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Pinery

Pinery Provincial Park - main photo of the park
Notice :

On October 20, an individual arrived at Pinery Provincial Park and told park staff he was an Aboriginal person with claims to land in the park and he intended to occupy or repossess the park.

Pinery Provincial Park remains open for camping and day-use opportunities and public safety remains our first priority.

What you'll like:

  • A breathtakingly beautiful park with 10 km of sand beach on the shores of mighty Lake Huron.
  • Extremely rare and fragile Oak Savanna and Coastal Dune Ecosystems with extraordinary biodiversity – over 800 vascular plants, over 300 bird species.
  • Sunsets here are ranked by National Geographic as among the “Top 10 Best in the World”!
  • Excellent year-round outdoor recreation in 21 square kilometres of rare forests and rolling dunes. Enjoy 10 walking trails, a 14 km bike trail and 38 kms of groomed ski trails.
  • Rent a canoe, hydro bike, paddleboat or a single or double kayak to explore the Old Ausable Channel - a provincially significant wetland.
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Camping Experiences

By the Numbers

  • Total Campsites - 1000
  • Electrical Campsites - 404
  • Group Campsites - 10
  • Yurts - 12
  • Camp Cabin - 1
  • Soft Sided Shelter - 2

Camping

Many different camping experiences are available at Pinery Provincial Park. There are superb campsites available with or without electrical hook-ups for tents, trailers and RVs in our three campgrounds.

Pinery also has twelve furnished yurt campsites located in Riverside Campground and three designated group camping areas.


 

Car Camping

Riverside Campground is located beside the provincially significant Old Ausable Channel and has electrical, non-electrical and pull-through sites. Amenities such as water taps, comfort stations and laundry facilities are located within each of the four areas of Riverside Campground. Area 1 Riverside is also open year-round for those that want to enjoy Pinery in all four seasons.

Burley Campground, open from May to September, is the furthest away from the main gate, but is well worth the extra drive! The sites in Burley are nestled between older pines and within close walking distance of the beach. These campsites are perfect for those campers that do not need electricity or pull-through sites.

Dunes Campground is within easy walking distance of the beach, outdoor amphitheatre and Visitor Centre. This campground provides a mix of electrical, pop-up trailer and tent sites from May to September.

Please be sure to always use designated boardwalks to access the beach as our dune system is extremely fragile and sensitive to human impacts.

 

Radio-Free Camping

Area 3 Riverside Campground is designated as radio-free camping and includes such amenities as water taps, comfort stations and laundry facilities.

 

Dog-Free Camping

Area 4 Dunes Campground is designated as pet-free camping and includes such amenities as water taps, comfort stations and laundry facilities.

 

Group Camping

Organized groups and classes wishing to camp in Pinery can choose one of 10 group camping sites. These large sites are located adjacent to the day-use areas and are easy walking distance to the beach. Group camping is designed for tents only with parking space for six cars and one bus. Each site will accommodate up to 35 campers. Campers will find running water, a cold water sink, vault toilets near their site and a fire ring and picnic tables right on their site.

For group reservations call:  519-243-8563

 

Yurts

Number of Yurts at Park: 12
Site Number(s): 474, 475, 476, 477, 478, 479, 480, 480A, 480B, 480C, 480D, 481

If you are looking for something more convenient, consider renting a yurt. These 8-sided tent-like structures are heated, furnished and available year-round.

Sleeps:
Maximum 6 people

Amenities

Twelve yurts are available in Area 1 of Riverside Campground. Inside each yurt, visitors will find two bunk beds to accommodate six people, a table and four chairs, electric lighting and a heater for cool weather camping. In addition, you will find a gas barbecue outside for cooking, a firepit and a picnic table on the site. A comfort station with flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities is located nearby.

Visiting in Winter

Yurts are available year round.

Restrictions

Please note that domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the yurt or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities. Cooking in yurts is not permitted.

Parking

Parking for one vehicle is included in your rental fee.

How to Reserve

Reservations can be made online or through our call centre by calling 1-888-ONT-PARK.

 

Camp Cabins

Number of Camp Cabins at Park: 1
Site Number(s): 489

Pinery has one camp cabin. The camp cabin is a rustic one room cabin with a rustic wood interior.

Sleeps:
Maximum 5 people

Amenities

The cabin sleeps five on a queen bed and double/single bunk bed. High quality mattresses will provide a comfy night’s sleep. The cabin features a kitchenette with a microwave, mini fridge, coffee maker and counter space. There is a dining table and chairs for inside meals. Outside you will find a gas barbeque and picnic table. A propane/electric fireplace provides additional comfort.

