The “Greater Barrie Area” is full of hard and soft wood forests, meadows, and marshes to explore. Below is a list of a few which you should definitely check out this summer if you find yourself north of Toronto.
One of the best times to go hiking here is during the spring when all the Ontario trilliums are in bloom. It isn’t uncommon to see white, red, and pink trilliums in this area. This 4,400 acre forest has enough trails to keep you occupied for a few days. One caution is that while most of the trails are marked, some are not so it is best to bring someone along who know the area or print of the map from their website.
Forest Behind Simcoe County School Buildings
This is a great place to bring the dog for an off the leash walk through the trails. With a river and pond located within the forest it’s perfect for a warm summer’s day. It’s advised to go earlier in the day if going hiking since after 5 pm mountain bikers like to come and ride these rolling trails. If you do bring your dog, don’t forget to bring some fuel you can both enjoy.
Less of a hiking trail and more of a great place to go for a walk at night or during the day. This well travelled path has a pleather of ice cream stands, frozen yoghurt shops and puppies to keep anyone happy. Also located right along the water, making it a great place to pack a bathing suit and take a swim. With around 6.7 kilometers of paved path it makes for the perfect distance to take a leisurely stroll with friends and family.
Bass Lake Sideroad Simcoe County Forest
The newly made trails makes this location one of the least know trails in the area. It has many kilometers of trails to hike, bike, and run on. One of the best things about this trail is the relative quietness compared to other locations. This location of the Simcoe County forest also links up with other trails which makes it easy to navigate around and find unique paths. Just make sure you prep for your run the right way.
This is a network of trails which spans from Port Hope to Lake Ontario with trails which wind through Sugarbush, Midhurst, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, and Orillia. With hiking trails labeled on their website from easy to difficult, it isn’t hard to pick the perfect trail for your experience level. The volunteers who help maintain the trails also often get together to go on group hikes throughout the 500 kms of maintained trails. With many access points this trail it’s perfect for wherever you are located within the GBA.
This gravel trail stretches from Barrie to Orillia and is around 35 kilometres long. It is perfect for running due to its flat landscape. It is also the perfect place to ride you cyclocross or hybrid bike on its straight gravel sections. Be sure to pack lots of water on a warm day as for most of the trail is not shaded.
Located in between Barrie and Angus and has 17 kilometres of maintained trails. This is the only location that charges an admission since it is a conservation area but $6.50 per vehicle to get in is well worth it. This area has a mixture of meadows, wetlands, forests and ancient lake beds that allow for the terrain to be ever changing and very picturesque landscapes.