A breath of fresh air

By Emily Coppella

Five outdoor experiences in Kingston for spring

Spring is here! The clocks have sprung forward, and the darkness of winter is ebbing away. If you’re itching for some fresh air after a long winter, we’ve found five local outdoor activities to get you in a sunny mood. Spending time in nature is not only a great way to get moving, but it’s also been proven to reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and increase endorphin and dopamine levels.


Hiking is a great way to experience nature and indulge all your senses – and the Kingston region has numerous locations for both the beginner and the experienced hiker. Intermediate to advanced hikers will love Gould Lake located at 1540 Gould Lake Road, Sydenham. The location offers about 20 kilometres of trails around a sparkling lake. You can choose to challenge yourself by traversing the rugged woods or hiking along the shoreline. The area is open daily from 7:30 am to dusk. Entrance fees are $5 for adults and $3.50 for children (12 and under). More information about the conservation area can be found on the Gould Lake webpage.

One family-friendly hiking spot that’s great for beginners is Lemoine Point at 1440 Coverdale Drive. Lemoine Point boasts approximately 11 kilometres of hiking trails through woodland, fields, and marshes. Lake Ontario and Collins Bay border the area, and scenic lookouts and beaches are scattered throughout. Admission is free and it’s open daily from 7:30 am to dusk.

Canoe- and kayak-lovers can also check out all the ways you can paddle the thousands of lakes and rivers in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere. The Frontenac Arch Biosphere hiking page has even more hiking spots to explore.

Remember to engage all your senses as you hike – listen carefully for bird calls, notice the feeling of your feet on the earth, and keep your eyes open for spotting wildlife. Practising mindfulness helps regulate emotions and decrease stress.


Kingston is a cyclist’s heaven. Visit Kingston offers an entire webpage dedicated to the activity! The area offers a variety of roads and trails as well as bike rental services. You can view bike rentals, tours, shops and cycling routes on our website.

One of our favourite routes takes the cyclist through the Kingston Mills and Brewer Mills Locks. Journey through 300- to 500-million-year-old rock and granite outcroppings in the area known as the Grenville Arch. You’ll enjoy a stunning view of the Rideau waterway on a gently rolling to hilly route.

Those looking for a gentler ride can embark on the Cataraqui: Inverary Cruise loop. Beginning at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, this route offers a view of the countryside complete with farms, pastures, and wetlands. You’ll head north of Kingston to witness a transition from limestone to hills and will have the chance to rest at the Inverary golf course before returning.

Adventure-seekers who want to work up a sweat can start their journey in the town of Sydenham with the Sydenham: Desert Lake loop. Pedal by Canadian Shield granite outcroppings, forests, fields, and small lakes on this route consisting of steep hills and valleys. This is a challenging 43-kilometre journey with approximately 260 metres of altitude change.

Cycle Kingston also offers plenty of resources if you are looking to learn more about riding in Kingston.

Outdoor escape rooms

Get some steps in and put your detective skills to the test with an outdoor escape room that’s fun for everyone! Improbable Escapes, an award-winning escape room company, offers three outdoor adventures. Wander through the streets of downtown Kingston while solving puzzles.

We’re excited about Kingston Conspiracy, an alien-inspired game re-opening April 1, 2022. Help Kingston’s “Paranormal and Non-Terrestrial Security Society” prove aliens exist by exploring the downtown core to find extraterrestrial activity.

Other outdoor game options already available include A Slice of Crime: The Case of John Dough and Who Let the Cats Out. You can find more information on the Improbable Escapes website. Make sure to dress for the weather – you’ll be spending 65 to 90 minutes solving mysteries outside!


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Get some air (both in your lungs and on your board) at a Kingston skatepark. Skaters of all skill levels can use the parks daily from dawn to dusk. We suggest visiting Shannon Park Skatepark on Daly Street at McCauley Street, the largest and newest skatepark in the city. It’s 8,000 square feet of fun, featuring skateboarding elements as well as a gathering area.

Skaters can also try Polson Skatepark at Polson Park on Portsmouth Avenue (a 2,000 square-foot concrete skatepark including a halfpipe, rail, ledge, fun box, and set-up banks) or Grenadier Skatespot at Grenadier Park at 41 Grenadier Drive (a 3,000 square-foot concrete skatepark with a quarter pipe, tabletop with rail, and fun box). Make sure to snap a pic of some wicked stunts!

If you’re looking to pick up some gnarly gear and accessories, check out BSE Skate Shop, one of the longest standing independent skate shops in Canada. You can also rest in their gorgeous courtyard with a beverage from their coffee bar.

Participate in the Limestone Race Weekend

The Kingston Road Runner’s Association will host its annual Limestone Race Weekend Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 – and registration is now open. This is Kingston’s largest annual running event and includes both in-person and virtual races. In-person events include a five-kilometre, a waterfront 10 kilometre, or the historic half-marathon. The virtual option means you can run, walk, or hike around your neighbourhood, on a trail, or on the treadmill – whatever gets you moving! The whole family is welcome, too. There’s a two-kilometre Tom Compton Memorial Run for kids. Proceeds from the Limestone Race Weekend go to BGC South East (Boys and Girls Club of Kingston and Area).

Make sure you register by April 3 to get your shirt (5k, 10k, and half) and medal (half).

Prioritize your physical and mental well-being by getting out and about around Kingston. Here comes the sun!