Long-weekend Outdoor Adventures

Three children running down a path

Get Outside with the Kids

Summer is winding down and the chatter of back to school is picking up. Here are some last-minute outdoor activities to do with the kids before they head back into the classroom.

Natural Playground at Island Lake

Outdoor climbing rock wall
Rock wall for kids to climb.

Opened in 2020, the natural playground at Island Lake Conservation Area provides 1.17-acres of fun and possibility. It includes natural elements like plants, water, logs, boulders and terrain that provide different sensory experiences and play opportunities.

Outdoor ball dropping game.
Ball dropping game.

Did you know outdoor play can help reduce stress levels, improve mood and increase concentration? This structure is a great opportunity for kids to burn off some long-weekend energy before heading back to school. Learn more about the natural playground.

Hunt for Butterflies at Rattray Marsh

Group of people using nets to catch butterflies along a grassy area of a trail.
Participants in our guided Butterfly Blitz hike.

It’s no secret that Rattray Marsh Conservation Area is Mississauga’s hidden gem. It’s home to countless native wildlife species, including butterflies like monarchs, cabbage whites, bronze coppers and giant tiger swallowtails.

Monarch butterfly flying
A selective focus shot of Speckled wood butterfly on a little flower

While exploring the trails, including the updated board walks, be on the lookout for butterflies! Take a picture and submit it to our annual Butterfly Blitz. Your butterfly sightings are helping us create an inventory of butterflies in the Credit River Watershed.

Please stay on trails and respect surrounding vegetation and wildlife.

Fishing at Ken Whillans

Shoreline fishing on Orchard Pond.

Ken Whillans Resource Management Area features two ponds with small fishing piers at Orchard Pond and Kidd Pond. These piers are perfect for all levels of experience. Exposure to nature and calming activities like fishing can reduce stress levels in children up to 28 percent.

Orchard Pond features Northern pike as well as stocked rainbow trout each spring. You can also take a hike over to Kidd Pond to try and catch largemouth bass. When fishing back at the river from the Caledon Trailway, you will find brown trout.

Kids will be hooked on fishing after visiting Ken Whillans! You can purchase worms by the dozen and a variety of artificial lures at the gatehouse. After Labour Day, gatehouse sales are only available on weekends. Learn more about fishing at our parks.

Go back in time at Limehouse

Historical building
The historic Limestone Powder House.

Limehouse Conservation Area is the perfect park to reignite your imagination. Throughout the conservation area, there are historic features like the Limehouse Powder House, kilns, mill ruins and archway. The Limehouse kilns date back to 1800s and take kids back in time to connect with the Niagara Escarpment’s natural resources.

The Limehouse Side Trail is a short hiking trail that connects the main parking lot to the Bruce Trail and is perfect for little legs. It’s only 0.2 kilometres in length.

Ruins of a lime kiln made of stone bricks.
Historic lime kiln.

It’s no surprise that time outdoors is amazing for both adults and children. It’s a great opportunity to disconnect from devices and reconnect with nature. Just because it’s back to school doesn’t mean adventures in nature should stop. Discover our upcoming fall and winter events and learn more about our conservation areas.

Share your long-weekend adventures with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok.

By CVC’s Kimberley Laird, Associate, Marketing and Communications

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