Toddler Time: Rockwood Park, Saint John

If you’re travelling with young kids, finding places and activities that let them blow off steam and have a little fun is crucial. This series of blog posts, Toddler Time, will show you where in the Maritimes you can do exactly that.

Rockwood Park, an urban oasis.

Although Gary and I brought our toddler “back home” almost a year ago, the truth is that Saint John isn’t where I grew up. I’ve long considered Halifax home and know the ins and outs of that city far better than anywhere else in the Maritimes.

But my husband, a native Saint Johner, had a transfer opportunity and we jumped at it. We have family and friends here, and raising our daughter around her family, who are all in the Maritimes, was our goal.

The move meant that I was learning a whole new city and province.

The big playground at Rockwood Park was our first discovery. This 2200 acre urban park in Saint John, New Brunswick is filled with lakes, hiking trails, wildlife, and activities but our first introduction to the park was the playground and I was impressed with the size of the park, the cleanliness, and that there is a separate section suitable for toddlers.

We’ve been back several times since then, and Amelia always leaves delighted and exhausted.

Part of the playground at Rockwood Park. You can see the horse stables in the background.

Part of the playground at Rockwood Park. You can see the horse stables in the background.

One of the activities available at Rockwood Park is horseback riding (or wagon rides, etc) and the horse stables are right next to the playground – my daughter loves watching the horses almost as much as she loves the playground.

Hiking trails in Rockwood Park

One of the hiking trails near the playground at Rockwood Park.

We’ve explored just a few of the 55 hiking trails crossing the park, and if you’re looking for an activity to do as a family, many of the trails we’ve tried have been both beautiful and relatively easy. The path wrapping around Lily Lake is fantastic – you could easily get a stroller around it if you have younger kids.

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The Duck Pond

Next to Lily Lake is a small duck pond. On our last visit there were small ducklings, and Amelia did not want to leave! It’s a lovely spot for a picnic, but please don’t feed the ducks.

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Lily Lake. You can see the pavilion on the far side of the lake, and the beach is just to the right of the pavilion.

There’s a beach at Lily Lake, and in the summer it’s supervised by lifeguards. I believe there are other unsupervised beaches as well, but we haven’t been to any of them yet. We’ve seen rock climbing lessons, kayaks, bikes, and school trips there. It’s an active park but so far never feels crowded.

If you’re visiting Saint John, you can even camp in Rockwood Park!

Now it’s your turn: Have you been to Rockwood Park? What’s your favourite thing about it, and what should we check out the next time we’re there with our 2-year-old?

One thought on “Toddler Time: Rockwood Park, Saint John

  1. What a blast from the past seeing the old barn. I spent everyday at that barn from the time I was 12 (1970) until I left for college in Toronto. Riding boarder’s horses, helping with the draft teams and helping with the animals in the children’s farm. Nothing had more influence in my life then my time spent there when Doug Fordham and his wife  looked after the barn and animals. The children’s playground used to be the sheep and goat pen. The two mounted policemen/women that were stabled there gave me direction in life and I would hate to think where I would be if I had not spent my teen years there. I’m so glad it is still such a thriving area and I hope it continues to bring as much joy to the children now as it did when I grew up there. Carolyn

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