Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: June 2021
Rock Point Provincial Park is located along the north shore of Lake Erie near the mouth of the Grand River. It features a one-kilometre sand and pebble beach with fossils embedded in a limestone shelf along a portion of it. It has 178 campsites and a single hiking trail that winds through the different habitats in the park, including the forest, sand dunes and wetlands.
Toronto is currently under a heat warning, so we figured the only way to beat the heat is to spend time by the water. We packed our cooler, lots of sunscreen, our towels and bathing suits and hit the road. We planned to visit a few parks along Lake Erie, starting first with Rock Point. We rolled into the park shortly after 10:30a.m. Lucky for us, the stay-at-home order in Ontario was lifted a few days ago, which meant that we could purchase a park crest from the Park Office.
We parked at the day-use area and walked down to the beach. The shore features a mix of sand and pebbles. The waves were rockin’ and a rollin’ and there was a nice cool breeze coming off from the lake. Despite the fact that it was early June, there were several people in the water.
From the beach we could access the Woodlot Trail (2km). The trail follows along the shore of Lake Erie, through a forest and wetland, and leads to a viewing platform built on top of the sand dunes overlooking the lake.
The trail itself is not signed and could easily be missed. We knew the trail runs parallel to the beach, so we headed in that general direction until we found a wide path that leads through the forest. From here it was quite clear where to proceed. The sun was shining and it was getting hot. Thankfully much of the path was shaded and it was breezy.
As the trail reaches a bend towards the park’s southeast corner, the shore transforms into a limestone shelf of exposed fossils. Some 350 million years ago, this area was part of a tropical coral reef. The exposed fossils were formed in the cavities left by decomposed moss animals, sea lilies and other reef organisms.
The path then reaches the viewing platform which consists of a few wooden steps and platforms that lead to the scenic overlook.
At the viewing platform, the trail branches off to form a short loop. We followed the trail through a small portion of the campground before heading back into the forest to connect back with the main trail. We followed this back to the beach and parking area.
We wrapped up our hike around lunch o’clock and headed to the next park to eat some lunch.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here