As a Queen’s University student, Kingston resident, and avid runner for the past 10 years, I’ve spent a good deal of time acquainting myself with local trails, paths, and walkways. After a long winter, I’m always excited to go off-roading as soon as the snow melts. To help get you out and enjoying the warm weather, I compiled a list of my five favourite places to get active in Kingston and the surrounding area:
The trails at Lemoine Point cover a range of scenery, from the waterfront in Collins Bay through the forest and around the grasslands next to the Kingston airport. Trails range from wide, level gravel paths to winding dirt tracks lined with tree roots. Accessible washrooms are located at each end of the conservation area, near the north and south parking lots, and benches have been installed at varying intervals along the footpaths.
Lake Ontario Park is Kingston’s largest urban waterfront park. It features accessible walkways and washrooms, a playground and splash pad, picnic tables and barbeque pits, beach areas, volleyball courts, and a boat launch.
Across the street from Lake Ontario Park, the Marshlands Conservation Area offers access to the Rideau Trail between King and Princess streets. In an effort to protect the floodplains and wetlands in central Kingston from development, the area is maintained in its natural state with the only facilities being the existing trail and trailhead parking lot. Situated next to the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club, the trail offers a quiet place to walk, run, and take in nature.
What was once an abandoned rail bed has been developed into a 15km multi-use trail that extends from Binnington court north towards Orser Road. There are six parking lots situated along the trail, which offer access to a variety of scenic landscapes across urban and rural settings. The trail is ideal for a variety of activities, including walking, running, cycling, and horseback riding. My personal favourite section of the trail runs between McIvor Road and Burbrook Road.
From downtown Kingston, you can take the free ferry over to Wolfe Island – the largest of the Thousand Islands. Enjoy a bike ride from the ferry dock to Big Sandy Bay, where you can walk down to the beach for a swim. There are several other cycling routes on and around the island, or if you prefer, take a stroll around the shops and restaurants next to the ferry dock.
By Veronica Allan, Kingston Gets Active Ambassador