Monday, June 24, 2013

Pinehurst - Ayr

Having fun at the beach at Pinehurt Lake.
Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area is a conservation area that is part of the Grand River Conservation Authority that operates several parks in and around the Kitchener-Waterloo area in Southern Ontario.  It is 9 hectares (23 football fields) so not huge by any means but the park is surrounded by more green space so it has more than the 23 official acres to explore.  It has a great beach for kids which is sandy and shallow entry.  The water is warm, at least by Ontario standards and it stays pretty shallow for a fair distance. 
If you get there early in the morning the beach is empty.

They also have peddle boats and canoes that you can rent and a life jacket loaner program too. They do not allow motorized boats which is good for swimmers!
Waiting for their peddler. 
The campsites are pretty standard.  They have electrical sites and there are water taps ever few sites.  There are showers in the park but they could do with a few more bathrooms.  Other than that they are about what you would expect.
Ice cream at the store just outside the park.  They do have a non dairy option!

Not officially in the park but close enough to walk is a store that sells the stuff you probably forgot, along with ice cream for pretty reasonable prices. 

Going for a hike in the woods. 

There are a few hiking and biking trails within the park and two larger hiking trails, the Cambridge to Paris trail and the Paris to Brantford trail,  a short distance away so you can use the campground as a base for longer hikes if you like.
If there is a bug or slimy creature to be found, my daughter will find it and try to keep it as a pet.  One of the many interesting caterpillars we found on our hike. 
The hiking trails in the park are probably long enough for kids though.  You aren't likely to come across a moose or any other exciting big game but there are lots of birds and insects and plants to look at.  
Relaxing after a long day of frolicking.
Pinehurst Lake is only about a half an hour from Kitchener, an hour from Hamilton and 90 minutes from Toronto.  It is a great place to hang out for a day with the kids.  If you haven't tried camping with kids yet and live in the area, it might be a good place to start since it isn't too far from home if the kids really can't stand it!  Better find out your kid is terrified of sleeping outdoors an hour from home than six hours from home!  
Pinehurst is about a 20 minute drive from African Lion Safari so you could combine a trip to Pinehurst with a trip to African Lion Safari without too much trouble.  

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