By Jenn Schleich
Hiking with children can be a pleasure, with some preparation and luck. A smooth experience means ensuring the park you choose meets the needs of your children’s age and skill levels.
Killbear Provincial Park near Parry Sound, which is known for its Georgian Bay beaches, windswept campgrounds, and low mosquito population, has a few quiet trails. There are four main trails, but the Twin Points Trail (1.6 km loop), the Lighthouse Point Trail (800 m loop) and the Lookout Point Trail (3.5 km loop) provide the most breathtaking experience and all three are surprisingly easy to navigate with children in tow.
At Twin Points Trail the smooth pink granite of the Canadian Shield is exposed in large swaths. Markers along the trail share interesting tidbits about the visible geological features. The trail winds through a sparse pine forest and emerges onto the shore, where hikers can be spotted taking breaks to sunbathe on the smooth warm stone and dangle their toes in the lake. The crystal clear water here beckons swimmers, but the stone shore makes for a slippery entrance and exit.
Lighthouse Point Trail is located at the south-eastern tip and loops around a small peninsula. The west side offers rocky platforms, panoramic views and a quaint red and white signal light at the tip. The eastern side of the trail is forested with off-shooting paths to small sandy beaches along the way.
Lookout Point Trail takes hikers through a forest where signs of past fire and regrowth are evident. Small plaques along the route offer insight into the ecology of the park for little burgeoning scientists…