Pinery Provincial Park, The


Location: Grand Bend, Ontario
Region: Southwestern
Character: Natural Environment
Activities:
Rating:
Length/Size: 2,532 hectares

Pinery Provincial Park, The
By Ontario Parks

Here on Lake Huron, vast waves of sand dunes roll back from the shore to meet groups of towering oaks, the largest oak savanna woodlands remaining in North America. These ancient trees preside over a mosaic of prairie grasses, wildflowers and shrubs. Sun-drenched meadows teem with rare and unique butterflies, songbirds and reptiles. Go softly here along boardwalks and bicycle trails and endless sand beaches. Come, too, in winter to camp, stay overnight in a yurt, toboggan and ski on groomed trails.

Please visit the Friends of Pinery website.

Pinery has a total of 1000 campsites in three campgrounds, 404 of which offer electrical hookups.

Riverside Campground is located beside the picturesque Ausable River, and has electrical and pull-through sites. Besides being the largest campground, Riverside is also open year round.

Burley Campground open from May to September, is the farthest away from the main gate, but is well worth the extra drive! These smaller, more secluded sites are nestled between older pines and within close walking distance to the beach. These campsites are perfect for those campers that don't need electricity or pull-through site capabilities.

Dunes Campground is within easy walking distance to the beach, outdoor amphitheater and Visitor Centre. Dunes campground provides a mix of electrical, pop-up trailer and tenting sites from May to September.

Twelve furnished campsites have just been located in Area 1 of Riverside campground. Each site includes an 8 sided tent-like structure called a "Yurt" that is attached to a wheelchair accessible platform. Each "Yurt" includes bunks for sleeping 6 people, table and chairs, electric lighting and a heater for cool weather camping. In addition, a gas barbecue and picnic shelter is supplied with each facility.

Group Camping
There are three group camping areas, with a total of ten sites that accommodate up to 35 people. Water taps and vault toilets are on site. The sites are located near the beaches, though transportation is required to reach comfort stations. Group sites are available for any large group. Reservations can be made by calling the park directly at (519) 243-8563.

Electrical Sites - Yes. 404 sites with electricity.

Hiking
Bittersweet Trail - 1.5 km (1 hour) easy
This trail travels through mature oak and pine forest along the Ausable River. 11 interpretive stops describe the various park mammals. Since many of these creatures are nocturnal, the best time to take this walk is in the early morning or evening.

Carolinian Trail - 1.8 km (1 hour) easy
This trail is located in a rich forest dominated by southern plants and animals that are at the northern extent of their range. Stairways, benches and viewing platforms make nature observing an enjoyable experience.

Audio TrailCedar Trail - 2.3 km (1 hour) easy
Journey through one of the rarest of North American habitats, Oak Savanna. A 1 km trail extension also provides the user with access to the shore of Lake Huron. All but the extension is wheelchair accessible. Cedar Trail is open year round.

Heritage Trail - 2.5 km (1hour) easy
Meandering through the rare Oak Savanna habitat, this trail was the site of a prescribed burn in 1990. The .6 km extension leads to a viewing platform and canoe dock on the Old Ausable Channel. The trail features 12 interpretive stops which highlight some of the history of the park.

Hickory Trail - 1 km (45 minutes) easy
The Hickory Trail leads you along the Ausable River. Watch for the ragged bark of the Shagbark Hickories and the seedpods of Bladdernut as you examine the rich diversity of plants along this trail.

Lookout Trail - 1 km (45 minutes) easy
Travel to the top of the largest sand dune in the park. Bring binoculars to enjoy a spectacular view of the Thedford bog and the surrounding Area. You might also see a soaring turkey vulture. This trail provides an opportunity to reflect on the history of our area.

Nipissing Trail - 2 km (1 hour) moderate
This challenging trail leads you onto Pinery's oldest and largest dune ridge affording a view of most of the park, Lake Huron and adjacent farmland. Observe the dramatic re-growth of plant life that has occurred after the controlled burn of 1993. The trail has some steep grades with wooden stairs. Interpretive panels along the trail explain about oak savanna

Pine Trail - 0.8 km (30 minutes) easy
The dense stand of Red Pines on Pine Trail is the result of a catastrophic fire in the late 1800s. This section of forest is very different from the oak savanna found throughout most of the park. Interpretive panels explain the difference between the red pine forest and the oak savanna. This trail is open year round.

Riverside Trail - 1 km (45 minutes) easy
Passing from dry upland oak/pine forests onto the Ausable River floodplain this trail is home to a diverse variety of plants and animals. Benches and viewing platforms make this trail ideal for nature watching.

Wilderness Trail - 3 km (1.5 hours) easy
Pinery's longest trail takes the visitor through some of the park's oldest forest growth. The path wanders through a Red Pine and mixed oak-pine forest to the shore of Lake Huron.

Education
Amphitheater, museum, evening programs- daily during the summer months.

Fishing
Perch, Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Bass, Panfish, Pike.

Canoeing
Ausable channel- 10km, 3 hr, flat water.

For more information:
The Pinery Provincial Park
R.R.# 2
Grand Bend, Ontario
N0M 1T0
(519) 243-2220