Did you know there are over 100 parks and parkettes in Burlington — 26 of them considered “major”? That’s a lot to explore! In this adventure, we visit four of the best parks our city has to offer. We’ll explore more parks in future adventures.
We begin by visiting the city’s newest recreation area, City View Park. At 150 acres, this place is huge! When complete, it will be Burlington’s largest park.
Located at Dundas Street and Kerns Road, over half of the park used to be farmer’s fields. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been invested to extensively reforest the site with native plantings along the brow of the escarpment.
City View Park currently includes two artificial turf soccer fields (with a third on the way), a state-of-the-art playground, a naturalized pond area with boardwalks and parking for 650 vehicles. A system of trails, including the Bruce Trail, runs through the site.
In addition, City View Park will ultimately include:
- five multi-use sports fields
- two baseball diamonds
- two open space areas
- a pavilion with washroom/changeroom facilities
The playground at City View Park is definitely a destination playground. The structure has accessible flooring — this allows children of different ages to play together on most of the equipment, just in different ways.
After visiting City View Park, we check out the adjoining Kerncliff Park next.
Thirty years ago, Kerncliff Park was a barren quarry. Today, it’s a beautiful passive park located on the Niagara Escarpment with magnificent views of
the City and Lake Ontario. There are no playgrounds here. Instead, this environmentally based park has been developed to emphasize its natural beauty for all the people of Burlington to enjoy.
To transform this land into a park, a tremendous amount of rehabilitation had to be undertaken by the City over many years including: stabilizing the quarry walls, building boardwalks across wetlands, constructing washrooms, a parking lot and a pavilion, replanting native species and developing ten trails through the forest linking with the Bruce Trail. The Bruce Trail runs through the park, at many points running along the edge of the cliffs.
The three main trails offer the choice of a 60, 30 or 15 minute walk. The shorter walk along the Wetland Trail is the perfect spot for relaxing amongst marshes, bullrushes, boardwalks, escarpment cliffs and lots of birds!
Woodland Trail is the longest hike at 1.5 km on a mulch path with some moderate hills. The shorter Red Oak Trail offers a similar landscape but at half the length.
On the other side of Kerns Road, across from the main Kerncliff Park entrance and parking lot, is a small pull-off area providing a clear overlook of Burlington, the Burlington Bay Skyway, Hamilton, and Oakville. On a clear day, one can see the CN Tower in Toronto, approximately 50 kilometres away.
The next stop on our Burlington Parks adventure is Brant Hills Park. This park is another of the largest parks in the city with three baseball diamonds, three soccer fields and tennis courts.
This park features an Evos playground by Landscape Structures (as do a few others in Burlington). We always refer to Brant Hills as the “Disney playground” since these systems are featured at Walt Disney World’s annual Flower and Garden Festival (this year’s themed play area at Epcot was the “Land of Oz“).
The spherical design of Evos “opens up a fascinating world for kids where play is possible in every direction and dimension.” Unlike other playsystems, this one has no defined entry or exit points — the company maintains that this helps stimulate kids’ imaginations and sense of adventure.
Every component of this playground seems inventive and unexpected and begs to be explored — mentally, physically and through countless new games.
Below, Jr Burlington navigates the Hemisphere Climber which challenges kids with limitless climbing routes and angles. On the other side of the web is the O-Zone Climber. These unique hanging monkey bar rings challenge kids mentally and physically as they maneuver through, over and around the structure.
The RingTangle Climber that Jr Burlington is walking on below, is a tangle of ascending and descending loops that keep kids thinking as they climb on top, or cross hand-over-hand underneath. This helps build total body strength and develop spatial awareness. The entire playground is really a workout disguised as fun.
Our last stop on this adventure is the Burloak Waterfront Park located on Lakeshore Road at the foot of Burloak Drive. This park actually straddles the border of Burlington and Oakville and is a trail head for the Waterfront Trail.
An interesting feature of this park is the significant Queenston shale cliff formation that is home to one of the largest nesting colonies of bank swallows in the western basin of Lake Ontario.
Ask any kid about this park, and they’ll remember it for the unique sea serpent inspired playground.
Burloak Park has over 800 meters of shoreline with the ability to access the water’s edge for a walk or skipping stones.
Views include the Shell working pier (where large ships refuel) and, on clear days and nights, the Toronto skyline and the Niagara Peninsula.
Get out and explore the many parks that Burlington has to offer. The variety of sights among them is incredible. We plan to discover more parks this summer as we picnic in the park, visit outdoor pools and splashpads, and cycle the Waterfront Trail and Centennial Bikeway!