Established in 1959, Grundy Lake Provincial Park sits 13 km east of Georgian Bay, directly accessible from the Trans-Canada Highway. Grundy offers spacious campground facilities, backcountry canoeing and camping, hiking trails, fishing, swimming, and group camping. The Park is an example of the glacier shaped landscape of the Canadian Shield – carved granite spotted with bogs, ponds, lakes, and mixed forest.
Park visitors can learn about the history of the French River area, the Voyageurs and the fur trade, and the logging industry at the close-by Visitor’s Center or Amphitheater. Grundy also hosts a number of activities for the whole family, providing hands on education about the Park’s natural heritage, and nature in general.
Passing through the main gate, Grundy Lake Provincial Park is made up of nine campgrounds – each named after a different type of native tree. Campsites are generally large and private despite being a larger campground. Some are outfitted for electricity.
The campgrounds span across four main inland lakes – Grundy, Gurd, Gut, and Clear. Six beaches are distributed throughout the campgrounds making swimming easily accessible for all campers. All campgrounds and beaches are fitted with bathroom facilities, and in some cases, comfort stations.
Pet owners have access to a separate pet exercise and beach area.
Larger groups may be interested in one of three group camping sites available at the park, outfitted with water, bathroom facilities, and beach access.
Canadian Shield ecosystem
In addition to numerous hiking, canoeing, fishing, and camping options available to outdoor enthusiasts, Grundy Lake Park is home to a wide variety of special and interesting species that call the Shield’s forests, wetlands, bogs, and rocky ridges home. The area can be marked by its mixed forest, characteristic of the northern boreal forests meeting the more deciduous southern ones.
Bird watchers can look for warblers, nuthatches, vireos, herons, loons, hummingbirds, hawks, eagles, vultures, chickadees, Trumpeter swans, grouse, and owls.
Mammal sightings can include deer, moose, foxes, raccoons, bears, and beavers. Endangered Blanding’s turtles can also be observed in the Park.
Plant enthusiasts will look for carnivorous, bog-loving Sundews, as well as Dragon’s mouth orchids.
Grundy Lake Provincial Park has three hiking trails to choose from, each highlighting a different aspect of the park’s ecology and glacially shaped landscape. Varying in length, all of Grundy’s hiking trails are rated moderate.
Swan Lake Trail
1.5 km – 1 hour
This short loop takes you through the Swan Lake Nature Reserve, and around Swan Lake. While there is no fishing allowed, the lake is a perfect place to take a break, take a picture and hopefully catch a peak of some local wildlife. Walk along the boardwalk through the boggy wetlands, keeping your eyes open for frogs, insects, flowers, birds, and even carnivorous plants.
Gut Lake Trail
2.5 km – 1.5 hours
The most popular trail in the park, Gut Lake Trail takes hikers across the Canadian Shield, and through wetlands that drain into Georgian Bay. Rest, take a picture, or just take in the many scenic views along the trail. Be on the lookout for herons, fox, moose, and deer.
Beaver Dam Trail
3.6 km – 2.5 hours
The longest trail in Grundy Lake Park takes visitors through thicker forest, and more wetland habitats. Hikers can be rewarded with sights of many forest birds and mammals. A major highlight of the trail is the Great Blue Heron rookery, with a number of active nests visible during the spring roosting season. Visitors can also observe a beaver-dammed rock fracture, which impacts the water level at Bucke, Grundy, and Gut Lakes, as well as Nisbet Creek.
Canoeing and Fishing
Grundy Lake Park spans across multiple freshwater lakes, making the Park an ideal location for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent from the park office. Motorized boats are not permitted within the boundaries of the park. Tranquil waters make Grundy an excellent choice for beginner paddling.
Nine backcountry camping sites are available on a first come first serve basis, accessible only by a short paddle. All sites are equipped with a toilet box, picnic table, and fire pit.
Casting a line from either the shore or the water, anglers can try their luck for bullhead trout, walleye, bass, northern pike, crappie, and a variety of small panfish. Participate in Grundy’s Tackleshare program, which lends fishing tackle to Park visitors for free. The lack of motorized boat traffic makes fishing an especially peaceful exercise.
Useful External Links
A good review of the park: Grundy Lake: A Great Park that is Often Overlooked
Trip log: Grundy Lake Provincial Park, August 2012