Long Point Provincial Park is a busy - but gorgeous - beach-centered campground and day use area on the shores of Lake Erie, in Southern Ontario. Here’s our review of our short - but fabulous! - time there.
So, sitting in our camper in Port Burwell, our only option was a single night at *one* available spot in that campground - not the one we were already on.
On a lark, I decided to see what was between Port Burwell and home - that we weren’t already booked for (Turkey Point!)- and see if we could get a night or two booked there.
Amazingly, Long Point had a single night of ONE camp site that would accommodate us! SCORE!
After all, if we’re going to pull up and move, why not see a whole new park on the way home?
Long Point Park
Long Point Provincial park is located in the town of Port Rowan, in Norfolk County - less than a 2 hour drive from Hamilton.
I’d first read of Long Point in one of those popular Toronto blogs, and it sounded amazing.
It’s part of a 40-kilometre-long sandspit jutting out into Lake Erie, and is known for its pristine sandy beaches.
Unfortunately, it’s also wildly popular during the summer months, so I’d been unable to get a reservation back when figuring out our summer plans!
Fun fact: Established in 1921, this park is the fourth oldest provincial park in Ontario!
It comes in behind Quetico Provincial Park (1909), Rondeau Provincial Park (1894), and Algonquin Provincial Park (1893), which is also the oldest provincial park in Canada.
Also, it’s located in region designated as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)
Anyway, lots to talk about, so let’s get to it...
Campground Name: Long Point Provincial Park
Address: PO Box 99 350 Erie Blvd, Port Rowan, ON, ON, N0E 1M0
Price Ontario Provincial Parks uses a pricing matrix across all their parks. See 2023 Camping Fees for additional information.
Reservations: Ontario Parks Reservations
As with all of our experiences booking with Ontario Parks, booking online was quick and easy.
I’m still absolutely amazed we were able to find a site, in August, with only a day’s notice!
Check in was quick and easy, through a window at the gatehouse. Once we had our vehicle passes, we had to show them at a little kiosk, to enter the park.
Signage in the park was relatively decent in general, with one big exception:
There *definitely* could have been some better thought put into marking the one way directionality, both in the park and on the map. (Monarch’s Rest campground, specifically).
The only way we could tell where to go, was to NOT go into the “no entrance” streets, and try the next one up.
Cell reception was decent. Not great, but it worked decently at most times, both in the campground, and on the beach.
We were even able to stream an episode of “Good Omens” in the evening, with very few buffer drops.
Campground Amenities & Info
Some quick information on what this campground has to offer:
Entertainment and Activity
Long Point Provincial Park may be centered around the beach - for good reason! - but there are plenty of ways to keep yourself entertained in this sprawling campground!
There are access points to the sandy beach areas in both the Monarch’s Rest and Turtle Dunes campgrounds, as well as in a day use area near the front gate of the park.
We stayed in the Firefly campground, and even still, we were maybe a 5 minute walk from Long Point Beach - if that.
IMHO, no matter where you stay in the “new park” area, you’re never more than a few minutes away from the warm waters of Lake Erie.
On that note, I did notice an undertow when wading in - and the waves were VERY powerful.
I was actually kind of surprised not to see any wind surfing happening the first day, seemed like it would have been ideal conditions for that kind of thing!
We did see a couple of them the next morning, though!
Campers have access to the beach around the clock, which we took advantage of.
We enjoyed both the sunset the night we arrived, and then went back to watch the sun rise the next morning. So peaceful!
We actually went to the parking lot at the far end of Turtle Dunes to hang out on the beach there - it was still dark when we arrived, with the moon brightly shining overhead.
The waves were high, so it was actually pretty loud, but the weather was warm, there was a cool breeze, and it was just really nice. Highly recommend it, if you can drag your ass out of bed early enough!
The HUGE day use area at the entry of the park does close at 10pm though.
Boating & Fishing
There’s a boat launch area near the front of the park.