The camp cabin is within a short walk of a comfort station and water tap.

What to Bring

Visitors should bring their own bedding, food, pots, pans, dishes, cutlery and other personal items.

Visiting in Winter

Camp Cabin is available year round. A winterized comfort station with flush toilets and showers is available.

Restrictions

Please note that pets are not permitted in the camp cabin and smoking is prohibited.

Parking

Parking for one vehicle is included in your rental fee.

How to Reserve

Reservations can be made online or through our call centre by calling 1-888-ONT-PARK. When reserving online select “Roofed Accommodation” as your reservation type.

 

Soft Sided Shelters

Number of Soft Sided Shelters at Park: 2
Site Number(s): 487, 491

Deluxe Tent

The Pinery is piloting a deluxe tent. Sitting on a wooden platform, the tent features rustic log furniture and two queen beds outfitted with comfort mattresses.

Deluxe Yurt

The Pinery is piloting a deluxe yurt. This yurt is similar to ones you will see elsewhere at Ontario Parks but with a little more elbow room and a few more conveniences.

Sleeps:
Maximum 5 people

Amenities

​Deluxe Tent

A kitchenette includes a mini fridge, coffee maker and counter space. Outside you’ll find a gas barbeque for cooking.

The deluxe tent is within a short walk of a comfort station and water tap.

Deluxe Yurt

The deluxe yurt sleeps five on a queen bed and double/single bunk bed. A kitchenette with microwave, bar fridge and coffee maker make for easy meal prep. A propane barbeque and picnic table are located outside.

The deluxe yurt is within a short walk of a comfort station and water tap.

What to Bring

Visitors should bring their own bedding, food, pots, pans, dishes, cutlery and other personal items.

Visiting in Winter

Deluxe Yurt is available year round.

Deluxe Tent is only available May - October.

Restrictions

Please note that pets are not permitted in the tent and smoking is prohibited.

Parking

Parking for one vehicle is included in your rental fee.

How to Reserve

Reservations can be made online or through our call centre. When reserving online select “Roofed Accommodation” as your reservation type.

Highlights of Things to Do

Pinery is known for its expansive sandy beach stretching 10 kilometers along the shore of Lake Huron. It is a Pinery tradition to gather and watch the sunset. National Geographic has described this area as having one of the “Top Ten Best Sunsets” in the world. Just beyond the beach, visitors will find an expansive, yet sensitive, dune system which provides habitat for countless specialized plant and wildlife species.

Whether you want to quietly explore the woodlands along a trail, dip a paddle in the Old Ausable Channel, cycle along the bike trail, or slide across crisp snow on a ski trail, Pinery is a special place year-round.


Just the Facts

 
Hiking
Take only pictures, leave only footprints: don't bring any plants, animals or other natural objects with you. Park regulations prohibit this. For more information on Leave No Trace practices, visit www.leavenotrace.ca.

Pinery offers many options for hiking. Explore Pinery’s exceptional natural environment via trails like those along the Old Ausable Channel, to the beach, or through Carolinian Forest or rare Oak Savanna. Some offer viewing platforms and good opportunities to view park wildlife. Several trails have benches to rest upon and Riverside, most of Cedar, and Heritage Trails are wheelchair accessible.

See general trail overviews below:

Bittersweet Trail (1.5 km) (Guide Available, Flat terrain, Stairs, Viewing Platform)
Search for mammal signs on this enjoyable walk along the Old Ausable Channel.    Since most mammals are nocturnal, the best time to take this walk is in the early morning or evening.

Carolinian Trail (1.8 km) (Guide Available, Hilly terrain, Stairs, Pond)
This trail is located in a floodplain forest dominated by Carolinian plants and wildlife that are at the northern extent of their range. Stairways, benches and viewing platforms make observing nature an enjoyable experience.

Cedar Trail ( 2.3 km) (Guide Available, Flat terrain, All but the extension is wheelchair accessible, Open year round, Viewing Platform)
Journey through one of the rarest North American habitats the Oak Savanna. A 1 km trail extension also provides the user with access to the shore of Lake Huron. Excellent example of Oak Savanna habitat.

Heritage Trail ( 2.5 km) (Guide Available, Flat terrain, Wheelchair accessible, Viewing Platform, 0.6 Km extension)
Meandering through the rare Oak Savanna habitat, this trail was the site of a prescribed burn in 1990. The colour trail guide highlights the human history of Pinery.

