You may have read in my first post, or even here, that I really hate packing up all the gear needed for 2 kids, driving all the way to wherever, and then ….it’s a let down. It was the main reason for starting this blog!
Well, Valens Lake Beach is the perfect example of a place that I’ve heard of a number of times, but due to lack of concrete reviews and info, I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble to take a chance.
It’s only about a 40 minute drive from Oakville, and the kids were craving a beach and rain was supposed to hold off for 4 hours….so we decided to take a chance and give it a go!
Valens Lake Conservation Area is located in Flamborough, ON and is part of the Hamilton Conservation Authority. There is a beach, canoe rentals, swimming, fishing, trails and camping.
The reason for our visit was the beach and the trails. You can google reviews for Valens Lake, but they mostly focus on camping, with only brief mentions of the beach.
Depending on what I read, the beach was either a hidden oasis or so bad that I will need to take a shower immediately upon one toe touching the water…..
Valens Lake Beach
It was nice….but…(more on that in a minute).
First the pros – the beach area was very relaxing with lots of trees and shade and lots of room for the kids to wander and explore.
The water was ‘Canadian-warm’, you adjust-ish after a few minutes. This is a man-made lake so the water gets cloudy when you move around, but it wasn’t polluted. I saw lots of kids and parents swimming here. I waded into the water a bit but I personally like to swim in water that isn’t as cloudy – you just never know when lake-sharks will surface, and I want to be prepared 😉
There is lots of sand for the kids to play with and move around.
There is a general store where you can get some basic camping supplies, candy and ice cream bars. Washrooms are also in this area.
Valens Lake is nice – if you come prepared
Now, I ALWAYS pack snacks when we go out. BUT *this.one.time* I did not.
I read on the website that they have rotating food trucks that visit the park. I thought I could do away with a bit of food prep this time and just get something from the truck. Lesson learned: never, ever leave the house without the flippin snacks!
At 10am we were hungry. I inquired in the store about the food truck and they said it gets there at noon. NOON! So I bought some chips and peanuts from the store, hoping it would be enough until the truck arrived. By 11am we were starving. At noon I was eyeing all the other families’ well stocked coolers and mentally devising some sort of diversion…
At 12.30 there was still no food truck so before a Game of Thrones style riot broke out between us, we decided to call it a day.
Trails, canoeing, fishing and more
Due to our hunger incident, unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to explore the trails. There is a trail map available but I don’t have any specifics on the difficulty of the trails.
All in all it was a good trip. This beach is a very nice spot to have a low key beach day (no fighting the crowds at the typical beach spots around the Great Lakes). There is lots of shade, trees and room to spread out and have a picnic and relax while the kids are busy with the sand and water.
It would have been nice for there to be food as advertised, but lesson learned.
The cost is $10 for a vehicle and driver, $5 for each passenger. Kids 5 years and under are free. Lots of washrooms and parking
We will go back to Valens Lake, with the biggest, most well stocked cooler you’ve ever seen!
Have fun this weekend!