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OSAIC / About Owen Sound Area / Parks   Member LogIn   
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Owen Sound and Area Parks
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spacer Owen Sound is situated in a unique geological environment which plays host to a variety of wildlife, plants and trees. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that environmental issues are important to Owen Sound residents.

Their commitment to maintaining and preserving their natural surroundings is clearly demonstrated by the careful way in which urban development has been undertaken.

There is a generous allotment of land for parklands which provide space for planned and leisure use. Harrison Park, located at the south end of the city, has provided city residents and visitors alike with a recreational outlet for over eighty years. John Harrison, who was a descendant of one of the city's original families sold the parklands to the city in 1912. But even before the land changed hands it had been a popular destination point for picnics and other recreational activities and was often referred to as Mathew's Park.
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spacer To this day, Harrison Park remains a wonderful example of how urban planning and natural features can be combined. Situated on either side of a gently meandering Sydenham River, the park offers fully serviced campground facilities, picnic tables and picnic pavilion, an extensive playground, a bandshell, swimming pool, bird sanctuary and restaurant.

Visitors to the park can also take a turn at the mini-golf course, or rent a paddleboat to explore what the park has to offer from the water. There are plenty of walking and cycling paths to explore and a fitness trail as well. During winter, the park also provides access to the many snowmobiling trails in the surrounding area.
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spacer Kelso Beach, located on the west side of the harbour, provides campground facilities, a sandy beach, access to swimming and other water sports, and lots of rolling green grounds, perfect for family outings. Kelso is also the location for Summerfolk, an annual folk festival usually held the second last week of August. Summerfolk is renowned throughout Ontario for providing some of the best musical entertainment in the summer season.

Many of the Summerfolk acts take place in the outdoor amphitheatre located at Kelso. The amphitheatre also hosts a number of community events throughout the year, including an annual antique car rally held in July and a family day held in June.

Victoria Park, located on the east side of the city is home to Owen Sound's Annual Fall Fair. The large oval track located in this park was once used to race horses. Now it has become the site of the city's annual Georgian Cup Snowmobile Races. This event, held in January; is one of the most important snowmobile championships in North America.
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spacer Queen's Park, located on Sydenham River in the centre of town, was at one time the central gathering place for city residents. Here, in the old bandshell, the city band played and other events were held. Today, the shady, pleasantly landscaped park is a perfect destination for a noon-time stroll. And during the winter months, the park is transformed into a magical landscape of light and fairy-tale figures by the popular Festival of Lights.

Promoting cycling and walking as alternatives to driving is another way the city expresses its commitment to environmental issues. In conjunction with the local chapter of the Round Table for the Environment, the municipality has created cycling and walking routes throughout the city, which are identified by blue and white cycling signs. Existing paths, road allowances, roads and railway Iines form the network of these paths, and many of the routes provide an excellent way to explore the city's natural and man-made attractions.
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spacer The Fifth Season Cycling Centre, located across from the Owen Sound Market Building in the city centre, acts as a central station for these routes. Designed by a team of five artists, the centre provides an information board, water fountain, benches, a table to spread out maps and bicycle bollards.

Whether taking a stroll through one of the city's picturesque neighbourhoods, an afternoon outing at one of the parks or cycle along one of the paths, it is clear that Owen Sound takes its environment seriously, and has done its utmost to preserve and enhance its natural surroundings.
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