Part of the Ontario Parks System, Turkey Point Provincial Park is a bustling campground on the north shore of Lake Erie, in Southern Ontario. We recently spent some time there, here’s what we thought!
The village of Turkey Point is in Norfolk County, not far from Port Dover, or from Long Point Provincial Park.
In fact, you can see the Long Point sandspit from Turkey Point Beach on a clear day!
Fun fact: Up until a few years ago - when it was closed down - Turkey Point Provincial Park was the only Ontario Provincial Park with it’s own golf course.
Anyway, as a heads up - before buying our current RV and deciding to venture out and see Ontario, the only time I’d ever heard of Turkey Point was in a song.
... and that song is “Toronto Sucks”, by 3 Dead Trolls in a Baggie.
Super catchy song, but I’ve definitely had the line “and Turkey Point sucks!” stuck in my head the entire time.
Not because it DOES suck - it definitely does not - but hey, brains are weird.
So, let’s get to that review, eh?
Campground Name: Turkey Point Provincial Park
Address: 194 Turkey Point Road. Turkey Point, ON N0E 1T0
Price Ontario Provincial Parks uses a pricing matrix across all their parks. See 2023 Camping Fees for the best information.
Reservations: Ontario Parks Reservations
Campground Amenities & Info
I’ll sum up the campground in 3 statements:
The good: HUGE, gorgeous camp sites.
The bad: If you’re not amazing at maps (and really, even if you are), the campground can be a bit chaotic to get around in. Concentric circles of camp sites, bad cartography, etc.
The ugly: The campground roads are NOT super trailer friendly.
Our towed car got wrenched off the ball on one WILDLY ridiculous section of road, smashed up the front end a bit.
Anyway, the camp ground seems more or less well maintained. Let’s discuss logistics, then look at the popular activities and offerings at Turkey Point...
As with all of our other Ontario Provincial Park stays, this was quick and easy to book, using their online reservation portal.
Check in was quick and easy despite the employee obviously being new. He had to ask another employee some questions, but he was still friendly and quick.
Registration took place via a window, so we appreciate not having to actually go in.
Cell reception was nonexistent our first night, and very hit and miss for the rest of our stay.
To the best of our knowledge, there is no park WiFi, at least not in the campground area itself.
Entertainment and Activity
Turkey Point Beach
Turkey Point Beach is another one of the Great Lakes gems, a 2 km sandy beach, a short distance from the campground.
Note: by “short distance”, I mean like a 5 minute drive or so, it’s definitely not what I would consider walking distance from the campground!
While it is physically separate from the camp ground area of the park - you have to leave the campground, then re-enter the park at the beach - campers are able to show their vehicle passes to gain admission to the beach area. There are no additional parking fees for campers.
On warm days in the summer months, the beach is an absolute zoo - so it’s a good place to not only enjoy a dip, but to people watch.
We actually noped out of our attempt to go to the beach on our first day in Turkey Point. After 3 on a sunny Sunday afternoon, yeeeahh.
We did return for sunrise the next morning, and then later to just lay on the sand and enjoy the lake for a bit. Gorgeous beach, well kept.
The water is shallow with a sandy floor, and the swimming area is roped off from the lake, to keep boaters separate.
Also of note: It’s not known to have an undertow. After feeling how strong the pull was at Long Point, figured that’s worth mentioning!
Boating & Fishing
There’s a marina in Turkey Point where motorboats can be launched (for a fee), and canoes, kayaks, pontoon boats, paddle boats, etc can be launched from the beach itself.
I was kind of surprised to see a fairly large pontoon boat just up the beach from us - I didn’t see an actual boat launch there!
As for fishing, you can either fish from shore, or boat out on Long Point Bay, which is known for its excellent fishing.
Bass and yellow perch, if I remember correctly from our time just across the bay, at Long Point!
I’m going to apologize in advance in case this review ends up sounding a bit savage. The hiking situation is a bit of a mess.
