Wheatley Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: August 2021

Wheatley Provincial Park is known as Ontario’s “deep south” park. It is located along the shores of Lake Erie and has the same latitude as Northern California. It is situated in the Carolinian forest and is located on a major migratory bird route. Wheatley provides excellent opportunities for birdwatching and canoeing and features two short trails through the forest and along the water.

After spending the day exploring a few other parks along the drive to Wheatley, we arrived at the park at 6:30p.m. We checked in and collected the permit for our campsite. Unfortunately they were all sold out of park badges and stickers. The disappointment begins.

We reserved a site in the Boosey Creek Campground which was in the radio-free zone. But that was about it in terms of plusses. Our site was right beside another site with no trees in between. In reality, this should have just been one site instead of two smaller sites next together. Our neighbours were at least quiet and had a trailer, which helped provide some privacy between our sites.

We set up our tent and made dinner. We then walked down to the water. Much of the shoreline around the park has been eroded. There used to be road along the water, but it has since been closed off as parts of it have washed away. The sun was starting to set, so we didn’t stay long as we didn’t want to walk back in the dark.

We woke up the next morning feeling a bit grumpy and tired after being kept up late (and then woken up early) from some loud campers nearby. But hey, at least the sun was shining. So we decided to go for a walk. We headed back to where we went last night to watch the sunset. There are a couple of trail options here. There’s the old road and a wide path along the edge of the water which looked very well-maintained.

We first walked along part of the old road. There was even a sign to say that the road and area was closed. Now that we had full daylight we could clearly see the visible signs of erosion along the shore.

We followed the path along the shore and admired the views of Lake Erie.

There’s a nice sandy beach down at the point which looked like a great spot for swimming. You’d just have to hike there (and back) with your towels and beach stuff.

From there we turned around and walked back the way we came. We made a short detour to check out a footbridge that leads to what looked like a trailer park. We then walked back through the forest until we found the old road again. Along the way we spotted some wildlife.

We walked back to our campsite to make breakfast and pack up. We had another action-packed day of visiting a few parks ahead of us so wanted to hit the road early.


My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

55 thoughts on “Wheatley Provincial Park

  1. kagould17 says:

    This looks like a beautiful spot. Lakeshore road has become Roadshore Lake. Too bad, but likely just as well no cars drive that way. The weather and skies look fabulous. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was interesting to see how much of the road in certain places has disappeared completely because of all the erosion. It was a great idea for the park to turn the abandoned road into a trail system instead. It’s a much better use of the land anyway in my opinion. Thanks for reading. Linda

  2. Ab says:

    Although your sleep and site was not the best and you didn’t get a park crest, the park does look lovely. The Sandy beach looks so idyllic on a gray December day like today and the soft grass covered trail looks wonderful. Still trying to wrap my head around this park having the same latitude as California but my coffee has not kicked in yet! Happy Wednesday. 😊

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We haven’t spent a lot of time in southwestern Ontario near Lake Erie, but it was so interesting to see how different the landscape looks compared to Georgian Bay and Northern Ontario. The sandy beach in Wheatley was very pretty and looked perfect for swimming. It’s kind of nice that the road along the shoreline has been blocked off to cars and has instead be turned into a couple of trails. It looks like such a miserable day outside. I’m currently bundled up in my heated blanket happy to reminisce about our camping trip to Wheatley last summer.

      • Ab says:

        Ontario is fascinating in that it’s so large and the landscape changes so drastically from the North to the South.

        Good luck today. It is indeed quite gross! 🙂 I wish I could stay in bed. Take care. almost the weekend!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. It was interesting to see how much of the shoreline around Lake Erie has been eroded. Apparently this has been a big issue for some homeowners as well. Point Pelee is super close to Wheatley and is just south of the park. We are actually planning to visit Point Pelee this March and just booked our accommodations a couple of weeks ago.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s neat to see how different the landscape looks in southern Ontario compared to the rest of the province. The terrain is mostly flat and there are different types of trees since it’s located in Carolinian zone. Wheatley was definitely a great park to visit in August and I’m glad we had such nice weather to explore the trails.

