East Sister is the one island of the Erie Archipelago that escaped
being logged. Less than a kilometre across, the island supports
a rich and distinct ecology. Its southern vegetation includes several
plants that are rare in Canada, such as Short's aster and the Kentucky
coffee tree. These Kentucky coffee trees shelter a major breeding
colony of great blue herons, black-crowned night herons, and great
egrets. Other shorebirds, waterfowl and snakes also make the island
The archipelago is unique from a geological standpoint. More than
ten thousand years ago, a glacier scraped away the topsoil and carved
deep scratches in the bedrock. Exposed to the elements of the lake,
the island has suffered a lot of weathering. No trees stand along
the rocky shoreline and only dense thicket remains in much of the
interior. Patches of Silurian and Devonian bedrock, roughly 400
to 430 million years old, have been exposed by the elements.
Park Facilities and Activities
There are no visitor facilities. Because of the possibility of
disturbance to the bird colonies, visiting is discouraged, especially
from May through August when the heronry is active.
Location: In the western basin of Lake Erie approximately nine kilometres
west of Pelee Island, twenty kilometres from the mainland. Access
is by private boat only. Navigational hazards exist around the island.
For more information:
Wheatley Provincial Park
P.O. Box 640