The boat launch facilities open out onto Sturgeon Bay, and - from there - Long Point Bay. We didn’t see anyone launching when we visited, but the park says they’re able to accommodate most pleasure craft at the launch.
I like that the use of the launch is included with your park entry, whether as camper or with a day use permit.
The launch area includes a fish cleaning station, which I thought was a nice touch. Maybe I’m not super observant, but I haven’t seen one at a campground before!
Anyway, as always, keep water safety in mind - life jackets are loaned out from the park. (Refundable deposit involved).
The park serves as the home base for the Long Point Waterfowl Management Unit, which oversees a controlled waterfowl hunt.
Hunting takes place 4 days a week during the hunting season (September-December), but doesn’t actually take plan IN the park.
(Hunting isn’t permitted in the park at all).
While you can take some long walks on the beach, there really aren’t any hiking trails in Long Point Provincial park.
As with Hiking, there aren’t any cycling TRAILS in this park... but there is over 5 km of calm roadways to bike on, and plenty of people seemed to be enjoying that option!
Long Point Provincial Park is the perfect place for bird watching - in fact, it may have inspired me to take it up!
(We’ll see if I actually follow through on this idea, though!)
I knew it was a destination for those who like to watch song bird and waterfowl migration, as that had come up when I was looking into parks to visit.
This one sees over 300 different song bird and waterfowl species migrating through every spring and fall, with 80 + different varieties actually nesting in the park.
Even though our campground was FULL of people, what we heard most was the birds. SO many birds flying overhead, singing in the trees, etc
We had a tiny woodpecker visit us while we were eating dinner, and one of the neighbouring sites even put up a bird feeder - they were VERY popular, as you can imagine!
Knowing nothing about birds, I had to google them. I had no idea if they were a crane or stork of some kind (both of which are species that CAN be seen there, though!
In the end, it turned out that they were likely Great Egrets.
I had to laugh, as my first thought was that it’s too bad they weren’t SNOWY egrets... See, I used to skate to the soundtrack from Witches of Eastwick, and loved that movie back in the 90s.
So, I have to say it... No, we haven’t seen any snowy egrets around here. Not that I’d know a snowy egret if I was pissing on one.
Sorry, had to! I guess I’ll have to settle for puns about having no “great egrets” from our trip...
Anyway, I can see why they make the claim to be one of the top places for bird watching in North America!
Of course, don’t take my word for what a great spot it is - it’s got all kinds of cred.
The region is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Long Point Bird Observatory is located just outside the front entrance of Long Point Park, and the national headquarters of Bird Studies Canada (Birds Canada) is just up the road in Port Rowan.
Big Creek National Wildlife Area is also not far from the park - there’s a LOT of nature happening in the area!
... though I’ve got to say, all the signs about snakes definitely unnerved me a bit!
The day use area has a picnic area, and discovery programs are available through the “exploration station” during the summer months.
As with Port Burwell Provincial Park, the park offers a Discovery Activity Book for kids to learn about nature.
Beyond that, there’s a fantastic playground at the end of the Firefly Campground (easily accessed from the Monarch’s Rest Campground as well), and apparently there’s a second playground in the Old Park Campground / Cottonwood Campground.
There are a few Pokestops / Gyms / Ingress Portals around the park, but very few and far between. You’ll have reception to play, but you’ll have to walk a fair distance to get anything done!
Each of the 3 campgrounds has a comfort station with showers and flush toilets. There are also a few flush toilets throughout the campgrounds and in the day use area.
The comfort station in Monarch’s Rest also has a washer and dryer.
Firewood and ice can be purchased at the park store, which is located at the park office for New Park.
The store also carries the standard offerings for provincial park shops - the park stickers, crests, camping supplies, ice cream treats and other snacks, etc.
We stayed in the Firefly campground, which appeared to be mostly pull through sites, with basically no privacy at all.
The sites were large, but everything was right out in the open:
These were also large, and had more privacy in terms of the other camp sites, but pretty much all of them are en route to the beach, so expect a ton of people to walk by!
