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Sandbanks

Sandbanks Provincial Park - main photo of the park

What you'll like:

  • World’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation
  • Three expansive sandy beaches that some say are among the best in Canada; Outlet Beach is perfect for families, with shallow waters and gentle drop off
  • Location jutting out into Lake Ontario means that this park is a bird migration hotspot in spring and fall
  • Walking trails that allow visitors to experience the dune and wetland habitats of the park
  • Daily interpretive programming for the whole family during summer months
  • Great starting point to explore Prince Edward County known for its bicycle touring, wineries, food and antiques
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Camping Experiences

By the Numbers

  • Total Campsites - 549
  • Electrical Campsites - 174
  • Group Campsites - 2
  • Cottages - 2

Camping

Sandbanks is known for its great family camping with campsites in close proximity to the beach.  But for those looking for a bit more comfort the park offers Jacques Cottage and the Maple Rest Heritage House for year-round accommodations.


 

Car Camping

Sandbanks offers over 500 car campsites in five campground areas: Outlet River A & B, Cedars in the East Lake sector, Richardson’s in the West Lake sector and the Woodlands Campground located between East and West Lake sectors of the park. 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.
 
Outlet A with its many waterfront sites is very popular with campers. A few sites offer electrical service. This is a busy campground with sites that are grouped relatively close together. Outlet B offers a bit more privacy with some sites along the Outlet River and a loop with electrical pull-through sites.

Cedars is a family oriented campground offering more sheltered, private campsites. It has less traffic than the Outlet campgrounds but the beach is still close by.

The Woodlands Campground offers both shady and sunny sites. Sunny sites are preferred by fall campers when temperatures are cooler. All sites in the Woodland Campground offer electrical service. Swimming, boating and the Visitor Centre are only a short distance away.

Richardson’s Campground also offers a mix of sunny and shady sites. This campground does not have electrical service.

 

Group Camping

Sandbanks has two group campsites that vary in size and can accommodate from 30 to 50 people.  Water taps are nearby and vault toilets are on site.  Outlet Beach is approximately 1 km away.

Call the park directly to reserve (613) 393-3319.

 

Cottages

Number of Cottages at Park: 1
Site Number(s): Jacques Cottage

Located on the shores of Lake Ontario within Sandbanks this one and a half story cottage is a short bicycle ride from the Outlet and Sandbanks beaches.

Sleeps:
Maximum 6 people

Amenities

The cottage sleeps six and has a master bedroom with double bed, loft with two single beds and a pull out sofa in the living room.

Visitors will find a fully equipped kitchen, satellite TV, wood fireplace, barbeque and propane. Bedding and towels are supplied.

What to Bring

Visitors should bring beach towels and all consumable items such as food, dish soap etc.

Visiting in Winter
Restrictions

Please note that domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the cottage and smoking is prohibited.

Parking

Vehicle passes for two vehicles are included in rental in your rental. Additional vehicles require permits.

How to Reserve

To reserve Jacques Cottage, please call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) or 1-519-826-5290 outside of North America.

 

Cottages

Number of Cottages at Park: 1
Site Number(s): Maplerest Heritage House

Nearby to park trails, beaches and day-use facilities, this four bedroom Victorian Home is furnished with antiques. Equipped with everything you need for a luxurious Sandbanks vacation.

Sleeps:
Maximum 8 people

Amenities

This home has a fully equipped kitchen, sleeps eight, in four bedrooms each with its own bathroom. The Master bedroom has a queen size bed and a whirlpool path. Bedding and towels are supplied. There is an additional washroom with laundry facilities by the kitchen and a large screened in porch with patio furnishings. Satellite TV, stereo system, gas fireplace, barbeque and propane are also included. This facility is wheelchair accessible.

What to Bring

Visitors should bring beach towels and all consumable items such as food, dish soap etc.

Visiting in Winter
Restrictions

Please note that domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the cottage and smoking is prohibited.

Parking

​Park for 3 vehicles is included in your rental.

How to Reserve

To reserve the Maple Rest Heritage House, please call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) or 1-519-826-5290 outside of North America.

Highlights of Things to Do

Sandbanks has the largest baymouth bar on a freshwater lake in the world. This accounts for its beautiful beaches with sand dunes as high as 60 metres.

Natural Heritage Education programs provide families with hands-on, entertaining ways to explore the park and learn more about its famous sand dunes, discover the watery world of the Outlet River or learn about the park’s fascinating history.


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.

Cedar Sands Nature Trail – 2 km loop
Walk along the shores of the Outlet River and stop at the two lookouts providing scenic views of the marsh. This is an interpretive trail with 12 stops. Trail guides are available at the trailhead or the Nature Shoppe.

Woodlands Trail - 3.5 km, linear, easy
Starting at the Main Gate parking lot, this trail takes cyclists and hikers through the Woodland Campground, across old farm pastures and hardwood lots until it reaches County Road 12 and the entrance to the Dunes Day-Use area.

