Picnicking in Orono

Story and photos by Clarington Tourism

Imagine yourself on a long, leisure drive (or pedal!) through the beautiful countryside of Clarington.

You’ve been driving for the majority of the morning, and lunchtime is quickly approaching. Your passengers are starting to get hungry, so you decide to take a little side street to what can only be described as the perfect picnic spot: Orono Park. Or, as it is known to the more established locals, Buttercup Hollow.

Orono park 3

A perfect park located within the village of Orono, it is nestled around a beautiful tree line, a serene stream complete with a bridge, picnic areas, and several more modern utilities, such as a play structure, splash pad, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, skateboarding park, and of course, Clarington’s only outdoor public pool.

Orono park 1

The rich history of this park can be taken as far back as 90 years, and has been considered a gem as well as the heart of Orono. Many locals find solace here, and it is quite easy to see why. It is perfect in every way a park should be. For more on the history of Orono’s Crown Lands, click here.

But our adventure does not stop there, because Orono has a lot to offer its residents and visitors. Home to the Stanley Cup Champion, Bryan Bickell, its quaint downtown area is home to an assortment of different stores and shops, including ones specializing in flowers, delicious baked goods, cafe’s, lots of antiques, health and wellness, professional services, and more. A complete list and more information on each one can be found here: www.visitorono.com.Downtown Orono 1

Depending on the time of year, Orono also runs many different types of events, from the annual Orono Fair, to the Orono Chili Cook-off, Santa Clause parade and breakfast, and even “Girls Night Out”. Among many others, this tightly knit community is proud, and with great reason, of this little village.

Any summer afternoon could be well spent here, as there is always something to do, and always interesting places to see. Whether you pack your picnic, take out lunch in one of the restaurants, or even treat yourself to a delicious apple fritter from The Village Bake Shop, it is guaranteed to be a day well spent.

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Get Outside!

Story and photos by Nancy Ellis

Find yourself busily rushing from screen to screen, iPad to computer to cellphone and back again? There’s not a whole lot of ways to avoid it these days. Almost everyone wants their copy of this or that emailed, up on social media and twittered out there – a.s.a.p.

            But what’s really out there? Outside the screen?  Maybe you’ve forgotten, with intent or by chance or maybe because having an online presence has become a big (if not all-consuming) part of our lives.

            In Clarington there are great conservation areas and trails where you can see some wildlife and enjoy being out in nature!

Get outside this summer and find a place where you can hike, bike, picnic and revel in sunshine! A place to splash in the new rubber boots you bought downtown. A place for kids. A place that presents opportunities for family snapshots, fishing or practising your own photography skills. Catch the serene moments that make life wonderful any day of the week. 

Experience

Stephen’s Gulch Conservation Area, just off Bethesda Road on Stephens Mill Road

Walk, hike, cycle, run or take your dog. This is a great forested trail to experience nice summer shade to keep cool. An area to study plants and learn about wildlife like frogs, slugs and ferns. It borders on Soper Creek and includes part of the Soper Creek Valley.  All dogs must be leashed and parking is available.

Samuel Wilmot Nature Area, get there from Cobbledick Road and Toronto Street

Hike, cycle, walk and get all the way to Quebec, if you want. This trail runs lakefront along Lake Ontario through the Port of Newcastle and has access to both Wilmot Marsh and Wilmot Creek shorelines. Benches, board maps and parking here.

Enniskillen Conservation Area, access off Holt Road

Walk, picnic and see the two ponds that are wildlife habitats. See some living creatures or hike. You might spot some turtles, fish, bugs and/or frogs here. Some of the boardwalk crosses the Bowmanville Creek. Washrooms and parking are available at this site.

More

There are bunch of other nature areas, trails and conservation sites in Clarington too. Find one close to your home or local to something that you like to visit. Check out Bowmanville Valley Trail, Soper Creek Trail, Bowmanville Harbour Area, Bowmanville Westside Marshes Conservation Area, Darlington Waterfront Trail, Darlington Provincial Park and Courtice Millennium Trail all in the west of Clarington. To the east you will find the Waterfront Trail. In Orono there is the Sidney Rutherford Trail and the Orono Crown Lands. To the northwest Long Sault Conservation Area and Oak Ridges Trail are found. And who can forget the Ganaraska Forest, south central Ontario’s largest forest

Come by or call the Tourism Office for a trail guide, cycling or fishing map that will come in handy!