Outdoors

Lemoine Point Conservation Area is an adventure for every season and just waiting to be explored. Bordered by Lake Ontario and Collins Bay, Lemoine Point is an array of forest, field and marsh with a spectacular waterfront.



Owned and operated by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, the main goal is to maintain a balance between the protection of the natural environment and recreational uses of the area. With care and respect, Lemoine Point is home to ‘friends’ who volunteer their time to undertake activities to promote public awareness and enjoyment. And indeed it is, Lemoine Point is an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts. With a slew of seasonal activities, there has been a great-sustained effort to nurture this wilderness and appreciate the rugged landscape that comes with it.

Oddly enough, within city limits, Lemoine Point is the perfect gateway from the city. Away from the hustle and bustle of people in a hurry, there is a sense of tranquility to the landscape. Nature comes to life with each step you take. All year round, this area exhibits unique features such as vegetation, sounds and animals. Colours are constantly changing with the seasons, making it a photographer’s paradise. With scenic lookout points, there are endless opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature appreciation of wildflowers, butterflies and birds, which are most popular during the summer at Lemoine Point.


It is hard to believe that this little oasis is accessible to those of all ages. From young couples walking hand in hand, children laughing profusely to old loves, Lemoine Point is home to making sweet memories. With 11 kilometers of trails, there is no need to feel crowded. Whatever the season, people brave the weather for the myriad of hiking and cross-country trails available along with designated bike paths.

Benches are spread through out the conservation to rest, enjoy the view or a good book. Friendly smiles are of the norm and expect to strike up a conversation with fellow passerby and dog walkers.

Free to use, easy to get to and plenty of parking space, Lemoine Point is a wonderful spot for a day trip with friends and family. Conveniently located next to Rotary Park, play structures, swings and barbecues can be found along with a baseball diamond and a dog park. Picnic and ball anyone?

Don’t forget to pack a bathing suit and a towel when visiting in the summer, as you can end your day with a refreshing dip in Lake Ontario on a stoned beach located at the north end of the conservation area.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle and picturesque scenery, Lemoine Point visitors can enjoy lovely foliage in the fall, white-tailed deer sightings with the first snow fall, fresh flowers blooming in the spring and paddlers gliding by on Lake Ontario under the summer sun.



Fun tidbit:

Make sure to pack a camera and bird seeds as some of Bambi’s friends may just come out to say hi and feed right out of your hand. From squirrels and chipmunks to chickadees and even woodpeckers, you can expect the unexpected at Lemoine Point Conservation Area.

More information:

Accessible via two entrances | Front Road & Bath Road
www.cataraquiregion.on.ca

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Outdoors

When you walk along King Street’s waterfront on a beautiful summer day, you will see a crowd of summer-loving beachgoers of all ages shaking out their towels, jumping into Lake Ontario, holding their toddler’s hands as they wade and splash into the shallow pebble beach; friends digging into their box lunches from Juniper Cafe (it’s just around the corner) or walking hand-in-hand over the pedestrian bridge towards Gord Edgar Downie Pier. It’s a sight that truly encompasses the spirit of summer in a city that values its access to Lake Ontario.


Today, Breakwater Park can be used by just about anyone for anything. There are grassy hills to enjoy a picnic, lots of sand for the full beach experience, a pier to make cannonballs off of over and over again as well as a shallow area perfect for young kids who might still need water wings. If you’re not much of a swimmer but like long walks or like to walk your dog with a view, you can do that here with the soothing sound of the waves crashing on the rocks in the background. It’s exactly what Kingston needs. A place for everyone to enjoy — from parasailers to sunbathers and everything in between.


In 2017, the “Great Lakes Challenge” encouraged communities to restore the lakes and that led to a $500,000 donation from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation to the Gord Edgar Downie Pier (located across the pedestrian bridge.) Once this donation was made, further funding from the City of Kingston and the provincial and federal governments helped broaden the scope of park improvements. This redevelopment is part of the Kingston Waterfront Master Plan and puts Kingston on the map as Canada’s first urban natural swimming pier.


