Bronte Beach Park

Bronte Beach Park

A sandy beach with clear water, so close to home!  If, like us, your trips to the beach usually include one of the non Lake Ontario popular destinations (Crystal, Dover, Wasaga etc) and you are looking for something a little closer to home, then you might want to give Bronte Beach a try.

Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach
View of the marina at Bronte Beach
View of the marina at Bronte Beach

Our family really enjoys the beach and we’ve visited Bronte Beach a couple of times in the past.  I’m not quite sure why we forgot about it this summer – up until now – but perhaps it’s because I heard it was a victim of the 2017 summer flooding of Lake Ontario.

But as we were driving back home from Shell Park one day, I noticed a bunch of beach umbrellas so we decided to investigate….

Right in our own backyard

If you’re a fellow Oakville dweller then you’ll appreciate the closeness of this beach.  I recently wrote about our trip to Valens Lake in Hamilton and thought that it was a fine place if your kids were just looking for a beach.  If I compare these two places, on beach alone, I prefer Bronte Beach.

A view from the beach
A view from the beach

Bronte Beach is just west of Bronte Rd, south of Lakeshore Rd. W. off of W River St.

If you turn left into the driveway that leads to the beach (just off W River St.) you will get to an itsy bitsy teeny tiny parking lot.  Don’t go there.

Parking lot
Parking lot. If you can’t find a spot here then park in the area just outside this entrance.

Instead, park in the little ‘park’ area just south of Lakeshore Rd W.  When you turn left onto River St. it will be on your left.  This is your best bet to find a parking spot.  Learned that the hard way! All parking is free!

Nice Sand and Water and the fish were alive!

I didn’t see a single dead fish! 🙂  Seems like most of us have been conditioned to have an aversion to Lake Ontario beaches, but the water quality checked out and the beach area was nice.  We saw schools of little fish near the shore, my son enjoyed trying to ‘catch’ them.

Kids playing on the beach with their toys
The sand here is nice and the kids enjoy playing with their beach toys

The water is clear and the temperature varies from ‘Canadian warm’ to freshly melted ice age glacier (as it was last weekend).  Lots of people are swimming or wading in the water each time we’ve been there.

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Valens Lake, Hamilton

Valens Lake, Hamilton

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.

Trees and green space around Valens Lake
Lots of trees and green space around the lake.

 

Lots of shade and open areas for picnics or lounging. At 10:15 in the morning we had the beach almost all to ourselves!
Water in Valens Lake
Perfectly still water on Valens Lake.

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 😉

Kids exploring Valens Lake
Our kids enjoyed wading into the water and exploring.

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