Ipperwash Beach is one of the longest freshwater beaches in Ontario. Located south of the busy Grand Bend, along the shores of Lake Huron, Ipperwash Beach is generally a quieter spot. Of course, you’ll still find inviting activities for the whole family, as well as secluded spaces for just enjoying some alone time. The beach features soft sand and shallow waters, making it ideal for splashing, swimming and building and sandcastles.
Ipperwash Beach has a fascinating history worth discovering as you explore the area and take in the sights and sounds of the quiet village nearby and natural beauty.
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More about Ipperwash Beach
Ipperwash Beach is a peaceful place, from the serene and sandy lakeside to the friendly rental cottage communities in the area. This lesser-known spot draws fewer crowds than some of the more popular beach tourist destinations nearby, so if you’re looking for quiet and relaxation, you’ll find it in abundance here. There’s still plenty to do, though, even as you relax and take it easy.
Explore local trails, look out for unique birds and take the time to stop and admire gorgeous sunsets. Soak up some sun on warm beaches and enjoy the quiet morning atmosphere with the sunrise.
Three main access points lead to the beach itself off West Ipperwash Road, Army Camp Road and Ipperwash Road in Ipperwash. In addition, there are several Crown-owned properties operated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry that provide beach access, seasonal washrooms and parking.
Be aware of the privately owned properties along the beach. As you enjoy the area, be sure to stay on the public beach, and respect private land. You should also refrain from climbing the dunes and note that no lifeguards are on duty at the beach.
Parking at Ipperwash Beach is free in the Ministry-owned lots near the beach on West Parkway and East Parkway Drives. Or, if you’re interested, as weather and water conditions permit, you can also pay to drive and park on the beach between Kettle Point, Centre Sideroad, and West Ipperwash Road. Other areas of the beach are restricted for vehicles.
Discover even more to do around Ipperwash Beach beyond swimming, sunbathing and beachcombing.
Hiking trails extend in and around the sand dunes and former provincial park areas. The Ipperwash Dunes and Swales Trail is 5.5 km long and winds its way through the Carolinian Forest on sand ridges and wet sales via boardwalks and dirt trails. The Lambton Shores Nature Trails welcome hikers with easy, moderate or difficult hiking levels on the northern edges of the Carolinian Life Zone.
Other popular trails can be found in the Forested Dunes Nature Reserve, the L-Lake Management Area, the Ausable River Cut Conservation Area and independent trails such as Wilderness Trail, Forest Trail, Sassafras Trail and Pine Trail.
The history of the area, specifically the former Ipperwash Provincial Park, is an integral part of the picture. Visit the memorial for Dudley George at Stoney Point in Ipperwash and touch on the history of what is known as The Ipperwash Crisis, a major land dispute over Ipperwash Provincial Park in 1995.
Members of the Stoney Point Chippewas (Anishnaabeg) occupied the park to assert their claim to the land which had been expropriated from the people during World War II. The event resulted in the tragic death of Dudley George, an unarmed protester. In 2009, the land ownership was transferred to the Chippewas of Kettle and Stoney Point First Nation.
The land continues to have public access, thanks to the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation’s generosity, allowing visitors to appreciate the natural beauty of the area and learn about its history.