Parks and Conservation Areas

Wellington County is surrounded and immersed within beautiful bodies of water which created opportunity for many conservation areas and parks! Get your feet wet in Wellington County where you can enjoy activities such as tubing, sailing, swimming, canoeing, and rafting!


Wellington County is home to many conservation areas including Guelph Lake, Conestogo Lake, Elora Gorge and Quarry, Belwood Lake and more! For more information, find a Grand River Conservation Area.

 

 

 


In Wellington County, we have all the fixings for a great outdoor meal. Explore stunning outdoor spaces, enjoy delicious foods and discover our unique communities by having a picnic among our breathtaking landscapes and scenery. Find your perfect picnic spot using the Picnic Map! Pack your picnic or choose from delicious takeout options from local restaurants and enjoy your food at one of our many breathtaking scenic settings, parks, and recreational spaces. For more information visit our Picnics and Pairings page.

 


Wellington County is home to a wide range of trails in rural, urban and natural areas. The County owns and operates three trails at Wellington Place between Fergus and Elora (Trestle Bridge, Aboyne and Museum trails) and also helps operate the Kissing Bridge Trailway sections in Guelph/Eramosa and Mapleton. Find more trail information.

  

 


Wanting to be adventurous in Wellington County waters? Check out the Elora Raft Rides, Conestoga Sailing Club, and Elora Rapids Tubing!

 

 

 

 


Looking to go on a fishing trip? Some fishing guides and outfitters include Grand River Outfitting and Fly Shop and Ontario on the Fly! For more information visit the Wellington County Business Directory.

 

 

 


Water Safety

Throughout Wellington County, we are fortunate to have beautiful waterways for swimming, canoeing, fishing, and boating.  However, rivers and streams are a part of nature and are always changing. Water conditions can vary drastically from season to season or even from one day to the next.

Make safety your first priority when on or near the water. Reference the Grand River Conservation Authority for more water safety tips.

Boating and Paddling Safety

Boat safely and responsibly by following these tips:

  • Ensure everyone onboard is wearing a properly fitted lifejacket.
  • Obey all boating rules.
  • Follow Boating Safety Regulations outline by the Government of Canada Office of Boating Safety.
  • Ensure drivers are properly licensed and carrying the boat license at all times.
  • Ensure you have the required equipment like oars, bailer, and whistle.
  • Slow down - Be cautious of swimmers and other boaters.
  • Always have a spotter onboard for swimmers and water-skiers.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  • Stay alert.
  • Plan your activity and share that information with a friend or family before you begin.
  • Leave the water if thunder or lightning is approaching.
  • Stay away from dams because of strong undertows and extreme currents. 

Boating Safety Equipment Checklist

Below is a list of equipment needed on your boat. For specifics based on boat type and length, visit www.csbc.ca.

MANDATORY

  • Properly fitted and Transport Canada Approved Lifejacket or PFD in good condition for each person on board.
  • Buoyant heaving line and / or lifebuoy with rope (At least 15 m in length for boats under 24 m).
  • A reboarding device like a ladder (If boat is greater than 0.5 m)
  • Sound signaling device such as a whistle.

MANDATORY Based on Boat Type / Length / Power / Conditions

  • Radar reflector
  • Navigation lights
  • Magnetic compass
  • Current navigational charts
  • Paddles / Oars
  • Fire extinguisher(s) of mandated type and size
  • Axe
  • Manual pump / Bailing bucket
  • Anchor - with minimum rope length based on boat size.
  • Visual signaling device (eg. flashlight / flares)

HIGHLY RECOMMEND

  • Marine radio, cell Phone and GPS
  • First-aid kit
  • Basic tools and spare parts for boat

Visit Canadian Safe Boating Council for more Boating Safety resources. 

Swimming Safety

  • Always wear a life jacket if you are at all unsure of your swimming capabilities.
  • Take it slow entering the water – avoid dangers of unknown, deep, or cold waters.
  • Swim in designated areas within the buoy line, marked beaches, or pools
  • Never swim alone.
  • Leave the water if thunder or lightning is approaching.
  • Wear water-shoes in case of glass or debris on the bottom.
  • Visit the Canadian Red Cross website for swimming and water safety tips and resources.

Winter Water Safety

  • Water in Ontario is colder than you think, most drownings occur in water less than 20 degrees Celsius.
  • Cold water causes shock to your body, you can only survive a few minutes in cold water.
  • Stay off all frozen bodies of water. Even if it appears safe, the ice may not be thick enough to support you.
  • Ice near dams can be very unstable due to the ever-changing current under the ice.
  • Riverbanks in the winter and spring are extremely icy and slippery and can be hard to see where the land stops and the ice begins.
  • Visit the Lifesaving Society website for more information on understanding cold water. 

© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909