My Most-Requested Outdoor Location - Huron Natural Area Family Photography Kitchener-Waterloo
I’ve been all over southern Ontario this fall, but there’s one close-to-home location I just can’t stop coming back to: the Huron Natural Area in Kitchener. This is my most-requested outdoor location, especially in the fall! Yes, the name is a little on-the-nose; it’s a large natural area covering space from an industrial park to a booming residential neighbourhood. But if you haven’t been to this gorgeous spot yet, I highly recommend it as one of our region’s nicest ways to spend time in nature, and a fantastic location for photos.
There are so many different trails to follow, and a good variety of levels of difficulty. The trails are well-marked and easy to follow. The trails loop, so you don’t have to retrace your steps, unless you want to! Each trail offers something different, from mature forest to younger forest, different terrain, and different types of wildlife.
The Huron Natural Area boasts not one but two different ponds: Sunfish Pond, and the Board of Education Pond, as well as Strasburg Creek. If you’re looking for a beautiful backdrop, there are some great opportunities near the water! You’ll love the wooden lookout and boardwalk around the Board of Education pond, while Sunfish Pond has a trail running right beside it and offers a backdrop with a different feel.
If you’re into spotting wildlife, you can see many different types of birds, as well as butterflies, some turtles, and more. The entire HNA spans 107 hectares, including wetlands, meadows, mature forest, and younger forest. There’s lots of diversity, which means lots to see and talk about with your kids, and lots of awesome variety for photos!
If you’re coming with kids, there’s fantastic natural playground (by Elmira company Earthscape) where kids can climb, balance, slide, and play. The playground is very close to the parking lot, before you really enter the trails. There are also public washrooms right at the entrance to the Natural Area, near the playground.
Something for Everyone
Whether you’re a beginning hiker or a regular forest bather, there’s something in the Huron Natural Area for everyone! Wetlands, forest, meadows, a nature-inspired playground, all within city limits. The City of Kitchener and the Kitchener Public Library also offer a variety of programs, like Tales and Trails storytelling in the forest, and photo scavenger hunts.