Be here in an hour: why Southern Ontario landlubbers love escaping to Rock Point

The wind and waves of Rock Point Provincial Park are a must-see, must-experience getaway this summer, especially for overheated, stressed out city dwellers that just need a break. Your getaway awaits at this jewel of a park, nestled on Lake Erie in the ancient Carolinian forest.

Rock Point is a mere hour from Hamilton and the Niagara and Fort Erie borders, an hour from Brantford and 90 minutes from Toronto. How great is that?

Leave behind your electronics and smart phones (or at least try) so you catch the waves along the Lake Erie Shoreline. Pack for a day or a week and enjoy some of the many things this historic park has to offer.

  • The park offers family-friendly camping and great activities to fill your summer days.
  • The day use area of the park overlooks the lake and is perfect for picnicking, swimming, snoozing or throwing a ball.
  • You can go beachcombing along 600 metres of sand pebble beach or jump in the water to ride the waves or splash around to cool off.  (Please note that Lake Erie can be rough during high winds and stormy weather.  This can produce a dangerous undertow at the beach.  Stay out of rough water.  Rock Point participates in the ParkSmart PFD Loaner program.  You can borrow a PFD free of charge.)
  • The weather can be windy along the beach – great for flying a kite.
  • Kids will love searching for fossils. There is a large limestone outcrop with some well-exposed fossils dating back to what scientists refer to as the Devonian Period some 350 to 425 Million years ago.  See how many fossils you and your children can spot? Ask the park staff to help identify what you’ve found.  Remember please look but do not take – Rock Point Provincial Parks is a protected place.
  • The Bird Banding Station located in the park welcomes visitors and lets them discover the world of birds at Rock Point.  So far, there are 274 recorded species. Can you find more? Bring a Field Guide or download a birding app to help you identify birds you see.
  • Take your binoculars or camera along the 2.6 km nature trail that extends along the Lake Erie shoreline and back into old farm fields that are now overgrown, a remnant of the Carolinian forest.
  • From the shoreline, you can also view the ruins of the Mohawk Island Lighthouse, built in 1848 to guide ships into the Welland Canal.

“History is alive along our shoreline from fossils of a different time to the glacial striations formed as the glaciers receded some 12,000 years ago,” says Diana Haywood, natural heritage education leader at Rock Point. “We are a great location for summer fun, from the beach to the trails. We have it all.”