A Locals Guide to 6 of the Best Beaches Around Picton, in Prince Edward County, Ontario
Some of the best beaches in Ontario are located around Picton, in Prince Edward County. From the well-known dunes at Sandbanks to the secluded cliffs at Little Bluff, there are many fantastic places to spend an afternoon. Better yet, aside from the Provincial Parks, the beaches in Prince Edward County are free for everyone to enjoy.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
3004 County Rd. 12 RR#1 Picton ON K0K 2T0 613-393-3319
The beaches at Sandbanks Provincial Park located just outside Picton are among the best in Canada. It’s here that you will find clear blue waters and the worlds largest natural freshwater sandbar and dune formations. With three white sandy beaches for visitors to enjoy, Sandbanks Provincial Park is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people annually. In fact, the park often reaches capacity by mid-day on the weekends during the summer months.
The first of the three beaches at Sandbanks Provincial Parks is Outlet Beach. Located in the East Lake section of the park, Outlet beach is perfect for families with its shallow water and a gradual drop-off. The second beach is the Sandbanks Day-Use area. Directly on Lake Ontario, Sandbanks beach sometimes has rough waters with moderately sized waves. Dunes Beach is the third beach and is located off West Lake. With a steep drop off not far from shore, swimmers should exercise caution. There are no lifeguards at any of the three Sandbanks Provincial Park beaches.
Prince Edward County’s most popular beach also offers over 500 campsites, several walking and cycling trails, boating, and fishing. This park provides great bird watching opportunities, especially during the spring and fall migration. During the summer months, park staff offer daily programming.
North Beach Provincial Park
440 North Beach Rd Consecon K0K 2T0
613-393-3319 (September to June) 613-399-2030 (3rd week of June to Labour Day)
North Beach Provincial Park is similar to Sandbanks, however smaller in size. With over 1km of sandy beach, North Beach is sheltered from Lake Ontario. These calm waters are great for swimming and boating. Take caution as there is a steep drop off at this side of the beach. The open area of Lake Ontario is also accessible to visitors to enjoy the rougher waters. Keep in mind the undertow conditions on windy days. The depth of the water drops off slowly on the Lake Ontario side.
North Beach is a great alternative when Sandbanks has reached capacity and the ideal place for a day trip to the beach. This park is much quieter than the nearby Sandbanks and is a perfect spot for families to relax on a summer day. This is a Day-Use only park which means there is no overnight camping facility. There are plenty of picnic tables and the washrooms are located close by.
Wellington Rotary Public Beach
Beach St, Wellington, ON K0K 1G0
Just west of Picton on the shores of Lake Ontario, the public beach in Wellington has plenty to offer. This pebble beach has a fantastic boardwalk with benches, picnic tables and shelters for visitors to enjoy. Water is shallow and ideal for kids. Popular among locals, families, and cyclists, Wellington Beach is quieter than some of the other Prince Edward County beaches. On windy days, windsurfers come to catch the waves.
Located at the center of town, Wellington beach has free parking, washrooms and change rooms on site. There is a small lighthouse which adds character to the landscape. Most recently, they have installed 13 interpretive signs which provide education about the natural environment and the history of the area.
Point Petre Wildlife Conservation Area
Athol, ON K0K 1P0
Positioned at the southernmost tip of Prince Edward County, the beach at the Point Petre Wildlife Conservation Area can be difficult to find. It is located nearby the Point Petre Lighthouse which has been sectioned off for some time. There are no signs marking the entrances to the beach, which is accessed by the narrow lanes off the main road. A 4×4 is advisable and it’s important to know that some lanes are inaccessible to vehicles.
The scenery along the long rock beach is, in my opinion, the best of all the Prince Edward County beaches. Beachgoers enjoy finding driftwood washed ashore and exploring the fossils embedded in the rocks. Swimmers love the flat limestone ledges and the waves coming off the lake. Be careful as there are strong currents and an undertow in Lake Ontario which can be dangerous. Come prepared to spend the day as there are no amenities on site. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket for picnicking as no tables are provided. There are fire-pits available for visitor use. Please check if there is a burn ban in effect before having any open flames.
Point Petre is one of the premier bird-watching areas in Canada during the spring and fall seasons. During these times a variety of birds use the spot as a stopover during their migration. If you arrive early in the morning it’s sometimes possible to watch the birds being banded.
Little Bluff Conservation Area
3625 County Rd 13, Milford, ON K0K 2P0 Phone: (613) 968-3434
Located on Prince Edward Bay in Lake Ontario, Little Bluff Conservation Area is located at the top of an 18-meter high limestone bluff. From here you can follow a pathway down to the long cobblestone beach below. Taking a dip in the aqua blue waters of this quiet shoreline is a reward for those who venture this far into Prince Edward County.
The conservation area itself is incredibly interesting. There are roughly 1.5km of trails to explore where visitors might even come across the remains of former grain storage and docking facility dating back to the second half of the 1800s. Behind the beach, there is a wetland area home to a large variety of ducks, turtles and frogs. Little Bluff also has a picnic shelter and washroom facilities during the summer months.
Roblin Lake Park
Coleman St, Ameliasburgh ON K0K 1A0
Roblin Lake is located in the village of Ameliasburg in the northern part of Prince Edward County. The calm waters are perfect for swimming, and there is a very small sand beach area where children enjoy playing. The park facilities include a children’s play structure a boat launch, and one of the busiest baseball diamonds in the County. Stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and canoes also frequent the area. Port-a-Potties are available during the summer months.
The lake itself is unique in that it only exists today due to the layer of natural rock underneath. Left behind over 10,000 years ago by the glaciers which were once connected the Lake Ontario, the water is kept from draining away by this rock barrier. Roblin Lake is also the location of one of Canada’s most iconic A-frame cabins, which was built and lived in by the famous poet Al Purdy.
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