They were right in the sand dunes, very close to the beach - but due to the layout, wouldn’t have anywhere near as much walking traffic as the sites in Monarch’s Rest.
We saw a wide range of equipment used in this park, and the roads were generally good for even larger trailers.
Some of the turns in our campground may have been a bit rough for the larger bus-style campers, but I’ve never driven one, so take that with a grain of salt.
We were surprised at how clean and quiet the park was, given the layout and number of people. We are early sleepers, and had no problem going to bed at 9pm.
Even when we were making breakfast outside, with people milling about - we heard birds and the waves on the lake... not people!
As with most of Ontario provincial parks, you have the option of hydro or not, and that’s about it. In this case, I’d estimate that around half the sites were electrical.
Firefly looked to be pretty much all electrical, with Monarch’s Rest and Turtle Dunes looking to be a mix of electrical sites and non electrical sites.
There is a single water fill station as you enter the park, so be prepared for a WAIT.
Again, there was only a single dump station. We didn’t have any wait, but we were leaving on a Thursday afternoon going into a long weekend.
I’m betting Monday involved a LONG wait to dump!
The garbage and recycling area was huge, well laid out, and clean. How old am I, that I get excited about well-appointed recycling areas? LOL!
Ok, so the good: All of the comfort stations have barrier free access, as does the park store.
There are two “barrier-free” campsites in the entire park - one electrical (Firefly), and one non-electrical (Cottonwood).
On the upside: no matter where you’re camping, you’re not super far from the lake.
On the downside: The roads are fairly rough and uneven, and I would imagine would be difficult for those using a wheelchair.
The two paths we took to the beach were fairly inaccessible.
Walking from the parking lot at the end of Turtle Dunes to the lake was soft, unlined sand - the kind you really sink into as you walk. (I was spoiled at Port Burwell Provincial Park!)
The path we took from Monarch’s Rest to the beach had some kind of synthetic path liner on it, but it was crumpled really bad - nowhere near as amazing as the Port Burwell one.
I think it would have been a rough go for wheelchair users, but I didn’t see what the other paths from that campground - or in the day use area - looked like.
Pets are definitely welcome at Long Point Provincial Park, and we saw a TON of dogs - all having the times of their lives.
The far end of Turtle Dunes Campground has a small parking lot and a short walk to the dog beach. It’s also an off-leash dog exercise area.
You know, I’ve really taken a liking to parking our butts on the dog beaches at parks. I LOVE watching how excited they get, and the joy is infectious.
This time, we saw a German Shepherd trying to EAT the waves, and a large, spotted Very Good Boi desperately trying to get his owners to play with him, as they were dancing.
It was hilarious to watch him throw his ball in between them as they danced... poor guy! Persistent, though!
Anyway, aside from the dog beach, all other areas of the park require dogs to be leashed at all times.
I think pretty much all of the sites we saw looked big enough for a car to park (in addition to the camping equipment), and there are several parking lots throughout the campgrounds.
The parking lot at the day use area is SO big, I honestly have to wonder about what absolute chaos that beach has to be on hot weekends.
I guess at least they’re set up for it, parking-wise!
Because of our short stay here, we really didn’t leave the park.
That said, we did pass a few cute restaurants on the drive up the sand bar, and may have to check them out someday.
Udderlee Kool is pictured below - a restaurant and grocery shop that definitely caught my eye on the way in!
This campground had an entirely different vibe than we were expecting, and we loved it!
I was shocked that it could be so packed, and still so quiet and respectful - I’d read that it had a big rep as a party campground!
That said, we did visit on a Wednesday / Thursday, so I’d be curious to see what a longer stay / weekend stay would be like.
The beach is fantastic, the fact that you can easily walk to it from any camp site is a huge plus, so all around a great experience!
We’ll definitely be back!
More Campground Reviews
Want to read some more of what we have to say about the campgrounds we've stayed at? Here are some more reviews!
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