How to plan your trip to Sibbald Point

Located on Lake Simcoe, Sibbald Point Provincial Park is a great spot for day-use. The park has a sandy beach and shallow water perfect for kids.

But during the hot summer months, the park can get extremely busy.

At peak times, visitors might wait over two hours to make it inside the gate. Many weekends, Sibbald Point hits capacity and can’t welcome any more visitors until later in the day.

We really hate to turn away visitors, especially knowing many have driven several hours to get here.

Planning a trip to Sibbald Point? Check out our top tips for a fun and frustration-free visit:

  1. How busy is the park right now?
  2. When is the best/worst time to visit?
  3. How long is the wait on busy days, like summer weekends?
  4. I made a camping reservation? Do I wait in the same line?
  5. The park’s already full / the line’s too long…now what?
  6. Where can I get lunch?
  7. What are the park hours?
  8. How much does it cost to get in?
  9. Can I stay overnight?
  10. Where can I park?
  11. What kind of accessibility does the park provide?
  12. Can I rent a canoe or other watercraft?
  13. Can I rent a picnic shelter?
  14. Can I bring my dog?
  15. What should / shouldn’t I pack?
  16. Is your beach safe to swim in?
  17. Does Sandbanks have ticks or poison ivy?
  18. What else should I know?

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Beach basics

Ontario Parks beaches are prime summer destinations, particularly on weekends with beautiful weather. Our beaches welcome tens of thousands of visitors every year, and we’re proud to be part of so many happy memories.

However, especially now — when physical distancing and responsible park use are so critical — we’re asking for your help!

Here are our top 10 tips to help keep our parks safe and protected, and practice good beach etiquette:

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How to beat the crowds at Sandbanks

Sandbanks Provincial Park is one of the busiest parks in the province, welcoming over 750,000 visitors every summer!

Sandbanks full parking lot signsAt peak times, visitors might wait over two hours just to make it inside the gate. Many weekends, Sandbanks hits capacity and can’t welcome any more visitors until later in the day.

We really hate to turn away visitors, especially knowing many have driven several hours to get here.

Planning a trip to Sandbanks? Check out our top tips for a fun and frustration-free visit:

Continue reading How to beat the crowds at Sandbanks

The trouble with balloons

Today’s post comes from David Bree, our Senior Natural Heritage Education Leader at Presqu’ile Provincial Park, and passionate protector of Ontario’s shorebirds.

I don’t know Jason. But I do know he turned six sometime in the last two months and he had a wonderful party with cake, presents and balloons, surrounded by friends and family.

I hope he had a good time, but I wonder if he knows the legacy of his sixth birthday — from my perspective — is unsightly litter, extra work and possibly untimely death.

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Improving accessibility at North Beach Provincial Park

A day on the beach is an essential Ontario Parks experience. There’s almost nothing better than soaking in the sun, relaxing on the sand, or playing in the water with friends and family.

This summer, John Cairns, from the Wheelchair of Hope Foundation, helped make this possible for all North Beach Provincial Park visitors through the donation of two wheelchair-accessible Mobi-Mats.

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Health benefits of swimming

Whether you walk through the waves or jump off the dock, there’s no better way to cool off than going for a swim.

This summer, as you escape the sweltering heat in one of Ontario’s lakes, think about these head-to-toe benefits your body is receiving from that dip:

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Why driftwood matters

Today’s post comes from Laura Myers, Senior Park Interpreter of Neys Provincial Park.

Driftwood – it makes a great bench to watch the sunset, a balancing beam to play on, or that perfect element to your photograph.

There’s something about driftwood that gives beaches that rugged beauty factor. Walking on a beach, listening to the waves and the birds, and looking at the different pieces of driftwood can be wondrous and relaxing.

Has a piece of driftwood ever caught your eye and made you wonder where it originally came from? How it got that far up the beach? The size of the wave that put it there? What species of tree or how old it is?

Each piece of driftwood has its own journey and its own story. But its story isn’t over when it washes up on the beach.

Continue reading Why driftwood matters