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It's All About The Beach At Long Point Provincial Park

When we planned our camping trips back in February, the idea of spending a few days camping at the beach  held a special appeal.  Canadian winters will do that to you. So we celebrated the end of summer and our camping season with a four-day trip to Long Point Provincial Park. Yes, we were camping. But this trip was different than our other camping adventures.  This was all about the beach, my friends.

Sunny days perfect for flying a kite....

Playing in the sand....

Working on the boogie board skills...

And relaxing as the sun went down.

The entire Long Point area, which includes the provincial park,  is designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and is located on a long sandy spit jutting into Lake Erie - the most shallow and warmest of the Great Lakes.

This park provides an outdoor experience completely different from the more Northern destinations where Ontario campers usually set their tents and trailers.

The campsites are on sand. The roads are sand. Everything around you.... sand, trees and water.  At night, with a bright  moon, there is no need for flashlights and lanterns as the moonlight reflecting on the sand is the perfect lighting.

The lake can be as still as glass one day.  But overnight it can turn into a beast with crashing waves and a serious undertow.  I'm talking about the kind of waves that can rip a small, waterproof camera from it's strap around your wrist, toss it from your grasping hands and bury it beneath the sandy floor before you have had the chance to say "Oh crap.." (You guessed it - another lesson in my Vacation Education.)

Home to turtles, toads and snakes the park is also a migratory destination for birds and butterflies.  In fact, this is a rest stop for monarch butterflies as they make their way to Mexico for the winter.

A few things about our wildlife experiences during this trip really brought home how amazing and significant the environment is in this part of Ontario.   A 3' garter snake slithered across our site without a care in the world in the middle of the day.  And over our four days at the park I saw four young turtles making their way across the sand dunes.

From sunrise to sunset the birds provided a perfect soundtrack to hammock time and brought back memories of my travels to the rainforests of Central and South America.

Campfires and smores were still part of the routine every night. But when you're goal is to be a beach bum, it doesn't take much convincing to get out of the camp kitchen. A trip to The Causeway restaurant 10 minutes outside of the park gates was perfect for an excellent take-out fish and chip dinner of fresh Lake Erie perch and the best coleslaw I've had in ages.

Sure, the call of Ontario's more Northern wilderness is a strong one when your Ontario travels include camping.  I wouldn't trade my time in places like Algonquin, Killarney and Grundy Lake for anything. But when it comes to watching the sun set on your summer...

Long Point Provincial Park is a pretty great place spend your time.

You Should Go! Here's What You Need To Know....

Long Point is another one of Ontario's amazing provincial parks.  It's a popular holiday destination, so campsites book quickly.  To find out more about booking a campsite, check out the Ontario Parks website here:

Take your time looking at the different sites before you make your booking.  Some areas of the campground resemble trailer parking lots and offer no privacy.  They are busy and noisy. With that being said, there are a lot of really great sites.  We stayed in the Turtle Dunes area. It was quiet and nearly every site offered incredible privacy.

All of the campsites are within a five minute walk to the beach.

Outside of the park, there are a few ice cream stands, beach stores and The Causeway restaurant.  Definitely check out The Causeway for ice cream or a meal - it has a  section of the beach with a great view of Lake Erie reserved for customers only.

The small town of Port Rowan is about a 20 minute drive from the park and offers a grocery, hardware and liquor store, as well as restaurants and various other shops.