A legendary Canadian beach
known for sun, fun, surf and suds...
Mention the name Wasaga Beach Ontario to most Provincial residents and they immediately think about the beach with its miles of endless sand and the parties, especially the rowdy long-weekend bashes.
Long known as one of the province's best party destinations
this small town located at the mouth of the Nottawasaga River
also boasts a 14 kilometre (8.7 mile) stretch of unbroken white sand that is the longest freshwater beach in the world.
Situated on the southern shores of Georgian Bay on Nottawasaga Bay only 2 hours north of Toronto this rapidy growing community has evolved from a beach community to a year round tourist destination worthy of a visit at any time.
It is however still the beach that draws the bulk of the 2 million annual visitors and it is without a doubt a true Canadian experience to walk on the fine Wasaga Beach Ontario sand.
While nearby Sauble Beach on Lake Huron may dispute as to who has the best beach in Ontario there is no doubt as to which beach is more visited, especially by Torontonians who seem to have made this a favourite weekend destination.
Location of Wasaga Beach Ontario
Getting to Wasaga Beach Ontario:
Getting to Wasaga Beach Ontario is a snap, especially if coming from Toronto or the GTA.
Navigate to highway #400 North
Take exit # 98 and head West on Highway #26
Follow Highway #26 into town
From Southern and Eastern Ontario
Navigate to Highway #401 East or West depending upon starting point
Exit to highway #400 North
Take exit # 98 and head West on Highway #26
Follow Highway #26 into Wasaga Beach Ontario
From Northern Ontario
Navigate to Highway #69 South or Highway #11 South depending upon starting point.
Highway #69 merges into Highway 400
Take exit#141 at Vasey Road/County Road #23
Continue on County Road #23/County Road #92/County Road #27 into Wasaga Beach Ontario
Exit onto Highway #12 North/West in Orillia
Continue on Highway #12 North into Wasaga Beach Ontario
By Public transport
Getting to Wasaga Beach Ontario by air is not an option
Getting to Wasaga Beach Ontario by rail is not an option
d offers daily bus service from Toronto to Wasaga Beach Ontario. Visit www.greyhound.ca for more information.
Wasaga Beach Ontario Attractions and Activities
Beautiful white sand that stretches for miles along the coast coupled with a shallow gradually sloping shoreline with beautiful clear water makes the beach by far the #1 attraction in Wasaga Beach Ontario.
What most people don't know however is that the beach is actually part of Wasaga Beach Provincial Park and it is they that protect and take care of this wonder of nature.
The beach is great for sunbathing and swimming and on a warm summer day fills up with revelers and is a favourite amongst teenagers and youths in their early 20's.
In quite a few places you can pull your vehicle right up on the sand, crank up your music and let the fun and gamers begin.
For convenience the main beach at Wasaga has been broken into 6 smaller beaches with each offering different conditions and facilities.
The beaches tend to be not as good and less crowded as you head east to west.
The main beach begins at the mouth of the Nottawasaga River and stretches west. Two smaller and less frequented beaches are located to the east of the river:
New Wasaga Beach (quite large)
By far the most popular beach in Wasaga it is located just west of the mouth of the Nottawasaga River. A wooden boardwalk runs along most of its length and it along with beach #2 really are at the heart of all the action in town.
The beach features:
Lots of parking
Another long stretch of sand on which the wooden boardwalk fronts this popular beach also features the town's main sights, The Nancy Museum and lighthouse.
In addition to these historical attraction the beach also offers:
Lots if parking
Not as popular as the first two beaches but still comprised of beautiful white sand the beach here still offers:
A boardwalk along some of its length
The crowds are thin and the beach is definitely quieter. While the sand may not be as nice as some of the other beaches it is still excellent when compared to most beaches in Ontario.
This beach offers:
Another quiet beach it is perfect for sunbathing. Other facilities at this beach include:
The furthest west of all the beaches the waterfront may not be popular but the area draws large crowds as there is a large recreational centre on site.
The beach does however offer:
The Oakview Woods Recreation Complex (RexPlex) is also located on site and offers:
Check out this Wasaga Beach Ontario video below:
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
Due to the fact that the beaches are part of the park it is always one of the most visited provincial parks in the province.
While swimming, sunbathing and beach volleyball are definitely the number one activities at the beach there is much more to the park that the beach itself including Nancy Island Historic Site, also located within the park. Visit my Wasaga Beach Provincial Park page for more information.
Nancy Island Historic Site
Dedicated to the historic schooner HMS Nancy this small museum preserves the remains of heroic War of 1812 ship.
Originally launched in 1789 as a cargo vessel for the fur trade after the outbreak of war it was commandeered by the British to serve as a supply ship. At eighty feet in length and 22 foot across it could carry plenty of cargo in its eight-foot deep hold.
It served well during the war and after the disastrous Battle of Lake Erie it remained the last large English ship on the upper great lakes. In August of 1814 the ship sat at the mouth of the Nottawasga River which was at that time the northern terminus of the main supply route to the northwest from Montreal.
On August 14th a small American squadron of three ships:
discovered the Nancy hidden upriver and a bombardment began after which the ship was destroyed during an explosion of a nearby ammunition stockpile.
After the war the canoe route up the Nottawasga River became less important and the wreckage to the ship was forgotten about.
Over time, sand and silt built up around the wreckage until finally engulfing it completely. The ship was forgotten about and the sand build-up eventually led to the creation of a new island in the middle of the river: Nancy Island.
In 1911 the hull was rediscovered and in 1928 it was raised from the sand and on August 14th a museum centred on this gallant ship was opened on Nancy Island, the island that its wreckage had created so many years before.
