Trails: Three trails, totaling 38.5 km in length, are available to cyclists. These trails travel through mature Carolinian forest, past 200 year old trees, and through rare Oak Savanna.
Roads: The paved, flat roads of Rondeau are perfect for cycling and rollerblading. To protect species at risk a section of Rondeau Road is closed annually to vehicle traffic making it perfect for cycling.
Rondeau is a premiere birding destination providing bird watchers with a world-class experience. 334 species of birds have been recorded in the park and 134 of these have been recorded breeding. Some, like the endangered Prothonotary Warbler, are found in only a few places in Canada.
The Rondeau peninsula is an important stopover for migrating passerines (known as perching or sometimes song birds) and waterfowl in the spring and fall. During these times the park is filled with numerous species of warblers, thrushes, flycatchers and other song birds. Rondeau Bay hosts thousands of ducks and Tundra Swans in the spring and fall.
Rarities including Townsend’s Solitaire, Yellow-throated Warbler, Blue Grosbeak and Painted Bunting often show up on the peninsula during migration.
Lake Erie: Lake Erie is a prime boating destination for sailing, motor boating and kayaking. There is no lakeside boat launch or docking facilities in the park, but both can be found in nearby Erieau.
Rondeau Bay: A popular place for canoeing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, kite boarding and motorboats. A boat launch is available in the park, by the park’s Main Office. Due to fluctuating water levels, the boat launch is best suited to watercraft that are 19’ and under.
Rondeau Bay: The generally calm and shallow waters of Rondeau Bay offer an excellent canoeing or kayaking experience. Pack some snacks and water and venture out into Rondeau’s marsh, one of the largest remaining coastal wetlands on the lower Great lakes. Look for Spotted Gar at the water’s surface, Bald Eagles soaring overhead or any of six turtle species swimming under your canoe.
Lake Erie: On calm days, canoeing or kayaking on Lake Erie can be a magical experience. Head out early and watch the sunrise as gulls, terns and other waterfowl fly by. If you’re feeling energetic, begin your paddle in Lake Erie and go around the whole peninsula, ending your day in the productive waters of Rondeau Bay.
Lake Erie: Salmon, walleye, and perch are the most popular catches in Lake Erie.
Rondeau Bay: The warm, vegetation rich waters of Rondeau Bay offer excellent Largemouth Bass fishing. Perch, sunfish, crappie, catfish, and pike can also be caught in these waters.
Spice Bush Trail - 1.5km loop, 1 hour, easy
The Spicebush Trail winds through a southern hardwood forest of old growth Tulip Tree, American Beech, and maple. In spring, the forest floor is carpeted in wildflowers making the trail a botanists delight. The trail explores the transition between Carolinian forest and marsh and is an excellent site for bird watching.
Black Oak Trail: 1.4 km loop, 1 hour, easy
The Black Oak Trail winds through a narrow strip of Pine-Oak Savanna. Several meadows along the trail bloom with brilliant Wood Lily, Wild Columbine, and Woodland Sunflower. This is an excellent trail for bird watching.
Tulip Tree Trail – 1.2 km loop, 1 hour, easy
This barrier-free trail travels through a mature Carolinian forest with the majority of the trail being boardwalk for handicap accessibility. Hikers will have an opportunity to see examples of Carolinian trees that are rare in Ontario such tulip trees, sassafras, and Shagbark Hickory. During May, this is also the best trail to see the endangered Prothonotary Warbler. (An all-terrain wheelchair is available for use from the Visitor Centre)
Marsh Trail – 7.2 km one way, 14.4 km return, 5-6 hours, easy
Note : The Marsh Tower and boardwalk were severely damaged by ice sheer earlier this year. For public safety reasons, both the Marsh Tower and boardwalk were removed until further notice. Sections of the Marsh Trail were also damaged by high water levels earlier this year causing erosion and instability of the trail itself. The Marsh Trail remains open to park visitors however caution must be taken when traversing these areas of the trail during periods of inclement weather. Options for rehabilitation of the Marsh Tower and the Marsh Trail are currently being explored.
The Marsh Trail travels through the heart of Rondeau’s extensive marsh on an old gravel base roadway. One kilometer into your hike you will come to our two storey viewing tower that will provide you with a true bird’s eye view of the marsh and Rondeau Bay. The marsh is dominated by wild rice, cattails and water lilies. Dozens of species of wetland birds breed here during the summer and thousands of waterfowl stop to feed during migration. Watch for our resident pair of Bald Eagles as you travel along this trail. This trail can also be used for cycling.
Harrison Trail - 8 km one way, 16 km return, 4 hours, easy
Harrison Trail was once a gravel roadway, originally constructed to provide access to the lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula. The trail is now closed to vehicles, but is perfect for walking and cycling. The trail travels the length of the park and passes through a variety of habitats including Oak Woodland, Oak Savanna, small prairie openings and Carolinian forest. This is an excellent trail to view birds, butterflies and wildflowers.
South Point Trail – 8 km, loop, 2.5 hours, easy
Middle part of trails is currently washed out.
South Point Trail follows an old roadway around the tip of the Rondeau peninsula. You will travel through an extensive Oak Savanna, along the Lake Erie Shoreline and then through the heart of Rondeau’s Carolinian Forest. This trail is suitable for hiking or cycling.
Waterfowl Blind Hunting available from the middle of September to the middle of December on Rondeau Bay, subject to the Ontario Hunting Regulations. This activity is operated by the Rondeau Bay Waterfowler’s Association. For more information, please contact the Park Office and visit Rondeau Waterfowlers.
Natural Heritage Education
Rondeau has an active Natural Heritage Education (NHE) program that runs from spring to late fall. Programs, including hikes, evening programs, slide shows, children’s programs and campfires take place daily in the summer. Join park naturalists on hikes exploring the amazing diversity of the Carolinian forest, canoeing through the extensive marsh or biking past gigantic old growth trees. The Visitor Centre has an indoor theater, interactive displays and live animals. Programs are listed in the “What’s Happening” section of this website (above). For additional information visit the Friends of Rondeau Park.
Lake Erie: Eleven beach accesses lead to 11 kilometres of beautiful sandy beaches along the Lake Erie side of the Rondeau peninsula. Tread lightly and do not move driftwood as these beach and dune habitats are home to many species at risk including the endangered Fowler’s Toad and Common Five-lined Skink.
Rondeau Bay: The government pier on Rondeau Bay provides a more sheltered swimming experience than Lake Erie. Buoys indicate where swimming is allowed.
Hiking, bird watching, waterfowl viewing, ice-fishing, cross-country skiing (no groomed trails), snowshoeing, education programs and activities (check with park at (519)-674-1750 for conditions and schedules).