Hickory Trail (1 km) (Flat terrain, Stairs)
This trail leads you along the Old Ausable Channel. Watch for the ragged bark of the Shagbark Hickories and the seedpods of Bladdernut as you examine the rich diversity of plants along this trail.

Lookout Trail (1 km) (Viewing platform, Hilly terrain, Stairs)
From the viewing platform at the top of the dune, you might see a soaring turkey vulture; bring your binoculars.

Nipissing Trail (2 km) (Hilly terrain, Viewing platform, Stairs)
This challenging trail leads you to the top of Pinery’s oldest and largest dune ridge, affording a view of most of the park, Lake Huron and adjacent farmland. Observe the dramatic re-growth of plant life that has occurred after the controlled burn of 1993.

Pine Trail (0.8 km) (Open year round, Flat terrain, Stairs)
The dense stand of Red Pines is the result of a catastrophic fire in the late 1800’s. This section of forest is very different from the Oak Savanna found throughout most of the park.

Riverside Trail ( 1 km) (Guide available, Flat terrain, Wheelchair accessible, Viewing Platforms)
Passing from dry upland oak/pine forests, onto the Old Ausable Channel floodplain, this trail is home to a diverse variety of plants and wildlife. Benches and viewing platforms make this trail ideal for nature watching.

Wilderness Trail (3 km) (Guide available, Flat terrain, Stairs to beach, Viewing platform)
Pinery’s longest trail takes the visitor through some of the park’s oldest forest growth. This path wanders through a Red Pine and mixed Oak-Pine forest to the shore of Lake Huron.

 
Canoeing

Pinery has a variety of different ways to explore the Old Ausable Channel.  Rent one of the many canoes, hydro bikes, paddleboats, single or double kayaks

 
Swimming

10 kilometres of Lake Huron shoreline provide each visitor to Pinery with the opportunity to wade into this Great Lake and go for a swim. Lifeguards are not posted on the beaches.

 
Fishing

Enjoy fishing anywhere in the Old Ausable River Channel (OAC) except beside the canoe rental docks and the south side of Burley Bridge.

The Old Ausable Channel supports a warm-water fish community. It is home to nearly 50 common species, including many kinds of minnows, sunfish, catfish, perch and some top predators like Northern Pike and bass.

The OAC is home to three species at risk fish. We need your help to protect them and not remove them: Pugnose Shiner, Lake Chubsucker and Grass Pickerel 

Note that boat motors (gas and electric) are prohibited at all times within the Old Ausable Channel. Catch and release is encouraged. There is a ban on baitfish use.                 

Ontario fishing regulations and seasons apply. A license is required for those 18 years of age and older. 

 
Biking

This 14-kilometre Savanna Trail follows a wooded path from the Park Store to the traffic circle. It then takes over the left side of the one-way Day-Use Road, along the Old Ausable River Channel, and travels through the wooded landscape to Picnic Area 8. The Savanna Trail then continues by turning into the forest once again. This section of the trail follows a wooded path to the Visitor Centre, where it exits the forest and runs along the left shoulder of the road, over the Store Bridge, taking you back to the Park Store.

 
Natural Heritage Education

The best way to discover Pinery is through the park’s extensive interpretive programs for visitors.

Bike Hikes: Join Park Naturalists for a leisurely, 1 1/2 - 2 hour bike ride along the bicycle trail, exploring and learning about park environments.

Evening Programs: As the night quietly descends on Pinery and the sun sets over Lake Huron, make your visit more rewarding with a visit to the outdoor theatre.

Conducted Walks: Park Naturalists lead leisurely, 1- 2 hour hikes to help you discover Pinery and its special features. Themes may include butterflies, birds or even creepy crawlers, while more general topics explore the need for fire in the Oak Savanna or the struggle of life on a sandy dune.

Pinery for Kids: Children’s programs are held from late June to Labour Day weekend. These energy packed programs will give you an hour and a half of nature discovery with games, stories and animals.

Ooze n’ Gooze: Join the Naturalist staff for an hour of aquatic discovery. Get your hands wet as you wade through the marvel of life that thrives in the Old Ausable Channel. This adventure begins below the dam by the Park Store in July and August.

 
Birding

Pinery’s rare habitats provide shelter and space for 319 different species of birds, 124 of which have nested in the park.  You can watch the magnificent migration of thousands of Tundra Swans in March or watch warblers pass through in May and June. Observe Red-throated Loons off the beach in the spring, or walk the trails in summer looking for a brilliant Scarlet Tanager, Baltimore Oriole or Cerulean Warbler. In the winter, Red-tailed Hawks and Tufted Titmice are common sights at the Visitor Centre feeders.