At the site there is also:
Swing bridge to Tower Island
A nice place to learn about the local history and view the charred remains of an important ship from a bygone era it is located right downtown in Wasaga Beach Provincial Park off Mosley Street.
Open daily from Victoria Day to Labour Day then only on weekends until Canadian Thanksgiving It cannot be missed but expect to spend no more than ½ hour at the site.
As with most communities on Georgian Bay the fishing opportunities in Wasaga Beach Ontario are excellent. There is a boat launch right downtown off Beach #1 so deepwater fishing is easily at hand.
The Nottawasaga also provides excellent river fishing opportunities and anglers in the area could land:
The waters of Nottawasaga are also a boaters delight and with the boat launch right downtown you can quickly launch it and pull up to the party action on the beach.
On any given summer day expect to see hundreds of craft of various sizes plying up and down the coast. Jet skiing and Water skiing are two very popular activities and the scene can get downright crazy on a busy long weekend like May 24th.
Boat and Jet Ski rentals are available at the various small marinas located within town.
The Nottawasaga River has long been an important trade route for first nations people and its name is Algonkian and translates literally to "Iroquois Outlet"
Canoes have been traveling up and down its waters for hundreds of years and today it remains one of the most popular canoe routes in Southern Ontario.
Canoe rentals are available within town and the provincial park has a launch site onto the lower stretches of the canoe route available.
There are many dedicated hiking trails of all levels of dfficulty within the Wasaga Beach Ontario town boundaries:
Wasaga Nordic Centre (formerly the Blueberry Trails Nordic Centre)
The centerpiece of summer and winter trail activities in the region it is located in Wasaga Beach Provincial Park just off Royal Beech Drive.
Over 50 kilometres (30 miles) of hiking trails can be accessed from this point with links to other trails that lead further afield.
Shore Lane Trail and Wasaga Beach Boardwalk
The provincial government has dome a remarkable job preserving this natural wonder for the public and it is possible to walk the entire 14-kilometre (8.7 mile) beach along this beautiful boardwalk and trail.
The trail is open year round and is available for various activities. The centerpiece is obviously the boardwalk along the two most popular beaches but further afield you will pass by some unique and protected dune ecosystems that are quite interesting.
A great place to watch the sunset a stroll along a portion of this waterfront promenade is a must for any visitor.
Carly Patterson Memorial Trail
An 11 kilometre (6.6 mile) trail that follows the waterfront out of town before heading inland and following the path of Trillium Creek back to town.
Easy to complete there is a good chance of seeing wildlife on this trail especially near the creek.
Central Dune Trail
Following a path behind the provincial parks large dune sytsem this trail winds for 9.7 kilomteres (5.9 miles) though various habitats before descending to the banks of the Nottawasaga River below.
A difficult trail to complete there is quite a bit to see along its path including various wildlife. Canoe access is available at the river.
A portion of the Dunes trail also provides access to the 500 kilometre (300 mile) trail that links Port Hope on Lake Ontario with Midland on Georgian Bay. Side trails link this trail to the Bruce Trail and the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail. For more information visit: http://www.ganaraska-hiking-trail.ca
Marl Lake Trail
A 1.4 kilometre (0.9 mile) side trail running from the Central Dune Trail through wetland to Marl Lake it is very easy to complete and offers a good chance to see wildlife including:
White tailed deer
Oakview Woods Trail
Located in the west end of town this 1.1 kilometre (0.7 mile) easy to complete trail runs through Oakview Woods, one of the last of southern Georgian Bay's shoreline forests.
A unique collection of hardwoods and bushes this urban forest houses numerous wildlife.
A short 2 kilometre (1.2 mile) trail that follows the path of a stream through some regenerated forest it I very easy to complete.
Community Bicycle Loop
14.3 kilometres (8.6 miles) of trails and lanes dedicated to the bicycle. Skirting the dunes area of the provincial park riders will pass by the highest point of the dunes at Klondike Park Road.
A great ride, there are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife along this route.
The above trails are also suitable for cycling enthusiasts:
Shore Lane Trail
Carly Patterson Memorial Trail
Oakview Woods Trail
Located just 11 kilometres (7 miles) east of Collingwood all activities at this year round recreational nirvana are easily within reach of visitors to Wasaga Beach Ontario.
With the legendary Blue Mountains only minutes away visit my Collingwood page to learn why this little town is a favoured getaway for the elite of Toronto.
There was a time when this small town was a summer beach and cottage destination only but the population explosion in the 1980's has continued to this day and the town has been transformed in to a year round tourist destination.
Many of the provincial parks trails are transformed into groomed trails suitable for activities such as:
Cross country skiing
The popular Wasaga Nordic Centre within the Provincial Park maintains almost 30 kilometres (18 miles) of Nordic trails of varying degree of difficulty and also offers equipment rentals
The following trails are available:
Blueberry Trail 4.0 kilometres (2.4 miles) long, easy to complete
Skating Trail 3.0 kilometres long, easy to complete
Pine Trail 2.4 kilometres long, moderate difficulty
Monument Hill Trail 4.5 kilometres long, difficult to complete
High Dunes Trail 5.8 kilometres long, this trail is very difficult to complete
If you are planning on visiting one beach while visiting the province then Wasaga Beach Ontarioshould definitely be up for consideration.
This small Simcoe County town while always quite popular has now grown to become one of the "it" places for citizens of Toronto. Definitely on the "to do" list of most Ontarians a visit to this magnificent beach will definitely not disappoint.
Located just 2 hours away it is within easy reach of most people and the weekends can become unbelievably busy.
Legendary during the May 24, Canada Day and Labour Day holiday celebrations if you have a chance and are visiting in the summer months a short trip "up north" to Wasaga Beach Ontario will offer a completely different experience to the urbanization of Southern Ontario.
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