We can’t count the number of reasons why Burlington is a great place to live. There are just far too many. However, in addition to the schools, homes, proximity to Toronto, and the overall atmosphere, we’d have to say that Burlington’s parks are one of its biggest draws. 

In 2019, MacLean’s Magazine voted Burlington as the best mid-sized city in Canada, you’d have to imagine that the parks in Burlington were a huge factor. You can read more about why people are moving to Burlington in our blog right here.

Perfectly blending urban amenities with stunning parks, nature trails, and outdoor recreation, Burlington is a rare city that can go from city to wilderness in the blink of an eye. 

Here’s a look at some of our favourite parks in Burlington, Ontario.

Burlington Waterfront Trail

Probably the most well-known park in Burlington is the Burlington Waterfront Trail. The trail itself is part of a bigger network spanning 3,600km that connects 155 lakeside communities. In Burlington, the Waterfront Trail consists of 3.5km of completely car-free paths, making it perfect for pedestrians and cyclists. The trail goes from Brant Street Pier to the Lift Bridge and offers a nicely paved, easy terrain perfect for leisure. 

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Spencer Smith Park

At the start of the Burlington Waterfront Trail, you’ll find Spencer Smith Park, a lovely and picturesque City of Burlington Park. Named after the famous horticulturalist who was instrumental in developing Burlington’s parks and trails system, Spencer Smith Park is a popular attraction for many locals and visitors. With beautiful green lawsn, stunning waterfront views, a play structure, several monuments, and a Japanese garden, the park is a great example of urban green space that the city can be proud of. 

Royal Botanical Gardens

One of Burlington’s most famous gems has to be the Royal Botanical Gardens. RBG as its known is a unique mixture of conservation area and event venue. As part of the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, RBG protects about 2,700 acres of “environmentally sensitive” areas. The gardens themselves boast an impressive 300 acres of gardens and an arboretum. There’s also no shortage of things to do at RBG. 

With courses and gardening programs for all ages, 27km of hiking trails, paddling, and many other outdoor activities available, RBG is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Cherry Gate is a popular trail featuring long boardwalks with spectacular views and cute chipmunks and chickadees scampering around.  

The gardens even have several cafes and dining options and have become a sought-after wedding venue for nature lovers. 

Mount Nemo Conservation Area 

Avid hikers and birders can all agree that Mount Nemo Conservation Area is one of the best Burlington parks around. Although outside the city proper, Mount Nemo is a must-see for a day of outdoor recreation. With lovely hiking trails, rock climbing features, bird-watching, and splendid lookouts, it’s a great way to get some fresh air. Make sure you hike all the way up to Brock Harris Lookout for a panoramic view of the Niagara Escarpment. On clear days you can even see the CN Tower from the lookout! 

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Central Park 

Located near Downtown Burlington, Central Park is an urban park offering green space, recreation, and the opportunity to enjoy a little introspective meditation. The park includes numerous resources such as the Drury Lane Theatre, Burlington Lawn Bowling Club, a seniors’ centre, youth centre, the Rotary Memorial Forest, tennis club, and more. However, one of the most unique features of Central Park is the Labyrinth. Modeled after the Chartres Cathedral in France, the Central Park Labyrinth is unlike anything else you will find in a Burlington, Ontario park. You can walk the Labyrinth and feel a sense of calm come over you as it promotes a healthy and balanced mind and body. 

LaSalle Park 

The Aldershot community is home to this fantastic Burlington city park. With numerous features such as a small beach, green space, and a historic pavilion, LaSalle Park is a popular lakeside destination for enjoying a nice picnic. The park also features a wading pool, splash pad, playgrounds, boat launch, and more. 

The Beachway 

One of the main benefits of living in a lakeside city is the easy and convenient access to excellent urban beaches. The Beachway is a popular spot for locals to enjoy some sun and sand. The park features almost 7km of sandy beach, 2km of walking trails, an outdoor pavilion, and more. This Burlington city park is popular with runners, cyclists, rollerbladers, and basically, anyone looking to get some vitamin D and enjoy the outdoors! 

Hidden Valley Park 

Another Aldershot gem, Hidden Valley Park is popular among Burlington parks and trail enthusiasts. The park has several picnic tables, a playground, and a splash pad if you’re looking for a place to convene on a hot summer day. But there are also nature trails, baseball diamonds, and more. 

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Kerncliff Park 

One of Burlington’s most unique parks, Kerncliff Park is a former quarry-turned city park thanks to an initiative known as the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System. The park features beautiful boardwalks through marshy areas all set on a city backdrop. Kerncliff Park is an excellent area to learn about conservation and see it in action at the same time, as the park promotes education and sustainability.

Paletta Park 

If you like to combine nature and history, you must visit Paletta Park. The park is split into two sectors: a 1930s-era estate with immaculately landscaped grounds and the natural sector featuring flood plains, nature trails, and more. The park also featured two suspended iron bridges, panoramic Lake Ontario views, the 10km Discovery Trail, and significant wildlife. Paletta Park is committed to conservation, helping to preserve this area’s natural beauty and history.  

There is a Burlington Park For You

Whether you’re moving to the area or just stopping by for a visit, Burlington parks and trails have a lot to offer every type of outdoors enthusiast. From challenging hiking trails to beginner-friendly walking paths, beautiful botanical gardens, beaches, and countless playgrounds, Burlington parks are a true gem in the city. 

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