Point Pelee National Park is the southernmost point of the mainland in Canada. It is the second smallest national park and the first national park to be established for conservation. It is located on a peninsula that extends into Lake Erie and and is situated in the Carolinian zone. Much of the park’s landscape consists of marshes, swamp forests, but it also features a beautiful sandy beach.
We’ve been to Point Pelee twice:
There are more than 12km of trails in the park that wind through the different habitats. Below are the ones that we’ve hiked along:
(1) DeLaurier Homestead and Trail (1.2km loop) winds through an open field that contains a historic house and barn that once belonged to the DeLaurier family in the late 19th and early 20th century. The trail also leads past old fields and irrigation canals, towards the marsh and through cedar savannah and a swamp forest. There are a few boardwalk sections, including a viewing platform that contains a set of the Parks Canada Red Chairs.
(2) Marsh Boardwalk (1km loop) consists of a floating boardwalk and features an observation tower towards the start of the trail.
(3) Shuster Trail (500m) is a short trail that branches off from the Tilden Woods Trail and leads to the East Barrier Beach.
(4) Tilden Woods Trail (1km loop) winds through a mature swamp forest and cedar savannah and consists of a few boardwalk sections. Along the way there are a few interpretive panels that provide more information on how the park was created and the habitat was restored.
(5) Tip Trail (1km) leads to the southernmost point of mainland Canada, which is also reputed to be a great place to view spring bird and fall monarch, dragonfly and bird migrations.
(6) Woodland Nature Trail (2.75km loop) meanders through the forest and a few swampy areas and is marked with 20 numbered posts.
Point Pelee offers 24 oTENTiks, which are a mix between an A-frame cabin and canvas tent, for visitors who want to stay in the park overnight. They are open year-round and can accommodate up to six guests. They come fully equipped with four twin-sized beds, one double-sized bed, table and chairs, a dish kit, cooking equipment, electric lights, either a gas or wood stove and a BBQ.