Top 9 Best Parks in Guelph

If you’re looking for something to do outdoors with the kids or to spend a sunny afternoon in the fresh air, Guelph’s parks have something for everyone. With plenty of open spaces for the kids to run or throw a ball, Guelph is full of parks of all shapes and sizes. Looking for a park in Guelph? Here are my picks for the top 9 best parks in Guelph.

Wooden Covered Bridge Guelph Ontario over Eramosa River.
Wooden Covered Bridge. Photo credit: DepositPhotos.

1. Riverside Park

The iconic Riverside Park, located along the Speed River, offers vast green spaces filled with playgrounds and picnic areas. There’s a softball diamond in the park where you can play softball with the kids and a leash-free zone where dog owners can let their pets loose.

2. Royal City Park

Known as the crown jewel of Guelph’s parks, Royal City Park dates back to the city’s founding in 1827. It’s known for its beautiful boathouse and gazebo, with stunning views of the Speed River. You can also rent paddleboats or canoes to explore the river for an unforgettable experience.

Gazebo in a park
Gazebo. Photo credit: DepositPhotos.

The park also has a Sacred Fire space used by indigenous groups when holding spiritual gatherings.

3. Guelph Lake Conservation Area

If you are a nature lover, the Guelph Lake Conservation Area is a must-visit destination. There’s hiking, birdwatching, fishing, and more! Or, just take the kids and a ball and enjoy some outdoor time.

Guelph Lake, the highlight of the park, is where visitors can swim, paddle, or simply relax. You can also extend your stay by renting a space at the well-equipped campground. It’s also a great spot for winter walks and hiking.

4. Hanlon Creek Park

Hanlon Creek Park features a network of trails that go through lush forests and meadows alongside Hanlon Creek. It’s an ideal spot for hikers, cyclists, and joggers looking for a peaceful escape. There are also playgrounds and a soccer field where you and the kids can have fun.

Because the park’s natural environment is always maintained, the area is full of wildlife activity. This allows visitors to observe the local ecosystem and interact with nature.

5. Guelph Arboretum

If you have any interest in botany, the Guelph Arboretum is perfect for you. Located at the University of Guelph, the Arboretum spans over 400 acres and features a diverse collection of trees, shrubs, and gardens.

Take a self-guided tour to explore the themed gardens, naturalized areas, and the turtle pond which kids always love. The Arboretum also serves as an outdoor classroom where you can learn about the different trees and plants in Guelph.

6. Exhibition Park

Exhibition Park is where the city’s annual horse race exhibition used to take place. But now, it’s mainly used for recreational and community events where you can enjoy its spacious picnic areas, playground, and sports fields.

The park has a custom timber playground that the kids will love. They also offer various obstacles with varying difficulties so that kids of all ages can enjoy the playground equally. It’s a place where people of all ages can come together and play.

7. York Road Park

Located in the city’s east end, York Road Park offers a range of recreational activities, including sports fields, a playground, and open gardens and green spaces. It’s a popular destination for families, athletes, and people who love having picnics. Its diverse amenities make York Road Park a community favorite, providing a welcoming space for everyone to connect with nature and with each other.

8. Margaret Greene Park

The natural beauty and biodiversity of Margaret Greene Park are part of what makes it one of the best parks in Guelph. Featuring tranquil walking trails and well-preserved natural habitats, it’s a hotspot for birdwatchers and nature lovers who enjoy observing the local wildlife and families who want to spend time outside.

9. Sunny Acres Park

People in the picnic area at the park.
Picnic area at the park. Photo credit: DepositPhotos.

Sunny Acres Park may be smaller than the other parks in this list, but it offers as much fun as the rest. Being located near the residential areas, this park is a local favorite where kids of all ages can play together in its playground. It’s a place to connect with other parents and unwind in a community-oriented space.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, a family-friendly outing, or a thrilling hike, there is a park in Guelph for you. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your picnic basket, pick up the kids, and explore the wonderful parks in Guelph.

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