Reconnect with nature
Not ready to give up climbing trees, collecting wildflowers and camping under the stars? Kick off your shoes and get in touch with nature in a place where you can easily spend a day (or week) on the shores of Lake Ontario. The County is dotted with Conservation Areas and Provincial Parks boasting enough forest, birds, streams, trails, flora and fauna to inspire even the most urban of urbanites to pick up a field guide. The County’s natural beauty is stunning whether you’re in flip-flops, hiking boots or snow-shoes.
Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory
The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (or PEPtBO) is committed to increasing the appreciation, knowledge, and understanding of birds by collecting data through spring and fall banding programs, a daily census, observation surveys, and research projects. We strive to provide the community with opportunities to support and engage in the conservation of bird populations and habitats.
We’re a volunteer-run charity, with an active bird migration monitoring station since 1995. We’re members of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network and caretakers for the globally significant Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area.
Located in the heart of Picton, Benson park features playground equipment, a tennis court, benches, green space, picnic benches, and public washrooms.
Little Bluff Conservation Area
Steeped in history and rich in natural features, this Conservation Area, located atop a 20 metre high limestone bluff, commands a panoramic view of Prince Edward Bay and the rugged shoreline of this southern reach of the county. Take the pathway to the cobblestone beach below and view the high bluff from a different perspective. There are 1.5 km of trails at this 28 hectare (70 acre) site. This quiet shoreline is actually a barrier beach, effectively protecting a small wetland from the windswept waters of Prince Edward Bay. Here, Canada geese, mallards, great blue herons, bitterns and Virginia rails find the protected habitat they require.
Harry Smith Conservation Area
Harry Smith Conservation Area is a lovely spot for a picnic. The area includes a small pond, originally created to move logs into a log mill that was located on the property in the 1800s, near the outlet of the pond. Two picnic tables are located on the grounds, and area residents have planted flowers around a commemorative plaque. There are no maintained trails at this Conservation Area.
Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area
Featuring a steep east-west escarpment rising some 40 metres above the local terrain, Macaulay Mountain is a favourite destination for hikers and picnickers. There is plenty to see here from famed Birdhouse City with its over 100 miniature reproductions of local buildings, to the Whattam’s Memorial Walkway. This walkway is maintained by Whattam’s Funeral home. There are 20 km of trails on this 178 hectare (440 acre) property, including biking trails.
Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park
The lake is a natural curiosity with a constant flow of clean, fresh water, with no apparent source and set 60 metres above Lake Ontario with views towards the Bay of Quinte, the Glenora Ferry and the north shore. Great picnic spot if you are exploring Prince Edward County with a day-use park, parking, and public washrooms. Toilets and the boardwalk to viewing platform have barrier-free access.Anglers can try for Large and Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and sunfish.
North Beach Provincial Park
Beautiful North Beach Provincial Park had a ribbon of sand over one-kilometer that shelters tiny North Beach from Lake Ontario. The sandy beach is a great place to picnic on a summer day or take a stroll. Swim or boat in the sheltered waters of the bay or the more open Lake Ontario. This park is a quieter park than its more famous neighbour – Sandbanks. Visitors to North Beach may see hawks, Saw-whet Owls, and Turkey Vultures. Anglers visiting North Beach could catch Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, perch and sunfish.
Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area
Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area (NWA) was one of the first sites in Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Protected Areas Network to protect habitat for migratory passerine birds (songbirds). Located at the tip of a long peninsula on the northeast shore of Lake Ontario, at no other location on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario are birds known to occur in such high densities during migration.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
Sandbanks offers more than 620 campsites in six campground areas: Outlet River A & B and Cedars campgrounds are on the East Lake side of the park, Richardson and the new West Lake campground are on the West Lake side of the park, and Woodlands campground is located in the middle of the park between East and West Lake. Campsites in these campgrounds accommodate equipment ranging from tents only to large trailers. Amenities such as water taps, comfort stations and laundry facilities are close by. Over 260 campsites offer electricity.