If you’re wondering how the pier earned its name, The Tragically Hip’s late lead singer, Gord Downie, lived across from the original pier and was a board member and Swim Drink Fish ambassador. Swim Drink Fish is an organization that strives to sustain swimmable, drinkable, fishable water for everyone. They educate to empower people to safeguard their waters. Their efforts through Lake Ontario Waterkeeper launched in June 2001.  Sixteen years later once the Breakwater Park project was underway, Kingston City Council voted unanimously to name the renovated dock after Downie. The name “Edgar” was included in the naming of the pier to honour Downie’s father. His brother, Patrick, explained to reporters that it was a fitting tribute and that the park “has been the backdrop of our entire family life and the one constant through the good times and the bad. When we think of home, this beautiful piece of shoreline is what we think of.”


Thanks to all of the incredible efforts in restoring this site and making it a leader in swimmable, drinkable, fishable water restoration, this shoreline will continue to be the backdrop to amazing memories for Kingstonians and visitors for years to come. 

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Outdoors

We’re perfectly located right on the water with the Frontenac Arch in our backyard — filled with great cycling options for every skill level (the views don’t hurt either). Hiking trails, city walking tours and unique indoor activities all come together to keep Kingston full of free and low-cost means of getting the blood pumping all year long. Keep reading for a few of them along with a few others that’ll be money well spent.


Biking: Wolfe Island


With its lack of traffic, few hills and pastoral vibes, Wolfe Island is on any local cyclist’s must-pedal list. The free ferry to get there from downtown Kingston takes only 20 minutes, and once you land and get rolling, you’ll be treated to a 30-kilometre-long, 10-kilometre-wide island with farmland and those famous windmills on the interior, and cottages and rocky shorelines on the periphery. If you have time, stop by Big Sandy Bay for one of the best beaches in the region.


Climbing: The Boiler Room


What was once the boiler room for a 19th-century Woolen Mill is now a state-of-the-art climbing gym with Canada’s highest indoor ascent. If the 100-foot chimney climb sounds like too much, find your wall in one of two rooms, where there are 40 ropes and over 80 climbs to choose from whatever your skill level. Beginner and advanced lessons and programs are available, as are change rooms, showers, lockers, equipment, snacks and drinks.


Walking: Haunted Walks


A guest at Kingston’s Hochelaga Inn wakes up in the night and sees a black figure at the foot of her bed, laughing. Nils Von Schoultz, hanged in 1838, still haunts Fort Henry. True stories or urban myths? You decide on a guided haunted walk through Sydenham Ward featuring tales of haunted hotels, hidden burial grounds, grave robbings and hangings at the courthouse.


Sailing: Kingston Waterfront


Sure, you can take the Wolfe Island ferry to see Kingston’s skyline, but in a sailboat — or canoe or kayak, for that matter — you’ll see it from whatever perspective you want. Launch at one of these spots, and in a couple of meandering hours, you’ll pass by the historic Kingston Penitentiary and Queen’s University, the contemporary Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, and the iconic City Hall. Start with Ahoy Rentals for rentals, lessons and guided tours.


Swimming: Aqua Fit


According to the Aquatic Exercise Association, aquatic fitness is gaining in popularity; the number of certified instructors has jumped by over 50% since 2009. And no wonder. Whatever your age, who wouldn’t enjoy a low-impact workout focused on aerobics and muscle conditioning in a warm pool? Drop in to give it a try at the Kingston YMCA or most days of the week in the spring and summer at Artillery Park.


Hiking: K&P Trail


This former rail line for steam trains is now an easy 15-kilometre hiking trail where you can hop on and off at six different access points. At one end is Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area; at the other are vistas of the Glenvale Creek Wetland. In between, you’ll pass through meadows, farmlands, forests, rock cuts, marshes and stops of interest that include the site of the old Glenvale train station. Keep in mind that this isn’t a looped trail, so have a ride waiting when you get to the end, or just turn around and hike it again.


Working Out: Drop-in Fitness Sessions


Not ready or willing to commit to one type of activity? Then hit up the City’s drop-in fitness classes at Artillery Park or the INVISTA Centre. At last count, 15 classes made the list ranging from Zumba and morning yoga to spin classes and kickboxing. You can also just drop in to use the pools, saunas and gym equipment on your own.

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