First off, there are 3 hiking trails listed in the park:
Fin and Feather Trail
A moderately difficult trail that takes you out just over 2 km to the Normandale Fish Culture Station.
It’s supposed to take you along an old hatchery pond, we didn’t see a pond though. Dried up, maybe?
The problem? It tells you to start the trail by the vault toilet in the Fin and Feather campground, and - as best we could tell - this trail didn’t exist.
We went to the vault toilet, we followed the road around back, we looked between the two camp sites that the trail was supposed to pass through... nothing.
We ended up going back to our campsite - right across from the entrance to the Oak Savannah Trail - and walking along the “Emergency Exit” on the map (which is really just the road to the group camp areas), to where it intersected the trail as indicated on the map.
Looking ACROSS the road, to where the trail was supposed to come from the Fin and Feather campground?
We couldn’t find any trace of a trail. Super frustrating!
The hike itself was nice, once we found the trail. Lots of hills, obstacles, etc - a nice challenge first thing in the morning!
It ended up being about 4 km total, from our campsite - it’s a there-and-back hike.
Lookout Bluff Trail
This is a flat and easy 2.2 km loop , starting and ending right near the entrance to the park.
The signage along the trail was definitely geared towards children.
So, if you’ve got young ones in tow, there are activities and such to keep them entertained along the way.
It seems like it was probably a nice view of the lake at some point, but the view was overgrown and had houses in the way.
Oak Savannah Trail
This was the last trail we checked out, rushing it in right before the rain started .
This was super convenient to our camp site (#123), and the entrance was basically right across the street from us.
The Oak Savannah Trail is another flat and easy walk. This time it’s a 1 km loop, taking you through an area that has gone through controlled burns in an effort to recover an Oak Savannah.
For everyday biking, cyclists can be seen biking around the roads in the campground.
However, it’s the mountain biking opportunities that really caught our attention.
When looking at maps - Alltrails, Pokemon Go, etc - in an effort to figure out the Fin and Feather mess, we saw a TON of trails.
Far more than what was indicated on the park map, it looked like utter chaos.
(Don’t get me started on a rant about how poor the park map was, in SO MANY WAYS. AUGH!!)
While we were on our Fin and Feather hike, we came across signs for the mountain biking trails.
For as poorly labeled as the provincial park trail was (literally just arrows here and there), the mountain biking trails were super well labeled - names, distances, difficulty, etc.
There was a big map sign of all their trails, we loved the names and all.
Honestly, kind of jealous that they were *hooked up* like that, after we spent so much time messing around with even trying to find our trail in the first place.
Looks like a SUPER cool set up for those into mountain biking. A+ on the signage and all!
(I appreciate attention to logistics).
Anyway, check out the Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club website for more details.
They seem to have their stuff TOGETHER.
There are also some mountain biking offerings though Long Point Eco-Adventures, nearby.
Bird Watching, etc.
I was surprised at the lack of birds in the park, while on our hikes.
With the diverse ecosystems that the area is known for, I would have figured this would have been another naturalist’s paradise.
After all, Long Point Provincial Park is literally within view of Turkey Point, and that’s basically the perfect place for birding!
I guess Turkey Point isn’t really known for birding.
We actually didn’t see much wildlife at all, on our hikes. A couple of red squirrels, some kind of a mouse or something at one point.
Mushrooms, though - we saw all KINDS of mushrooms.
I didn’t actually know mushrooms even came in blue, but we saw a really cool one at some point.
Also some bright orange ones that I SWEAR looked like Cheezies, along with all kinds of other shapes and sizes of mushrooms.
There are a couple of playgrounds in the campground:
One playground is as you’re heading from the front office towards the campgrounds, and one is in the middle of the Whippoorwill camp.
The first playground I mentioned seems to have some kind of picnic shelters / picnic tables there, and there’s a parking lot nearby as well.
The playgrounds weren’t as modern or decked out as some of the other provincial park playgrounds we’ve seen.
In addition to the playgrounds, the park website makes mention of their Discovery Program, which sounds to be similar to the last few we’ve stayed at.