  3. coloradochelsea says:

    Wow that road just totally disappears…it looks like you’re allowed to walk it though? Or is it closed to all use? Growing up in Wisconsin, I have always loved these lakes that are so large they look like oceans. Nothing in Colorado comes close. Looks like a beautiful park that I would really enjoy (I have never seen Lake Erie!). And of course I love the sweet raccoon 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The area was just closed off to cars. The park added a trail that runs parallel to the road that’s supposed to be used instead. We followed along whatever path, which was a combination of the old road and new trail, that hugged the shoreline. The Great Lakes are pretty impressive and I feel so fortunate that Ontario borders four of them. We haven’t spent much time around Lake Erie so it was nice to finally explore the parks in this area. Raccoons can be very annoying, but they are also super adorable!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Racoons can be pesky, but at least they’re super cute. I was pretty excited to see one along the trail, better that than in the campground. Although, I wouldn’t have minded so much if the racoon got into the loud people’s stuff. We’ve had a lot of issues with noise levels while camping this year. I think next year we’ll either stick to the backcountry or camp during the offseason. Good to know about the caterpillar poop. We’ll make sure not to come to this area during the spring!

  4. Monkey's Tale says:

    Love the racoon, but of course that’s because we don’t have them so don’t think of them as pests. too bad the night was bad, but the day looks like it was worth it. Maggie

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Racoons are very adorable. So far we’ve never had any issues with them while camping or at home. Now that camping has become super popular, the noise is just inevitable. We’re hoping to do some international travel next year so we probably won’t camp as much as the past two years. If we do camp, we’ll try to stick to the backcountry or go in the offseason.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        No kidding, especially with new variants like the Omicron. We did manage to go on a road trip to the US back in November when the US Canada land borders opened. That may be the only international travel we do for some time given the current travel restrictions.

  5. leightontravels says:

    Love the raccoon shot and so many others. I was gonna say that it could be a nice summer weekend destination. But as I was typing that I read the comment from Back Roads. So, not sure now.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Raccoons are very cute, but they can also by very pesky. So far we’ve never had any issues with them while camping and hopefully it stays that way. The park is located in a marshy area, so I imagine it’s brutal in the spring with all the mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies and apparently caterpillars. We visited later in the summer and didn’t have any issues with the bugs, just noise from other campers.

  6. wetanddustyroads says:

    I like the trail in this park (although the road ends up in the water)! And that racoon, just too cute! Oh well, you can’t always have it going a 100% your way … and I have to say: That sunset photo, just brilliant!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was wild to see how much the shoreline has eroded. In some ways I’m glad the road is starting to crumble away and no cars are allowed in the area. It’s great that the park has instead converted it into walking paths. That raccoon was super adorable. There’s no better way to end the day than by watching the sunset. I guess the only thing to top that is sitting around a nice campfire afterwards.

  7. ourcrossings says:

    There is nothing worse than heading out in the wild looking to relax and take in the beautiful nature and being kept up at night due to a radio that is cranked to an abnormal volume or another camper’s dog that could seemingly bark for hours! But look at that raccoon – they are such beautiful creatures and their famous black masks make them look like adorable outlaws. Aiva 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      All it takes is one loud group to ruin it for the entire campground. Not cool. The park itself was nice enough and it was neat to see the effects of erosion on the shoreline. Raccoons are very adorable and yes, they totally look like outlaws! Have a wonderful weekend. Take care, Linda.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was crazy how much of the shoreline has eroded around Lake Erie. It’s been a real issue the past several years, especially for a lot of homeowners. In some ways it was nice that the area along the shoreline was closed off to cars though and instead has been converted into a trail system. Even though raccoons can be such a nuisance, they are also very cute.

  8. usfman says:

    Come on around Lake Erie and you reach my boyhood home of Cleveland , Ohio. I’d love to read about some hiking experiences there such as the lovely Cuyahoga Valley.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We were actually in Ohio a few days ago. We went on an 11 day road trip down to the US. Unfortunately we didn’t spend much time in Ohio though. We went to the National Museum of the US Air Force and Ohio Caverns. I’d love to visit Cleveland and the Cuyahoga Valley. I’ve also heard that Hocking Hills is really nice too.

  9. michellecj333 says:

    So gorgeous!! I always take ear plugs for tent camping because of the great importance of sleep to my personal happiness- haha. These photos are gorgeous and i especially love the raccoon!!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Good call. I should really start doing the same. I’m such a light sleeper to begin with and I usually feel grumpy if I don’t get a good nights sleep. That raccoon was very adorable and clearly likes to pose for the camera.

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