Sandbanks Dunes Trail – 2.5 km loop, easy to moderate
This trail loops through a unique and fragile dune habitat and travels along the edge of several pannes. The dune system is the largest of its kind in the world and the pannes are a rare wetland habitat that supports wildlife and unusual flora.

In addition to the main trail, there is also a one kilometre loop at the beginning of the trail that is barrier-free. Please stay on the trail to minimize your impact and to avoid Poison Ivy, which is common throughout the area.

 
Canoeing

Although there are no formal canoe routes at Sandbanks, the Outlet River is ideal for those just learning to canoe and who wish to explore the marsh habitat.

 
Swimming

Sandbanks is famous for its beaches and swimming. It has three natural sand beaches: Outlet Beach is located in the East Lake sector of the park, Sandbanks beach is located in the Sandbanks Day-Use area off Lake Ontario and Dunes Beach is located in the Dunes Day-Use area off West Lake. Outlet and Sandbanks beaches have gradual drop-offs, but the Dunes Beach has a steep drop off and swimmers should take extra caution. Please note: there are no lifeguards posted at the beaches and pets are not permitted except on the designated pet area.

 
Boating

Powerboats are allowed on Lake Ontario, East and West Lake but not near the swimming areas or on the beach. A boat launch is located in the Outlet River A Campground. It is suitable for boats less than 18 feet. Other boat launch facilities are available outside the park.

 
Fishing

East and West Lake are popular fishing lakes for Yellow Pickerel, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and various pan fish.

 
Biking

Sandbanks does not have dedicated bicycle trails but cyclists can explore the park along campground roads. Prince Edward County, beyond the boundaries of the park, is a favourite destination for bicycle touring.

 
Natural Heritage Education

During the summer, park staff offer a variety of fun, interactive educational programs. Join a Park Naturalist as you explore the hiking trails, stop by the Visitor Centre to learn about the 1920s Lakeshore Lodge, bring your young campers to the children’s programs and take the whole family to the evening campfires and slide shows!

 
Birding

Sandbanks offers great birding opportunities, especially during the spring and fall migration. Bird checklists are available at the Visitor Centre.

Amenities

Sandbanks offers all of the amenities that a camper or day visitor might require including conveniently located comfort stations, picnic facilities, stores and a Visitor Centre.

Just the Facts

 
Comfort Station(s)

Comfort stations complete with showers, flush toilets and laundry facilities are located in all campgrounds at Sandbanks.

 
Flush Toilets

Flush toilets are located in all campground comfort stations as well as in the Outlet, Sandbanks and Dunes Day-Use areas.

 
Barrier Free Access

All comfort stations within the park have barrier-free access. A one kilometre loop at the beginning of the Sandbanks Dunes Trail is barrier-free.

 
Day Use Area

Outlet Beach, Sandbanks and Dunes Beaches are popular day-use areas. All three have sandy beaches with emergency phones (but no lifeguards). Picnic tables are also available. Dunes Beach has three mini picnic shelters close to the beach available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 
Laundry

Laundry facilities are located in each one of the campground comfort stations.

 
Boat Launch

A boat launch is located in the Outlet River A Campground. It is suitable for boats less than 18 feet. Boat launch facilities for larger boats are available outside the park.

 
Rentals

Canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the woodlot. Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) are available for loan with a $30 refundable deposit. Visitors can also borrow free of charge fishing rods and tackle through the Tackleshare program.

An all-terrain beach wheelchair is available to borrow, courtesy of The Friends of Sandbanks Park.

 
Park Store

The Friends of Sandbanks Nature Shoppe is located at the Visitor Center and is stocked with a variety of Sandbanks souvenirs, clothing items, artwork, nature books, guides and much more. The Shoppe is open in the summer and weekends, in the spring and fall.

Currah’s Park Store and Grill located at the Outlet Beach Day-Use area offers visitors a full line of camping supplies, ice, beach toys, groceries and souvenirs. The restaurant features fresh salads, vegetarian dishes, home made pizza and traditional grill favourites.

Currah’s Dunes Grill and Patio is located at the Dunes Beach overlooking the sand dunes and offers ice cream and grill favourites.

 
Picnic Shelter

There are two large picnic shelters in the park, one located at the Dunes Day-Use area and the second located at the Outlet Beach area by the amphitheatre. To reserve these facilities, call the park at 613-393-3319.

 
Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre is located in the Outlet Beach area by the Park Office. The Visitor Center offers an opportunity to learn more about Sandbanks history and natural features through displays and exhibits. Displays include live reptiles, amphibians and fish, as well as examples of some of the more common plant life found at Sandbanks.

Park Location

Campground Maps (online)

Online Map

Park Maps (pdf)

Park Overview - 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.


Sandbanks Provincial Park

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