Discovery Activity Book, Exploration Station, learning about nature, etc.
I saw mention of keeping an eye out for event listings posted in the park, but didn’t see any bulletin boards during our stay.
There are a handful of Ingress Portals / Pokestops in the campgrounds, but that’s about it.
Between how few and far between they are, and how bad our reception was, I’d recommend going into town if you need more than a few stops to spin / etc.
We actually arrived during a community day, and ended up pretty thankful that we were Go Plus-ing and shiny hunting en route!
There are a couple of comfort stations in Turkey Point Provincial Park Campground: One in the middle of Walkingstick Woods campground, and the other in the middle of Whippoorwill Campground.
Both have laundry facilities, flush toilets, and showers.
In addition to the comfort stations, there are several vault toilets throughout the park - two in Whippoorwill, one in Fin & Feather, a couple in Walking Stick Woods.
There’s fairly standard and well appointed camp store at the park office, offering souvenirs, snacks, firewood, camping supplies, ice, etc.
The campsites here are generally HUGE, with fairly good to good privacy.
Even the sites that don’t have great privacy seem to have the camp set ups far enough away from each other, that it doesn’t feel like you’ve got other campers up in your business.
We saw mostly tents and smaller RVs / trailers during our stay (Probably because of the roads!)
Most sites are back-in, though there’s a handful of pull-through sites in the Walking Stick Woods campground.
As a heads up, none of the sites we drove by seemed very level at all, so plan ahead.
Porter thought he was going overboard in the amount of extra wood blocks he brought for leveling, but he ended up VERY glad he did so!
Sites are all either electrical or non electrical; as with most provincial park campgrounds, water and sewer aren’t offered at sites here.
There’s a water fill station and dump station near the front - the water station has a single fill site, the dump station has two set ups.
There’s also a fair number of water taps throughout the park.
As far as refuse goes, there’s a single garbage collection / recycling area, near the water fill station towards the front entrance of the park.
Both comfort stations are labeled as having accessible facilities, as are the vault toilets throughout the campground.
In addition to that, there are 2 “barrier free” campground sites - one electrical, one non-electrical.
Overall, I wouldn’t rank Turkey Point Provincial Park as being very accessible.
You definitely need a car to get around if you’re at all mobility impaired, the roads aren’t anything I’d want to roll a wheelchair down.
The grounds and roads are very un-level, very hilly - it can definitely pose a challenge.
I would not recommend the Fin and Feather trail for anyone with even moderate mobility issues.
The other two trails might be ok for someone with canes, crutches, or other mobility aids, but not what I would consider wheelchair friendly.
Weirdly enough, we didn’t see a single dog in the camp ground during our stay. We didn’t see any rules AGAINST them, either.
If course, there doesn’t seem to be any dog-specific areas (no dog beach, no off-leash exercise areas, so far as we can tell), so maybe people are just bringing their dogs to more dog-friendly parks?
Again, the sites are HUGE here, so parking isn’t likely to be an issue for most people.
The parking at the comfort stations and vault toilets is fairly limited, though, so heads up on that.
Aside from that, there are a couple parking lots - one near the playground towards the front of the park, and one near the entrance to the Whippoorwill campground.
As we had a relatively short stay - with a fair amount of rain! - we mostly kept to our campsite.
That said, the beach strip is definitely the big “nearby attraction”. Aside from the beach, there are a few restaurants - Kelly's Cove seems like a popular option - and even an arcade that we drove by!
I feel like this review has probably ended up sounding way more negative than I intended it to.
We had a perfectly lovely stay, aside from that initial trailer mishap and the AWFUL cartography.
The camp sites themselves are amazing, and the park - especially with how big and busy it was - was actually really quiet.
Not sure if we’ll come back - there ARE a lot of other options to check out - but I wouldn’t rule it out either.
I’d say just if hiking is an interest, or mobility is an issue... temper your expectations, that’s all.
Contrary to what I’d heard, Turkey Point doesn’t suck 🙂
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