Discover the Benefits of Nature While Picnicking

Get an extra dose of vitamin N (nature) and relax with family and friends as you picnic at one of our parks. Whether you’re visiting with your family or want to host a larger corporate function, our conservation areas have a place for you.

Choose from open space, a shady nook or waterfront view to enjoy an impromptu picnic. Groups of 20 or more should plan ahead and make a reservation.

Our Picnicking Locations

Island Lake has six reservable picnic areas or pavilions. Sites vary in size and we can accommodate up to 500 guests, making Island Lake a great option for family get-togethers, company picnics or birthday celebrations. Individual tables are scattered throughout the park for small groups and spontaneous meals.

Reserve a Picnic Location at Island Lake

Learn more about Island Lake Conservation Area.

Terra Cotta has seven reservable picnic sites and pavilions available. Sites can accommodate up to 400 guests and let you take in the sounds of nature in the heart of the Niagara Escarpment. Individual tables are located near the Park Store and washrooms for small groups and unexpected visits.

The Outdoor Education Centre is also available for indoor events for up to 60 people. If you’re interested in reserving this space, please contact [email protected] for more details.

Reserve a Picnic Location at Terra Cotta

Learn more about Terra Cotta Conservation Area.

Ken Whillans offers individual picnic tables located around the ponds for small picnics. Take in the water view or cast a fishing line while you enjoy your packed lunch.

Picnic tables are available first-come first served.

Learn more about Ken Whillans Resource Management Area.

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Picnicking Etiquette

Reduce Your Waste

  • Use reusable, compostable, biodegradable or recyclable containers. Hot/cold drink bottles are for sale at Terra Cotta and Island Lake Conservation Areas.
  • Don’t package fresh fruit –it “wraps” itself.
  • Choose washable, reusable cloth napkins and tablecloths.
  • Skip the individually packaged drinks. Choose drinks in jugs or coolers to share.
  • Use a canvas bag or other reusable totes for your food and picnic supplies.
  • Throw any unwanted items in the proper bins.
  • Take leftovers home to enjoy later.

Appreciate Nature

  • Protect habitat. Our parks are home to nesting birds, native plants, and other species that are easily trampled.
  • Make sure your children and pets stay on trails and in open spaces.
  • Observe and learn. Take field guides, binoculars, even a nature journal to learn about wildlife and habitat. Start a fun “life list” of species you see.
  • Use natural bug repellant and sunscreen. They’re less toxic for your family and safer for nature.
  • Carpool. You’ll reduce emissions and save on park admission!

Manage Your Impact

  • Onsite recycling includes plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans.
  • Don’t contaminate recycling bins. All contaminated recycling ends up in the landfill.
  • Break down large cardboard, and leave it stacked beside recycling bins.
  • All types of coffee cups and lids, as well as Styrofoam containers are not recyclable and belong in the garbage can. Use reusable container instead.
  • Reduce your noise footprint, be courteous to those picnicking around you and limit your use of amplified sound. Restrictions apply.
  • Picnics with a reservation at Island Lake Conservation Area will also have access to compost bins. We provide signage on what is acceptable onsite.

Read the full Visitor Rules for our parks.

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