Rondeau Provincial Park


Location: Chatham-Kent, Ontario
Region: Southwestern
Character: Natural Environment
Activities:
Rating:
Length/Size: 3,254 hectares

Rondeau Provincial Park
By Ontario Parks

Jutting from the shores of Lake Erie, this enormous crescent-shaped sandspit features delicate dunes stubbled with hardy grasses; and marshlands where herons, bitterns and rails nest. Beech, sassafras, sugar maple, shagbark hickory and tulip trees thrive in one of Canada's largest Carolinian forests. Sunlit meadows of prairie grasses grow here among towering oaks and pines in a protected oak savanna. Rare animal species, including the endangered prothonotary warbler and the eastern spiny softshell turtle, call Rondeau home.

Visit the Friends of Rondeau web site.

Camping
Campground opens April 1st and closes the last Sunday in October. 262 sites, 152 with electrical hook up.

Group Camping
There are two group sites, #401 accommodates 12-60 people and #402 accommodates up to 40. Water must be brought in, and there are portajohns on site. The area is rustic and wooded, separate from the other campground. It is a 5 minute drive to both the beach and comfort stations. For reservations, call the park directly at (519) 674-1750.

Picnics and Day Use
Rondeau has numerous picnic areas. Visitors can choose from picnic areas that are situated facing Lake Erie or Rondeau Bay.

Electric Sites - 152 sites with electricity,

Visitor Centre
Year round Visitor Centre that is open daily. You can explore Natural History and live animal displays; listen to the sights and sounds of many species of birds from our bird viewing area, that overlooks a bird garden.

Barrier Free Access
Showers, Comfort Station, Laundromat, Park Store, Visitor Centre,
Facilities Friends of Rondeau Bookstore, Visitor Centre washrooms, Tulip Tree Trail, Waterfowl hunting blind. (all-terrain wheelchair is available for use from the Visitor Centre)

Park Store
Park Store sells a variety of sundry and camping supplies, as well as basic grocery items. They also provide numerous souvenir and clothing choices, which include the entire Ontario Parks Merchandise line. A fairly extensive snack bar is also available, where you can get your favourite fast food/junk food fix. Don't forget the ice cream! Check out what's new each week.

Visitors can also stop by the Friends of Rondeau gift store while at the Visitor Centre. They carry a variety of items for the Nature enthusiast
and souvenir hunter. For the avid birder, this is the place to look for field guides, check lists, bird feeders, clothing and much more. If you're looking for something unique for yourself or as a gift, this is the place to be. Watch for their annual Christmas sale.

Showers
Yes. They are located in each of the comfort stations within the campground.

Flush Toilets
All comfort stations are equipped with flush toilets. Remote areas, trails and during winter operation, facilities are equipped with drop tubes or utilize porta-johns.

Laundromat
Yes. In each of the comfort stations in the campground.

Play Area
2 play areas, one located across from the campground beside the playground picnic shelter behind the churches, and has jungle gym type equipment. The second is located beside the North Bay picnic shelter on Rondeau Road and has numerous swings. Both have vault toilets nearby.

Boat Launch
Yes and is located near the park entrance on Rondeau Bay. Due to flucuating water levels, the ramp is most suited to smaller watercraft. (19ft. and under) Larger watercraft ramp access, and boat slips are available nearby.

Rentals
PFD Loan Service For a $25 refundable deposit, visitors can borrow a properly fitted PFD for themselves and their children. Staff can provide additional information and can outfit visitors with a PFD at the Main Gate.

OFAH Tackle Share For a $25 refundable deposit, visitors can borrow basic fishing equipment including a rod, reel and tackle to children and new anglers. Stop by the main office for more information.

Four picnic shelters can be reserved. (A fee does apply, contact the park office).

Off Season
Main roadways plowed (some roads gated during winter season), Winter Fees charged, Washroom facilities available through use of vault toilets and porta-johns, Trails remain open, Visitor Centre open on weekends, Friends of Rondeau Bookstore open on weekends.

