The Waterfront Trail
The Barrie waterfront has an easily accessible network of paved trails to get in some kilometres in your running shoes. Try taking the Waterfront Heritage Trail. This 3.6km trail is well-maintained throughout the year. Start off in Allandale Station Park and you’ll encounter the Spirit Catcher just over halfway through the run, before you reach Heritage Park.
The Spirit Catcher sculpture is located between Heritage Park and the City of Barrie Marina. This 20-tonne corten steel statue was first installed in Vancouver’s False Creek before it was purchased and donated to the Barrie Gallery Project (now known as the MacLaren Art Centre) in 1987. The artwork references the Thunderbird from the Indigenous oral traditions of the Pacific Northwest, and is designed so the quills move with the wind.
Cool down in the park
Even though this run isn’t long, it is scenic. You’ll pass through three large parks on your waterfront run, each of which offer pretty seasonal gardens. Take advantage of Heritage Park’s gardens on the way back from your run as a great cool down area. Do some lunges, stretch out any tight muscles or just sit back and soak in the peaceful setting – not every running route lends itself to relaxing post-run as much as this one.
Add in some culture
One of the most popular events near the Barrie Waterfront is the Theatre by the Bay. If you’re a winter runner (or want to become one), try planning your route around Barrie’s famous Winterfest in February. If summer running is more your speed, Centennial Park also hosts the renowned Kempenfest in early August.