_7974022576806413183_o

There is nothing better than jumping into the water after a good hike and Bonnechere Parks has the nicest beach.  It is well maintained and the water is beautiful.  You can walk out very far before the water goes over your head.  It is the perfect spot to swim with children.  We took Lux for a swim of course, she’s a water baby.  I could spend hours, days, maybe even weeks at this beach… I love it.

11951186_777181007454_1016902242969485682_n

11960021_777181202064_5390227006243663359_n

Another one of the draws for this park is it’s wildlife.  There is a ton of it.  Especially along the Bonnechere River.  During our canoe rides and while just sitting on our dock we spotted turtles, ducks, a beaver, fish, and some really interesting insects.  We enjoyed trying to photograph them (the turtles spook very easily and the ducks will come right up to you).

11240479_777179270934_568879888489333223_o

11958210_777179231014_1718843859551052645_o

11884969_777179111254_6084632968683640971_o

11951578_777175837814_4921295776991722837_o

11951574_777175957574_3612606072844293353_o

11892293_777176007474_6305150832681619055_o

11264977_777177254974_3510131170081620945_o

11885686_777175159174_6456149337803799627_o

One of my favourite parts about this park, aside from the beach, the river, the lake, and the hiking is…

The Library Lending Tree aka Bonnechere Book Tree

It is made from the trunk of a massive white pine, estimated to be about a century old.  It is located at the entrance to the Davenport Centre, overlooking the beach on Round Lake.  A perfect spot to read a book or two.  We read a lot of books to our daughter so we thought this was a really great idea.  We knew about the tree before going to the park so we brought along a couple children’s books to donate to the tree.  Reading is so important and I am really happy that Bonnechere Parks promotes reading in such a unique way.

11890374_777176037414_1515780946013749683_o

11875001_777176167154_5029718538996858841_o

We really enjoyed our stay at Bonnechere Park and are looking forward to taking our daughter there again next summer.  I have a feeling this park is going to be a yearly tradition for us.  Just like purchasing an Ontario Parks stuffy because it’s a great way to help support the parks!  Her first Ontario Parks stuffy is a turtle because that’s what we felt suited Bonnechere Provincial Park the best.

11958249_777177843794_3722932206779859511_o

“If you instill in your child a love of the outdoors and an appreciation of nature, you will have given him/her a treasure no one can take away”  – Ted Trueblood