Riverside Park, Cambridge
There are many beautiful parks in Waterloo Region each with their own special appeal. Some are particularly suited for young children, others for organized sports, and others are enjoyed for their trails in a natural setting. Riverside Park is the largest park in Cambridge (102 hectares) and has something for everyone. Located in the old Preston area of the city, it is situated along the Speed River, a couple of kilometers upstream from the confluence with the Grand River.
There are several playgrounds, picnic areas, playing fields, a skateboard park, tennis courts, and a beautiful trail with a well maintained boardwalk which runs through a marsh along Riverside Creek. Some of the roadways are closed to traffic in the winter, but the city clears snow for walking paths on the pavement.
I started going here last year on my lunch hour as the park is quite close to my workplace. Birdwatching opportunities are excellent in all seasons and chickadees are accustomed to being hand fed in the boardwalk area. Large patches of Marsh Marigold bloom in the spring and Skunk Cabbage grows along the boardwalk. I have seen raccoons, red squirrels, foxes, muskrats and a multitude of birds along the trails. Robins are known to overwinter here in small numbers and Great Blue Herons can be found into December. And if nature watching is not your pleasure, pick another part of the park to enjoy a picnic, to play with a child, or to fish along the river.
Directions: King Street West, Cambridge Ontario with the main entrance between Fountain and Eagle Streets (map)
Open year round, but some sections of the park may be flooded in early spring.
All Photos by Ruth Kinzie