 
Winter Activities

Pinery provides some of the best cross-country skiing in Southwestern Ontario. The 38 kilometres of trails form a series of loops, providing a variety of challenges for beginner and advanced skiers alike. Stay overnight in a yurt to make it a weekend-long winter escape!

Amenities

Many of Pinery’s comfort stations have recently been updated. A number of comfort stations (complete with flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities) are located in Riverside, Dunes and Burley Campgrounds as well as the day-use areas at Pinery.

A variety of rental equipment is available at Pinery throughout the year. During the summer months you can explore the Old Ausable Channel in a rented canoe or kayak. If you prefer dry land, bicycles are available to rent and take a tour of the park on two wheels. If you visit Pinery during the winter months cross-country skis and snowshoes can be rented for a winter adventure!

Stop by one of the two stores located within Pinery. The Savanna Shores Nature Store is sure to have the perfect souvenir. If you need ice, grocery items or even a double scoop ice cream cone, the Park Store is the place to go.

Just the Facts

 
Comfort Station(s)

Visitors to Riverside, Dunes and Burley Campgrounds will find a central comfort station in each area with flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities as well as vault toilets located throughout the campground. Day-use visitors will discover comfort stations with flush toilets in a variety of locations including the Park Store area and beach day-use areas.

 
Flush Toilets

Flush toilets are found throughout Pinery, in both the camping and day-use areas.

 
Barrier Free Access

Riverside Campground campsites #608 and #609, Dunes Campground campsites #45 and #46, and yurts #474 to #481 are barrier-free as well as the adjacent comfort stations. The Visitor Centre, outdoor theatre, park store, rental building and canoe dock are also barrier-free. Cedar Trail, Heritage Trail and Riverside Trail are accessible. A three-wheeled chair is available at the bike building for accessing rugged or sandy terrain.

 
Day Use Area

Pinery is a perfect picnic destination. A picnic on the beach is nice but don’t forget about the beauty found along the Old Ausable Channel (OAC). There are a variety of locations to stop and have a picnic with a view of the OAC.

 
Rentals

Pedal the park on two wheels, - mountain bikes, coaster bikes and children’s bikes are all available. How about trying a bicycle built for two? Don’t forget the young children - bicycle trailers and bike attachments can also be rented.

Pinery has many different ways to explore the Old Ausable Channel. Rent one of the many canoes, paddle boats, hydro bikes, single or double kayaks. 

In the winter explore the park from one of its many ski or snowshoe trails. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available on weekends when the trails are operating, with the last rental of the day being prior to 3:00 p.m.

 
Park Store

The Savanna Shores Nature Store is a gift shop located within Pinery’s Visitor Centre. Clothing items, souvenirs and books can be purchased in this store operated by the Friends of Pinery Provincial Park. Profits from the Nature Store support projects that enhance the interpretive facilities and programs at Pinery as well as research and ecological monitoring and restoration to restore and improve the parks ecological integrity.

The Pinery Park Store offers campers and day visitors a wide range of grocery and convenience supplies. Camping gear, grocery items, ice, souvenirs and more can be found in the park store. A small restaurant within the store offers hot meals; wraps, hamburgers, fish and chips and more. Scooped ice cream has recently been relocated to the rental building across from the store.

 
Picnic Shelter

There is one picnic shelter at Pinery located in Day-Use Area P9. Reservations may be made for this picnic shelter by contacting the park at 519-243-8563

 
Visitor Centre

No visit to Pinery would be complete without a stop at the Visitor Centre. Open since 1993, the centre has exhibits (completed refreshed in 2011) on the park’s natural history. The Visitor Centre also includes the Friends of Pinery Park Nature Store and an indoor theatre featuring wildlife videos. The Park Naturalist at the Information Desk can answer questions about the park, its facilities and natural features.

 
Pet Exercise Area

The pet exercise area is located at P1 Dog Beach.

Park Location

Campground Maps (online)

Online Map

Park Maps (pdf)

Park Overview - pdf

Trail Maps (pdf)

Cross Country Ski Trails - pdf

Fire Ban

None

There is no fire ban at this time.

Boil Water

No

There is no boil water advisory at this time.

Beach Posting

No

There is no beach posting at this time.


Pinery Provincial Park

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