For the past few years we have camped in Norfolk County at Long Point Provincial Park, partially because we know it’s a great place to camp and also because the beach is awesome.
Long Point is about a 2.5 hour drive from Toronto and located on Lake Erie and when I say ON lake Erie I pretty much mean it. Here’s a picture to show you…
Okay so let’s cover the beach first. The beach is covered in beautiful sand and goes on for miles and is perfect for making sandcastles. Although the beach tends to get busier with day-trippers on the weekend, there is ample space for everyone so you don’t feel sardined as the beach is very wide. Make sure to pack your frisbee, soccer ball or kite as there is lots of open area to play. There is no rocks or seaweed on the beach as it is well maintained but there is the odd fallen tree log that is great for taking a cute shot of the kids! Sunsets can be seen perfectly on the beach and if the weather allows, I highly recommend you catch one while you’re there.
The water is shallow which is great for younger kids or big kids like me that need to slowly get used to the water. Many days there are great waves so be sure to bring your boogie boards to ride the waves. Skim boards and kayaks are also a great way to have fun at the beach. Although the waves can be fun, they also come with an undertow that can be dangerous on certain days. Since the beach does not have lifeguards, it is the parents responsibility to watch their children carefully and especially when the undertow is strong.
Long Point Provincial Park is home to 4 different campgrounds. Firefly, Monarch and Turtle Dunes are located in the newer section of the park while Cottonwood is set apart from the others and is considered the ‘old park’
Cottonwood is where we choose to camp as it a smaller park and the beach is only steps away from nearly every site. The park is a beautiful sand dune environment, with very few sites having grass coverage.
Water stations are located all over the park where you can find water for cooking, cleaning and drinking. The water is tested daily and is cleared for personal consumption.
Washrooms are kept fairly clean and are always stocked with soap and toilet paper. Showers are located centrally in the park with roomy stalls with good water pressure a change are and the best part is that they are FREE
The Playground contains a teeter-totter and swings and is filled with more sand. It’s a great place for kids (and adults) to make new camp friends and let out some energy.
All sites are equipped with a fire pit with a removable cooking grate. Wood can be purchased for cooking and campfires at the main camp store.
Fireflies – At night time the park is lit up with fireflies! Watch for them in the bushes, one your tent or flying by your head. They are sure to give you a cool show!
Check-out time is 2:00pm but you are welcome to move to the day-use area of the park until 10:00pm or use the public beach for the day
** NOTE: Cottonwood is a Radio-free park and non-electrical
Tips for Camping at Long Point
Non-reservable sites – Cottonwood has 25 non-reservabe sites that are first come, first served. Check out the non-reseravbles before you set up camp as you may find one that is more suited to your tastes. The camp office will gladly switch you to a non-reservable site upon arrival if you find one you prefer.
Bring your bikes – There are lots of places to bike and you can take a trip to the ‘new park’ to play on their bigger playground, go get some ice cream or just to check out the local cottages.
Port Rowan is the nearby town (about 10 mins away) and has a grocery store, LCBO, ice cream shop, general store and restaurant
Bring a beach tent – Due to the fact that the beach is quite big, there is plenty of room to set up a beach tent to take a break from the hot sun and shelter ou from the wind.
Watch for snakes, frogs and turtles – not that they are going to hurt you but because they are cool to watch and quite common at Long Point
Poison Ivy – Stay out of the grassy areas as there is lots of poison ivy throughout the park
Long Point is a place not to be missed wether you are going for the day or staying for a week. You will fall in love with the beach and keep coming back, like we do, year after year.