Pinery Provincial Park
One of Ontario’s most spectacular natural destinations, Pinery Provincial Park offers outdoor activities and incredible scenery throughout the year. Nestled on the shores of Lake Huron, the park features everything from hiking, biking and ski trails, water channels, sand dunes, sandy beaches and a beautiful canopy of Oak Savanna forest.
The park is located just south of Grand Bend, an hour and a half drive from Kitchener and under an hour from London. Ample parking is available. If you plan on going for just a day trip, stick around to watch the sunset across Lake Huron, it’s one you'll remember.
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More about Pinery Provincial Park
Pinery Provincial Park is over 2,500 hectares in size, and is home to a thriving and diverse ecosystem, as well as a long shoreline, sand dunes, water channel and the largest area of rare Oak Savanna in all of Ontario. With over 800 varieties of plants, 300 species of birds, 32 mammals and 29 species of reptiles and amphibians, you can count on great wildlife viewing opportunities.
During summer, relax along the 10 km stretch of sandy beach on the shores of Lake Huron. Spend hours sunning on the sand, enjoying the sun and listening to the sounds of the lake. Or hop in the water and go for a swim.
Explore the 10 nature trails within the park. Each trail reveals a different highlight, from the sand dune ridge to walking along the Old Ausable Channel. At 3km, Wilderness Trail is the longest and showcases the old pine forest growth before leading visitors to the shore of Lake Huron. Other popular trails include Riverside Loop Trail (1 km) and Nippissing Trail (2 km). Keep in mind that three of the park’s trails are wheelchair accessible: Heritage Trail, Riverside Trail and Cedar Trail.
Besides taking in the stunning changes in ecosystems found in the park, keep an eye for wildlife. Common sightings include white-tailed deer, red squirrels, chipmunks, beavers, raccoons and coyotes. Early morning and dusk are the best times to spot wildlife. For bird watchers, March is a particularly amazing time visit to witness the spectacular migration of the Tundra Swan.
Cyclists will enjoy the picturesque 14 km Savanna Bike Trail that runs through the park. The path leads through many of the forested sections of the park and along the Old Ausable Channel. If you aren’t able to bring a bike with you, visit the rental shop and pick up some wheels for the day.
Running the length of the park is the Old Ausable Channel, which was created in the late 1800s as a diversion from the main river. This slow-moving waterway offers visitors a chance to enjoy kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding along 14 km of blissful tranquility. You'll likely spot turtles as seven different species call the park home. Or you can spend the day fishing in the channel (license required). The river is home to almost 50 types of fresh water fish species.
But Pinery Provincial Park is not just a summer destination. It turns into a winter playground with 40 km of ski trails to enjoy, ranging from easy to challenging. If you don’t have skis, you can rent a pair of cross-country skis. In addition to ski trails, in winter there are two walking trails perfect for snowshoeing. And the campgrounds stay open all year long.
The park's rental shops offer canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, bikes and cross-country skis. And to appreciate this lovely place, spend the night. Pinery Provincial Park has three campgrounds with nearly 1,000 campsites available.