It really is all about the beach! We have camped at several provincial parks over the years and I love different parks for different reasons. Grundy Lake for its many wonderful clear lakes, canoeing and the call of the loon,; MacGregor for the great bike trials, deer, nature walks, and nice beaches.; I could go on.
Long Point is all about the Beach. Located on a 40 km long sand spit that is located on Lake Erie, the park itself is fairly small and divided into two sections. The old Cottonwood campground is located mid-way down the road with private cottages on either side. Wonderful sandy beach, and probably located on the best part of the whole beach (IMO). Great sand dunes and most sites are sandy, some are grassy but located too close to the road and noise. The ones near the beach are very open to wind, sun and each other but still nice and the best sites are located on the outer fringes of the loops, with more trees and privacy. We first ventured here last year on a spur of the moment trip and took what we could get which was less than ideal. Our site was near...who am I kidding, it was right beside the garbage, recycling, highway and gate into this part of the park and no trees for privacy. I am glad to report that this site is no longer in existence and they have put in a new comfort station. They also moved three other sites to do this and reallocated them elsewhere. Please fill out those comment cards, it seems they do listen. Despite our crummy site we still had a good time and fell in love with the beach and the whole area.
So this year I booked well in advance and we had two great sites in the newer part of the park at the end of the road. This part of the park borders the biosphere nature reserve. Our fist booking was to the Monarch campground, very short walk to the beach, and very private. Most sites here are very nice and shady and well treed and a short walk to the beach. More poison ivy found here than anywhere else in the park. Firefly is located here also furthest from the beach and borders the road in with big trailer lots. Our second stay was over in Turtle Dunes and we had another fantastic site with our own private dune right to the beach and we loved it. Sites here are also very nice with a few more open to direct afternoon sunlight and all a short distance to the beach. We really enjoyed falling asleep to the sound of the wind in the trees and the waves on the beach. It can also be very windy where ever you are as you are basically out in the middle of the lake and surrounded by water on three sides and the widest section of the spit is only a km across and storms can be intense, so peg/secure well. The park beach ends near the Turtle Dune campground and you can still walk the beach forever, just pay attention to the warnings of Lyme disease and venture at your own risk.
There are no real trails to speak of but we did notice some pathways through the high grasses down by the road in and one by the marina. I would not venture in here unless I was covered from head to toe >Lyme disease. There are playgrounds for the children located in each campground. Comfort stations are now in all campgrounds. (Monarch and Firefly still share one.)There is also a very busy marina for any boaters and great fishing with plenty of bait options found down the main road. Ice and wood can be found at the park store or down at Jakes, located by the Cottonwood campground. Bike riding is fairly decent as you can easily ride the road all the way out to the Causeway Restaurant and back. (New 40km speed limit makes it much safer). There are a few shops along the way with ice cream and water needs and more marinas and a vegetable stand or two, the lighthouse near the new park and not much else except for cottages. The atmosphere overall is great beach vibe and really laid back.
Port Rowan is the closest town a short car ride away and a great lakeside community offering everything from groceries, Laundromat, beer, liquor, restaurants, shopping, fishing and a really great fry shack.
So if you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday this is the place. The water is nice and warm and most of the time nice and calm and great for swimming and finding sandbars. I have done more sunset swimming on my three trips here than all the years of camping up north combined.
Just one BIG warning: Swim at your own risk. They call them the Great Lakes for a reason. Parents please keep an eye on your children at ALL times (I am tired of cringing and wanting to yell at you) and to ALL adults please respect the water conditions, especially wavy conditions and take heed no matter how strong a swimmer you think you are. After arriving last year just after a drowning, and this year witnessing a recovery operation I cannot stress enough the dangers of the currents, undertows, strong winds, small waves, medium waves, big waves, storms that have left, storms that are coming in. Just be aware!! And you will LOVE this park and beach. It is now in my top 3!!!
- Also Known As:
- Long Point Provincial Campground Hotel Port Rowan
- Long Point Provincial Campground Port Rowan, Ontario, Canada