Brockville’s most eastern park along the St.Lawrence River, Centeen Park is a playground for those who love to be in the water. Centeen Park is well equipped for those who are learning to scuba dive, with changing stations and an easy-to-access stairway into the river. It is also the home to the Brockville Underwater Sculpture Park, a unique scuba diving training experience with dozens of statues available to explore.
For those who aren’t ready to try scuba diving, swimming is always an option at Centeen Park. Many people who have grown up in Brockville will have memories of spending hot summer days jumping off the seawall into the river. Be sure to try this unique Brockville experience, and relax on the grass afterwards and dry off in the sun.
Home to many of Brockville’s waterfront festivals, Blockhouse Island is the heart of the downtown waterfront. Many locals enjoy driving or walking around the island (which isn’t really an island anymore) and grabbing an ice cream from Fat Les’ Waterfront Patio. You can grab your tickets for an island boat cruise at 1000 Islands and Seaway Cruises, or simply sit by the water’s edge and watch as the boats and tankers go by.
Filled with big shady trees and a beautiful path along the waterfront, Hardy Park is a wonderful place to bring a picnic and spend an afternoon. The gazebo hosts live music often through the summer, and many groups use Hardy Park as the home to their festivals, such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters annual Ribfest in August. The accessible washrooms and play structure makes Hardy Park a popular destination for families with young children. Dream the day away watching the boats go by as people relax along the Brock Tail at Hardy Park.
St Lawrence Park is unique in that it also is a local campground. This waterfront park can be found on the west end of the city, on highway #2, and offers camping facilities from Victoria Day Weekend through to Labour Day, with both electrical and non-electrical sites. The park also has a wonderful, sandy beach that is ideal for families with children. This beach is supervised by lifeguards throughout the summer months as well. Complete with washrooms, change rooms and a canteen between June and September, St Lawrence Park is a great way to spend the day by the water. Day use is free, but there is a fee for camping overnight. St Lawrence Park is also a great place for people cycling throughout the region. The park has an “always room” policy for self-supported cyclists.
Learn more about the fees for camping at St Lawrence Park at the City of Brockville website.
The Rotary Park is amazing and unique to Brockville, any time of year. With an amazing splash pad in the summer and an incredible covered outdoor skating rink in the winter, the Rotary Park is a great place to visit any time of year. There is also a basketball court and Ontario’s first paved bicycle pump track. All these services are free to use for all ages, and there is constant improvement each year at the park. Come see what’s new at the Rotary Park!
While all of Brockville’s parks allow dogs in the parks with a leash, sometimes, dogs deserve a treat as well. A run around the Brockville Off-Leash Dog Park is fun for dogs of all sizes. This fully fenced in park can be found just off the 401’s North Augusta exit, behind the Brockville Youth Arena. Spanning two acres, there are two sections - one for mature dogs, and another for smaller dogs and puppies. There is a shaded area with lots of trees, lots of grass to roll in, and two watering stations for the dogs.
The Brock Trail is a paved trail that stretches throughout the city for walkers and cyclists. Beginning at Centeen Park, The Brock Trail runs along the waterfront, through Blockhouse Island, Hardy Park, past the Rotary Park, and then up through the green space surrounding downtown’s residential areas. If you follow the trail to its end, you’ll find yourself at Mac Johnson Wildlife Area. On the way, the Brock Trail intersects with many city parks that have play structures, so the trail is a great way to spend a day with the family. Pack a picnic and explore the city with the whole family through the Brock Trail.
Mac Johnson Wildlife Area isn’t just a great wildlife and conservation area - it’s a wonderful place to take a hike and get in touch with nature. With five trails spanning over 11 kilometres all together, there is a hike for all types, from those looking for a quick walk to those wanting to spend a few hours away from the city without driving too far away. There are five trails - the Wildflower Loop, the Railway Trail, the Old Woods Trail, the Boardwalk Trail and the Jack Pine Trail. Check out the map available on the CRCA website for more details!
There are a few great hiking trails available at Thousand Islands National Park, including Jones Creek and Landon Bay. Jones Creek is located along the Thousand Island Parkway between Brockville and Mallorytown Landing. With hikes that range from a quick 20 minute stroll to a moderate two hour hike, Jones Creek has something for everyone. Landon Bay also has some great hikes, including the Lookout Trail. The view from this trail is well recognized as one of the best views of the 1000 Islands, and is well worth checking out. You can find out more about hiking opportunities at Thousand Islands National Park on their website.