winter trail on sunny day

Winter adventures at Presqu’ile

While camping may be closed for the snowy season, Presqu’ile Provincial Park is open for day use 365 days a year!

So why visit in the winter? Here are six great reasons:

 1. Fantastic shoreline vistas

When conditions are right the ice buildup along the Lake Ontario shoreline produces fantastic formations.

ice volcanoes
Ice volcanoes

You can see everything from ice volcanoes to icebergs and even pancake ice!

Pancake ice
Pancake ice

But these formations are ever changing and often don’t last long.  Every visit provides a new vista.

Ice bergs
Ice bergs

Just make sure to enjoy the beauty of winter from solid ground. Not all ice is safe to walk on. Venturing out onto unsafe ice puts your life (and the lives of first responders) at risk.

2. Winter wildlife

Many animals are more visible in the park once people are gone for the summer.  Red Foxes, Wild Turkeys and White-tailed Deer are all routinely seen.

red fox

You might even spy more secretive animals, like River Otters.

otter on ice

Please do not feed the wildlife in the park or leave food behind. All the animals in Presqu’ile have special adaptations to help them survive winter and they can find all the food they need on their own.

3. Winter birds

Winter brings a new host of birds that spend the winter at Presqu’ile and are gone by summer.

Over-wintering ducks — such as the spectacular Long-tailed Duck — are always present, and other species come and go all winter. In March, Presqu’ile is a staging ground for thousands of ducks, geese and swans and is one of the world’s best places to view this mass migration event.

Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed Duck

In addition, other birds such as Bald Eagles, Snow Buntings, and Snowy Owls are regularly seen.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

Visit the Bird Sightings Board to discover what birds are being seen in the park, and to add your own sightings!

4. Snow tracks

Once the snow flies, the animals that remain active during the winter leave their telltale tracks in the snow, making it a great time to get to know who is in the neighbourhood!

Learn more about being a winter wildlife detective.

Grouse (cross-shped) and racoon tracks
Grouse (cross-shaped) and raccoon tracks

Follow tracks to see what animals have been doing in the park.

5. You have the beach to yourself!

Not an entirely facetious statement.

The park is much quieter, and perfect for an introspective walk along the trails –road or beach – and you might see something completely different.

Ice Sculpture

6. Winter scenery in general

The forest and fields of the park can be a beautiful sight with a dusting of frost or snow.

scenic snowy forest

Experience waldeinsamkeit as you take a stroll through a Winter Wonderland on Jobes’ Woods Trail.

Don’t forget your pass!

A valid daily vehicle permit or seasonal pass is required while in the park (yes, even during the winter).

Winter pass on tree

Daily vehicle passes can be purchased in advance online or by phone.

Our staff work hard ensuring roads are plowed and vault toilets are maintained, and spend the winter tackling important park projects. Visitor fees support this work.

Guarantee your entry to Presqu’ile on even the busiest days by making a reservation in advance!

  1. Online
  2. By phone at 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) – open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST

Trailhead sign

Wondering what to bring for a winter visit?

  • Water and snacks (there is no running water during the winter season)
  • Dress warm and in layers as the weather can change quickly
  • Hand sanitizer (vault privies remain open, however our comfort stations are closed)

Learn more tips to prepare for your winter adventures here.

Come walk in our winter wonderland!