Pinery Provincial Park was established in 1957 and is located on the shores of Lake Huron. The park is over 6200-acres (2500 ha), leaving visitors with much to explore from the Old Ausable Channel to the many trails located within the park. Visitors will be able to experience beautiful scenery and landscapes ranging from the sandy beach and rolling sand dunes to the forest of oak and pine.
Six miles (10 km) of shoreline await park guests who may want to wade or swim in the clear, cool waters of Lake Huron. Old Ausable Channel runs through the park providing a great opportunity to explore the nearly 9-mile (14 km) long channel by kayak, canoe, or paddleboat. The channel runs from Grand Bend and ends at the Ausable River in Port Franks. Both the channel and park present excellent birdwatching opportunities throughout all seasons. Nearly 300 species of birds visit the park each year.
No matter the season, visitors to Pinery Provincial Park will have a number of activities at their fingertips. Trek down one of the many hiking trails or bike down the Savanna Trail. Rent a boat at the park to explore the channel. In the winter months enjoy miles of cross-country skiing trails that are accommodating to all skill levels.
One of the three camping areas within the park is open year-round with the other two campgrounds open seasonally from May to September. Some pull through sites are available, making it easy to park for those with larger rigs. The park itself is open year-round for day use. A number of amenities are available within the park including a pet exercise area, a park store with souvenirs and grocery items, and a picnic area.
Pinery Provincial Park is located in Grand Bend, Ontario off of ON-21. It is about a 3-hour drive from Toronto. If planning your visit during the winter months, be sure to check weather conditions. Temperatures may often fall below freezing and snow is common to the area.
There are other communities and services within 20 minutes of either direction of the park. While services aren’t far, the park store also has some basic groceries and supplies for purchase, along with gift items.
The roads in the park are paved and mostly flat. Park amenities such as the beach, boat rentals, and trails can be accessed by walking, biking, or driving. Due to the large size of the park, you may find it necessary to bike or drive from one end to the other.
Riverside Campground is located next to the Old Ausable Channel. It is the only campground of the three at Pinery Provincial Park that is open year-round. Riverside has both electrical and non-electrical sites. Additionally, some pull-through sites are available. This campground is favorable for those with larger RVs and travel trailers.
Some amenities located within this campground include water taps, comfort stations with flush toilets, and laundry facilities.
Dunes Campground is open each year seasonally, from May to September. There is a mix of both electrical and non-electrical campsites available to visitors.
This camping area is walking distance to the sandy beach as well as the Visitor Center. This is the only camping area within the park that does not allow pets.
The Burley Campground is open from May to September each year. This campground is the farthest camping area away from the main entrance of the park. It is nestled under tall, old growth pines and is only a short walk to the beach along the shores of Lake Huron.
All campsites within Burley Campground are non-electric. There are no pull-through sites available.
With over 6 miles (10 km) of shoreline, you’ll find a fantastic spot for swimming on Lake Huron in Pinery Provincial Park. Wade, swim or float around in the clear lake water. Lounge on the sandy beach for sunbathing or to simply dry off after your swim. There is no lifeguard on duty at the park.
Explore the Old Ausable Channel by canoe, kayak, hydro bike, or paddle-boat. Boat rentals are available in the park. The channel’s water is slow flowing as it makes its way to the Ausable River, making it a great activity for all ages and skill levels. Motor boats with gas or electric motors are not allowed on the channel.
Pinery Provincial Park offers many hiking trails as well as a biking trail for visitors to enjoy. The nearly 9-mile (14 km) Savanna Trail is a trail for cyclists. There are also several hiking trails of varying lengths within the park with the longest being almost 2 miles (3 km). The trails lead through oak and pine forests, along the lakeshore, and past scenic overlooks.
Pinery Provincial Park is a popular spot for birdwatching from both land and water. There are over 300 species of birds that visit the park with at least 150 species that have nested. If visiting in the early spring, you may witness the migration of Tundra Swan. The months of May and June are perfect if looking to spot warblers. If visiting during the winter months, red-tailed hawks may be observed at the park.
Over 23 miles (38 km) of cross-country skiing trails can be enjoyed by winter visitors to the park. The trails are perfect for both beginner and advanced skiers. The trails form a series of loops, making up one of the best cross-country skiing areas that southwestern Ontario has to offer.
Anglers will enjoy water filled with many different types of fish. There are over 50 species of fish in Old Ausable Channel, including a few at-risk species. Anglers may expect to catch sunfish, catfish, perch, northern pike, and bass. Catch and release fishing is encouraged when fishing on the channel.