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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Skip Navigation LinksLake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority > Staycation Guide

Summer Staycation

Must-See Nature Spots Near You

Looking to visit a new Conservation Area this summer? Check out some of our favour​ite spots in the watershed!​

Rogers_Reservoir_Summer.jpgRogers Reservoir Conservation Area

Town of East Gwillimbury

Great for young families and active adults. Immerse yourself in nature along the river’s edge.

A favourite destination for birders, photographers and wildlife lovers. The forest canopy and breezy fields flank the East Holland River the entire way. A smooth, gravel trail that’s walkable in about an hour. What might you see at the new viewing platform o​verlooking a restored wetland? Turtles, frogs, kingfishers and more. A meadow restoration​ project is also underway that will convert former pasture lands into a flowering pollinator oasis. History buffs, see the remnants of the “Ghost” Canal System project abandoned in the early 1900s.

Good to know: 

  • The trail is 4 kilometres in length with parking lots on either end. 
  • Ideal for those seeking even terrain for walking, jogging, and cycling. Plenty of room to push a stroller or take along the kids’ bikes. The trail is gravel and smooth.
  • Stay safe by following the rules. Dogs on leash at all times. Take nothing but photographs and your own trash/pet waste. Check for ticks back at home as part of your routine. 
  • Note, no washroom facilities on site.

For more information and to download the trail map, visit LSRCA.on.ca/rogers-reservoir

Sheppards_Bush.jpgSheppard’s Bush Conservation Area

Town of Aurora 

Great for young families and active adults. Close to town. Local history.

A high quality natural oasis right in the heart of Aurora. The tall, beautiful maple trees of the upland forest are protected here thanks to a donation by Reg Sheppard, son of former mayor of Aurora, Charles Sheppard. Walk among them and around the sugar shack as you appreciate the source of our tasty Canadian pancake topping. Head down the hill to the gurgling East Holland River and stand at the newly installed fish-friendly bridge. Kiddos not up for a long ride to and from a faraway destination? At Sheppard’s Bush you’ll be close to plenty of places in Aurora to grab a bite to eat before or after your nature adventure. 

​Good to know:

  • Ideal spot for those seeking a short leisurely stroll in nature. Also great for cyclists or runners looking for a longer trek to Richmond Hill or Holland Landing on the Nokiidaa Trail or the Oak Ridges Trail. Lots of connections!
  • Note, no washroom facilities on site.
For more information and to download the trail map, visit LSRCA.on.ca/sheppards-bush

ScanlonSummerPhoto.jpgScanlon Creek Conservation Area

Town of Bradford 

Wildlife, Photography, Restoration, Fitness, Off-leash dog park. Something for everyone! 

​Scanlon has it all. 4 looped trails and over 10 kilometres to explore. Whether you’re into nature photography, leisurely walks on flat terrain or like to get your heart pumping running on steeper valley climbs, Scanlon is for you. Nature lovers take your pick from hardwood maple forests, pine plantations, wetlands, and everything in between. Animal lovers, there is plenty of habitat to spot some of the 250+ animals recorded on location in a single day. Dog owners, we dare you to visit a nicer off-leash dog park – it’s 3 acres! Families, Scanlon is the perfect backdrop to your summer memories and pictures. No wonder this is the home base to LSRCA’s outdoor education program. You can’t visit and not be inspired to learn something new. 

Need to fuel up or have a weather backup? Scanlon is just 5 minutes from the Town of Bradford’s shops and amenities. 

Good to know: 

  • ​All looped trails go through the Head of Trails. 
  • Parking is complimentary while amenities are limited. Bark Park access if off Regional Road 4 / Yonge St. Main entrance is off Line 9.
For more information and to download the trail map, visit LSRCA.on.ca/scanlon-creek

Durham_Forest.jpg

Durham Regional Forest

Main Tract – West of Uxbridge 

Fitness, Restoration, History - A living testimonial for the power of trees.

A premier destination for mountain bikers in the GTA. Or history buffs who want to see what 100 years of forest regeneration looks like after clear cutting resulted in the “blow sands” of the 1920’s. Now a testimony to how nature heals, come take in the vast, hilly forest expanse. 16 kilometres of trails, 4 major loops and many smaller routes for your inner explorer. Connections to regional and national trails such as The Great Trail and the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail. The Durham Regional Forest delivers an exciting staycation adventure! 

​Good to know:

  • Ideal for adventure and fitness seekers, a canopied hiking spot away from the summer’s sun. Hilly terrain and many trail options both wider and narrow. Some routes are one-directional. Follow all on-site signage.
  •  3 hour parking limit in effect.
For more information and to download the trail map, visit LSRCA.on.ca/durham-forest

Beaver_Wetland.jpgBeaver River Wetlands Conservation Area

Blackwater Junction, Sunderland, Cannington, Uxbridge

Big skies, biodiversity galore, you’ll walk on a piece of history. Easy terrain suitable for all. 

Families with strollers. A collection of new and experienced cyclists. Speed, or also slower walkers of all abilities. Need a distance challenge, how do 34 kilometres sound? The Beaver River Wetland Trail is smooth, wide and easy terrain - just perfect for a getaway from the crowds or your usual spots. Experience nature’s pristine beauty - a vast provincially significant wetland full of biodiversity. You’ll hear the croaks of frogs, feel the warm sunshine on your skin, sneak a peek at sunbathing turtles from the multiple trestle bridges along the route. Described as a place of “serenity” and “tranquility” by reviewers. How about a side of history? In the late 1800s trains carrying wheat and wood ran along this former rail line, supplying the Distillery district in Toronto. ​

Good to know:

  • This Conservation Area is long and linear, and offers connections to “The Great Trail” and the “Lake to Lake” Trail. Some great starting points are Uxbridge, Blackwater Junction, Sunderland or Cannington.
  • ​Note, no washroom facilities on site. Parking is along the roadside where suitable. 
For more information and to download the trail map, visit LSRCA.on.ca/beaver-river