The Ring Kiln Side Trail - Natural Ontario
Presqu'ile Provincial Park Sign

Presqu’ile Provincial Park

I love when one adventure leads me to another. A few friends had setup a camping trip to Sandbanks Provincial Park and on the way there we saws signs for a different park, Presqu’ile Provincial Park. Having never been in the area I knew nothing of Presqu’ile, so I made a mental note to look it up when we were home. When I started doing a bit of research I found out that Presqu’ile Provincial Park is a birder’s paradise in the spring. A park I hadn’t been to before, that specializes in birds, some of which aren’t typically in the area? This I had to see!

The park itself is roughly divided into 3 areas. When you first enter the park you’ll drive for a while as you pass the beaches and a few of the smaller trails. There isn’t much going on here in the spring, but I imagine that it gets quite busy in the summer. Because it was essentially closed, we didn’t spend too much time along the beaches, but we did visit a few of the trails in the area. The Owen Point Trail (1.6km) runs just beside the beach. It has numerous lookouts along the way but the most interesting one is at the far end where you can see Gull Island. The walk is pretty simple and you’ll see many geese and probably a few snakes along the way. There is also the Marsh Boardwalk Trail (1.2km) which was really fun! We walked it a few times, and each time we did, we ran into many birders and photographers. There was so much bird activity that there was something new to see at every turn!

After the beaches you’ll reach the campgrounds where the park has 8 different sections setup. Our stay was in the Hidden Valley Campground which had average sized sites but little privacy and a lot of bugs in May. So many in fact, that we basically only slept at the site and spent the rest of the time at the day use area or on the road. The gift shop operators said that our campground was the worst for bugs, and that the other areas were much better. We’ll have to test that out on future visits! The High Bluff Campground seemed to cater to RVs mostly, at least along the shoreline. The other campgrounds all looked nice and nothing really stood out as being unique or notable.

Lastly, you’ll reach the massive day use area. The day use area is really nice and takes up huge portion of the park. On the south side there is a massive field and many picnic tables and eating areas. The shoreline has a short 2-3 feet drop into Lake Ontario and the beach is mostly rock, but it’s still really refreshing! There is also a small park store near the staff quarters, but it was closed when we were there. In the center of the day use area there is a huge forest and network of trails (8.1km) that run from the campgrounds to the lighthouse. The main access point is by the park store on the southern road. There is also the Jobe’s Woods Trail (1.4km), a forest/bog trail on the north side of the day use area. It’s a really nice and simple hike which has some insane spider webs. I’d wait until later in the day to go through here, let someone else clear the path!

With birds, beaches, boardwalks, marshes, bays, lookouts, trails and even a lighthouse, we will definitely be returning to Presqu’ile Provincial Park. It was too good not to!

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Posted: January 28th, 2013