All the seasons are pleasant in Woodstock, but the summer is extra special. There are so many ways to get outside, get some exercise and fresh air, and engage with the community. Of all the things to do in Woodstock during the summer, you'll want to include plans to spend time on the many trails or in one of the area parks. Whether you are looking for a picnic spot or a rugged Woodstock hiking trail to challenge you, you have an abundance of choices. Here are the top 5 parks and trails to visit this summer.
One of the most popular parks in the Woodstock area is Southside Park, located on Wellington Street. This lovely park spans 60 acres, offering lots of green space, tranquil spots and recreational facilities.
This park is great year-round, but it really comes alive in the summertime. Park facilities and features include a skate park, gazebo, concession stands, ball diamonds, picnic areas, change rooms/washrooms facilities and a beach volleyball area.
What really sets Southside Park apart is the large pond and dam. It is home to lots of local wildlife. Some of the best dog walking and Woodstock hiking trails meander around this park, with plenty of shady spots to sit and picnic, read a book or spend time with family and friends. A number of special events take place in Southside Park, and you can rent facilities (like the gazebo) for private events.
Pittock Conservation Area
As far as parks in Woodstock go, the Pittock Conservation Area is a real gem. You don’t have to travel very far to get an excellent camping experience, complete with hiking, boating, biking, birdwatching and leafy, private campsites. You’ve got it all at the Pittock Conservation Area. There are serviced sites and backcountry sites available as well for a more immersive camping experience.
Some of the best hiking trails in Woodstock can be found here. If camping overnight isn’t your thing, it is a great place to come for the day with the family. There is great swimming, boating and fishing. You can even rent canoes or kayaks to paddle around Pittock Lake.
Located on the south side of Pittock Lake is Roth Park, near the Pittock Conservation Area. If you are interested in Woodstock hiking trails, Roth Park is a must for you this summer. There is plenty of parking and washrooms are open seasonally, as well as picnic tables where you can gather with friends or family after your hike to enjoy a meal or snacks together. This hiking/walking/biking trail is particularly scenic as it winds around the lake. It is relatively flat, but does have some moderate inclines and is about 6.75 km long.
Millennium Trail System
The Millennium Trail System is a network of trails that follow along the banks of the Thames Rivers. Hikers, bikers and walkers will enjoy the peaceful surroundings, including hardwood and softwood mixed forest and marshland. Berries and pretty flowers dot the trails. It’s not uncommon to see deer, beavers, colourful birds and other wildlife along these Woodstock hiking trails.
The trail system is comprised of three trails: Rotary, Lion and Youth Start. These trails are not connected but are near each other. For these and all other Woodstock hiking trails, there are some basic rules to follow, like dogs must be leashed; you cannot ride a horse or a motor vehicle, and trails are off limits between dusk and dawn.
For those seeking a more challenging experience for hiking or biking, the Pines Trails are right up your alley. There are different trails, each marked for their level of difficulty, ranging in length from 10km to 13km.
This Woodstock hiking trail is quite beautiful and peaceful as it winds its way through pine forests, hence the name.
This trail system is actually owned by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority and leased by the Woodstock Cycling Club (W.C.C.) who are responsible for maintaining the trails. In order to ride the Pines, you need to be a member of the cycling club, or you can purchase a day pass for $10.
It is a well-known fact that access to green space enhances mental and physical health, because of exercise and the ability to destress while in touch with nature. Did you know that there are 30kms of Woodstock hiking trails? Enjoy your summer in hiking, biking and enjoying the parks in Woodstock.