Located near the small village of Nobel, Ontario is the popular Killbear Provincial Park. The park was established in 1960 and provides 4300 acres (1760.00 ha) of nature for visitors to experience. Killbear Provincial Park is nestled along the the shores of Georgian Bay and has both rocky and sandy beaches to enjoy.
How Killbear was given its name remains a mystery though there are many theories. One theory is that a logger killed a bear or on the flipside, a bear killed a logger. Another theory is that the Anishinabek called it “Mukwa Nayoshing” which is translated to Bear Point. Or, maybe it was instead named for the bears that often make the swim to Parry Island.
Many activities await visitors to the park. Make a stop at the visitor center to see the exhibits and to pick up a checklist of birds that are common to the park. Head down one of the many trails on foot or bike. Take a swim at one of the park’s beautiful beaches or take your boat out onto the waters of Georgian Bay to explore nearby small islands.
Camping is open from May to October and reservations for campsites should be made in advance of your stay online or by phone. Three of the seven campgrounds have electric hookups and most of the campsites are just a short walk to the beach. Pets are welcome at the park and Killbear even has a dog beach for visitors to use. There are a number of other amenities for park guests to enjoy during their stay as well.
Located on the Georgian Bay, Killbear Provincial Park is near the village of Nobel, Ontario off of ON-559. The park is about a three-hour drive northwest of Toronto making it a perfect escape for those looking for a break from the city.
Some services are located near the park, including businesses that offer boat rentals. The town of Parry Sound is about a 30 minute drive from the park and has many additional services as well as a museum.
Once inside the park, it is easy to get around whether it be by car, bike, or foot. Plenty of parking lots are available at the day use areas as well as the many park attractions.
Camping is open at Killbear Provincial Park from May to October. There are seven campgrounds within the park with a combined total of over 1000 campsites. Of the seven campgrounds, Kilcoursie, Beaver Dams, and Harold Point have electrical sites. Every campsite has a fire ring and picnic table.
Each campground has its own beach and many of the campsites at the park are about a five minute walk to the shoreline of Georgian Bay. Reservations can be made in advance online or over the phone.
While the campsites do not have sewer hookups there are two dump stations. Additionally, the park has laundry facilities as well as a park store which carries gift items, artwork, and books. Other park amenities include flush toilets, a dog beach, and picnic shelters.
Black bears are common to the park. While they do tend to steer clear of humans, be sure to clean up and store any food and snacks after meals. The summer months can be dry, so be sure to check for any burn bans before enjoying a campfire.
There are four hiking trails to explore at the state park. The trails are of varying lengths and the skill level ranges from easy to moderate. Hikers will encounter beautiful views of the shoreline and Georgian Bay as well as many unique rock formations. You’ll traipse through forests of hardwoods which are perfect for birding and viewing other wildlife.
During your stay, be sure to stop in at the visitor center. With its many exhibits, guests have the opportunity to learn about the park as well as the surrounding area. If visiting during the summer, check out one of the daily snake talks. The visitor center also provides gorgeous views of the bay.
Killbear Provincial Park is a fantastic spot for birdwatching. Bald eagles frequent the park from September until January. While birding, you may also spot woodpeckers, warblers, herons, and hummingbirds. Stop by the visitor center to pick up a checklist of birds that are known to the park.
A three and a half mile (6 km) bike trail runs the entire length of the provincial park. Biking the trail is a great way to experience what the 4300-acre (1760 ha) park has to offer. See the rocky and sandy shoreline, vegetation, and many birds and wildlife while riding through the trail. The bike trail runs from the park entrance to Lighthouse Point. The trail is also open to hikers and joggers, so keep an eye out while bicycling.
Head out on boat to experience Georgian Bay. The park has three islands to explore, making Killbear a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking, and boating. No rentals are available within the park, though there are nearby businesses with rentals. While out on the water be careful of wind and wave conditions which can change quickly.
Enjoy the warm summer days at the several beaches Killbear has to offer along Georgian Bay. At the day-use area, a sandy beach welcomes visitors. Each of the camping areas also has its own beach. Though some are rocky while others are sand, swimming is welcome at each of the park’s beaches. Harold’s Point is a popular spot for cliff diving for those looking for more of a thrill. Only about a five minute walk from most of the campgrounds, you won’t have far to walk to enjoy the beaches.