Hiking
South Point Trail - 8km loop (2 hours) easy
South Point Trail follows an old roadway around the tip of the Rondeau peninsula. You will travel through an extensive Oak Savannah, along the Lake Erie Shoreline, and the through the heart of Rondeau's Carolinian Forest. This trail is suitable for hiking or cycling.

Black Oak Trail - 1.4km loop (1 hour) easy
Route travels through a narrow strip of pine-oak forest. Look for the Wood Lily, wild Columbine or the Woodland Sunflower in the two meadows along the trail. This is an excellent trail to view birds.

Audio TrailsTulip Tree Trail - 1km (1 hour) easy
This barrier free trail travels through a mature Carolinian forest and is mostly board-walked for handicap accessibility. Hikers will have an opportunity to see examples of Carolinian trees that are rare in Ontario such tulip trees, sassafras, and shagbark hickory. During May, this is also the best trail to see the endangered Prothonotary Warbler. (An all-terrain wheel chair is available for use from the Visitor Centre)

Spice Bush Trail - 1.5km loop, (1 hour) easy
The Spicebush Trail winds through a southern hardwood forest and is one of the best birdwatching locations in the area. It explores the transition between Carolinian forest and marsh.

Marsh Trail 7.2km one way 14.4 km return (5-6 hours) easy
This trail travels through the heart of Rondeau's extensive marsh on an old gravel base roadway. The marsh is dominated by wild rice, cattails and water lilies. Dozens of species of wetland birds breed here during the summer, and thousands of waterfowl stop to feed here during migration. This trail can also be used for cycling.

Harrison Trail 8km one way 16 km return (4 hours) easy
This trail was once a gravel roadway, but is now closed to vehicles. It travels the length of the park and passes by a variety of habitats including Oak Woodland, Oak Savannah, small prairie openings and Carolinian forest. Excellent for both birds and butterflies. This trail may also be used for cycling.

Boating
Rondeau Bay is popular for canoeing, kayaking, sail-boating, windsurfing and motor boating.
Motorboat restrictions on any lakes - No
Boat launch - Yes (due to fluctuating water levels, most suited to watercraft that are 19' and under)
Docking facilities - No (although available nearby)

Fishing
Crappie, Catfish, Perch, Salmon, Bass and Pike. The water is warm and shallow, with extensive weed beds.
More information on fishing.
OFAH Tackle Share
For a $25 refundable deposit, visitors can borrow basic fishing equipment including a rod, reel and tackle for children and new anglers. Stop by the main park office for more information

Swimming
Description of beach - Sandy
Description of water - shallow and quite warm in summer.
Is there a buoyed area - Yes (on Rondeau Bay, off of Pier)
Length of beach - 8km (lakeside)
Change facilities - No

Education
Indoor Theater, Hiking, Museum/Interpretive Visitor Centre, Educational programs and guided hikes (daily in the summer), Children's programs (Tues-Sat during July & Aug.). For winter schedule of programs and activities, contact the Visitor Centre at 519-674-1768.

Canoeing
Rondeau Bay offers an enjoyable canoeing experience for all.

Winter Activities
Hiking, Bird Watching and Waterfowl viewing, Ice-Fishing, Cross Country Skiing (no groomed trails), skating (on Rondeau Bay), Hiking on Trails, Education Programs and Activities (check with park for schedules), Visitor Centre open on weekends, Friends of Rondeau Bookstore open on Weekends.

Waterfowl Hunting
Waterfowl Blind Hunting available from the middle of September to the middle of December on Rondeau Bay, subject to the Ontario Hunting Regulations. This activity is operated by the Rondeau Bay Waterfowl Association. For more information, please contact the park office.

For more information:
Rondeau Provincial Park
R.R.#1 (Hwy.15)
Morpeth, Ontario
N0P 1X0
519-674-1750