point pelee park

This epic boardwalk west of Toronto cuts through a giant marsh

It might be Canada’s second smallest national park, but what Point Pelee lacks in size, it makes up for in natural beauty.

Located in Essex County at the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland, Point Pelee National Park has a handful of sights and activities to take in, with the most popular being this epic marsh boardwalk.

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Two-thirds of the park is composed of freshwater marshes, so it’s no surprise that walking the boardwalk trail is a must-do, with several stunning look-out points along the way.

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Once you’ve finished trekking along the boardwalk, there are tons of other activities at your fingertips to fill the rest of the day – and night! Although you’re not allowed to swim at the tip due to dangerous water currents, there are several sandy beaches inside the park that permit swimming.

The Woodland Natural Trail (2.75km loop) and the Centennial Bike and Hike Trail (4 km loop) are great ways to get a killer workout in, and you can even rent canoes from May to October to explore the park in privacy.

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If you want to turn your daytrip into an overnight adventure, you can stay in one of the epic “oTENTik” glamping accommodations in the park. A cross between a cabin and a tent, these rentals have wooden floors, beds, sleep up to 6 people, and are only $120/night.

If you can’t spend the night, but want to do some stargazing, once a month Point Pelee hosts “Dark Sky Nights” in the park. The darkest nights of the year happen during the new moon, when the moon isn’t visible. On these nights, listed here, the park is open until midnight for people to chill under the stars.

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This May marks the 100th anniversary of Point Pelee’s national park designation, so there’s no better time to visit than now. Be sure to check out their calendar of events to see how they’ll be celebrating this milestone.

Lead photo by

paisleypenguins


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