Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: July 2020

Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park is located among the 30,000 Islands in Georgian Bay. While it is not a large provincial park, there are 81 campsites and 4 cottages available for rent, it features a natural sandy beach and has a boat launch for canoeing and boating. Apparently it is an excellent area for fishing.

Sturgeon Bay is located just off of the Trans-Canada Highway 69, so we decided to make a detour here on our way home from Chutes Provincial Park to break up the 4.5 hour drive, go swimming and eat some lunch.

We arrived at the park just after 12p.m. For a Sunday afternoon it was busier than expected. But I guess with scorching hot temperatures and its close proximity to Toronto, being near (and in) the water is one of the few ways to tolerate the heat warning.

We were able to use our parks permit from Chutes to enter Sturgeon Bay. Apparently a park permit from one provincial park is valid at any of the other provincial parks in Ontario (something new we learned on this trip). We parked near the beach area and changed into our bathing suits. The shoreline of the beach area provided a nice mix of sun and shade. The swimming area is marked with two buoy lines to mark the gradual drop-off into deeper waters.

The water was surprisingly quite warm. But then again, anything compared to the frigid waters of Lake Superior would be.

After we finished swimming, we found a vacant campsite near the beach area to make and eat some lunch (and dry off).

Before heading out, we checked out the boat launch area.

While I don’t think I’d ever camp at Sturgeon Bay (the campsites don’t offer a lot of privacy and there are limited activities), it did provide a nice break from driving and we got to go swimming. This turned out to be an excellent decision as the traffic on the rest of the way home was terrible. It was a good way to end our Northern Ontario road trip around Lake Superior.


25 thoughts on “Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park

  1. kagould17 says:

    So good to live in a province with relatively clean lakes. The Alberta lakes (other than in the Rockies) mostly have shallow sandy bottoms and are prone to algae blooms. While I used to swim or wade in some of them, I have more common sense now. Glad you had a good road trip. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Yes, we’re pretty lucky in Ontario to be near four of the five Great Lakes. They aren’t nearly as pretty as the lakes in Alberta, but I bet they’re sure a heck of a lot warmer (except for maybe Lake Superior). We’ve been experiencing some algae blooms here too because of the warmer temperatures. Not ideal as some of them can be harmful. Thanks for reading.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Oh good! Prior to this year I think I’ve only visited ten provincial parks. Because of the pandemic, I’ve had more of an opportunity to explore Ontario. Now it seems I can’t get enough of Ontario’s parks!

      • Ab says:

        Did you get the Provincial Parks Passport and are you collecting the unique patches/stickers for each Park? It’s a fun way to track and document your journey!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        We haven’t. When we went on our first Northern Ontario road trip provincial parks were just given the green light to open earlier in the week. So the park offices didn’t have much (or anything) in terms of inventory. They were even handing out information guides from last year. When we went camping later in the season we noticed the patches, which are super adorable. I’m guessing that you have one. They are a nice way to document your travels to all the various parks.

      • Ab says:

        My hubby got the passport and has been hooked. On our drive back to Toronto from Thunder Bay, we did quick stops at some parks along the way just for the sake of getting the patches and stickers. Certainly an effective promotional tool! It also made me realize just how many parks there are in Ontario!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I can see why as the patches and stickers are so beautiful. They are very well designed. When I went to Neys I bought a shirt that had the Neys patch on it and thought it looked really cute. Maybe I’ll pick up an Ontario Parks Passport next year with the goal of trying to visit as many parks as I can!!

  2. Lookoom says:

    You mention the cold waters of Lake Superior, I think I remember that they are so cold at depth that drowning victims’ bodies do not rot and fall to the bottom forever. Sorry for this slightly macabre note, it’s not Halloween yet 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      After “swimming” (I use this term loosely as it was more like wade into the water to quickly wash all the bug spray and sweat off and then race back to the shore to dry off) in Lake Superior, I believe it!!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      This was a nice way to end our Northern Ontario road trip. We were lucky that we had such fabulous weather the entire time (it only rained once during our first night). We weren’t so lucky on the bug situation, but it makes for some good memories. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. ourcrossings says:

    Looks like a lovely place to go for a swim. There are many lakes in Sligo, but we haven’t tried any of them out as we prefer to take a dip in the ocean; I enter the sea and leave my worries on the shoreline. Although there are many people who swim all year round, I usually stop around September, because it’s just too cold for me 😹😹Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I find salt water just does wonders for my skin. I can see why you would prefer to swim in the ocean even if it were much colder than a lake. I still can’t get over that there are people that swim all year round. I always hate getting out of the water only for it to be freezing cold on land too. It’s so hard to warm up afterwards. To each their own I guess.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Agreed. I go camping to be surrounded by nature, not other people (and their noise). There are a few provincial parks here in Ontario that offer cabins. We’re thinking of booking one in Killarney later in the fall to see what it’s like. I’m not brave enough to go camping in the cold, but I would be willing to go if I were staying in a warm and cozy cottage!

  4. Mike P says:

    Love you calling out that hidden benefit of the park permit. It is not well advertised that it can be used to access multiple parks on the same day. We did the same sort of thing you did this summer, stopping off at Oastler Lake for a quick swim on our way back from Killarney.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Funny how we discovered that hidden benefit at the end of our Northern Ontario road trip. It would have been nice to know beforehand, but that’s okay. We ended up returning later in the summer and took full advantage of our park permits and tried to visit as many parks as we could along the way. We were debating whether to stop at Sturgeon Bay, Oastler Lake or Six Mile Lake on our way back home, but went with Sturgeon Bay only because we passed by it first. Next time we’ll have to check out Oastler Lake. It’s a nice way to break up the drive.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was a great way to end our Northern Ontario road trip. While I don’t think we’d ever camp at this park, it was nice to visit for a few hours and go swimming. The beach area was sandy and the water was surprisingly warm. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Leave a Reply