A wild ride full of adrenaline rushes awaits you when you suit up at Ground Zero Paintball Park.
The largest paintball family fun centre in Ontario is right here in the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, just north of Gananoque off County Road 32.
"We host a lot of birthday parties, many groups, families, staff parties and it's loads of fun," says Anick Beaudin, who co-owns Ground Zero with her brothers Marc and Patrick Lamothe.
"It's a great stress reliever and replaces a workout at the gym," adds Anick. The facility has equipment for up to 120 players. People with their own equipment are welcomed but all guns are checked for velocity prior to playing, according to Anick.
"It's a great place for a group to get together and spend a really fun day," she says, noting there is a viewing safety zone overlooking 5 of the 11 themed fields for those who just want to watch.
The various fields, all with their own unique vantage points and taking cover options, are spread over 235 acres. They include a concrete town, a boatyard, car crash, plane crash, pipeline, train station and inflated bunker, to name just a few. There are options galore.
You can experience close-quarter combat on the city streets course or storm the fort by crawling through World War I and II styled trenches. You can play "Capture the Flag" or hide and dodge around cement walls and tubes.
The family is constantly adding new features and changing the terrain to keep things interesting. "Just when you think you know the course, we throw something different at you," says Anick.
There is an area with three propane BBQs which can be used free of charge and a sheltered picnic area with tables where groups and families can bring in food to cook. There is also an indoor area with tables. Ground Zero sells soft drinks, water and snacks.
Ground Zero Paintball Park opened 17 years ago. The park was created out of a farm field after the family moved to the region from Qué
bec. They enjoyed paintball so much they created a new place to play here in Leeds Grenville.
In 2012, a CBC Cross Country Fun Hunt ambassador named Ground Zero Paintball Park the "Most Family Fun" place. It also earned the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce that same year.
The Ground Zero team builds its courses using recycled products and is environmentally friendly. She credits many area businesses for their support and material donations, including Gananoque Home Hardware Building Centre, Anchor Concrete and Watson Scrap Metal in Seeley's Bay, to name a few.
Anick says Ground Zero is supportive of community events and hosts fundraisers. Last Saturday a tournament with proceeds going to the Canadian Mental Health Association was held. Coming up this Monday, Labour Day, there is a fundraiser to support local hockey.
Ground Zero is open starting in April and well into the fall. Hours are dawn to dusk. It is closed from December to the end of March.
Learn more about Ground Zero by visiting their
. You can give them a call at 613-382-0277 or send them an
. Ground Zero is located at 384 Marble Rock Road.