Rock Point Provincial Park

This camping spot near Toronto is filled with ancient fossils

When you think of coral reefs chances are Southern Ontario probably doesn’t come to mind. But you might be surprised to find out that only 90 minutes from Toronto is a provincial park that is best known for exactly that.

Rock Point Provincial Park, located on the Northern Shores of Lake Erie near St. Catharines, attracts thousands of visitors every year in search of the exposed fossils of coral reef that adorn the picturesque beaches.

These fossils date back to over 350 million years ago and are embedded in the limestone shelf along the rocky shores.

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After spending some time searching for ancient fossils, there are tons of other things to do inside this small park, including swimming and lounging on the one-kilometre-long beach.

Although the entire park is only 1.5 square kilometres, there’s a lush two kilometre hiking trail and a shorter ‘pet friendly’ trail, too. The two kilometre Woodlot Trail will take you through a fairytale-like forest of tall Carolinian and Oak Savanna trees, and old farm fields.

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This easy hike will then lead you directly to a viewing platform perched atop the sand dunes that give an epic viewpoint of Lake Erie.

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If you plan on spending more than a day here, there are a couple options for camping. There are four areas inside the park for car camping, many of which offer electrical outlets and can accommodate large vehicles like campers and trailers.

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Amenities like water taps, washroom facilities and laundry services are all near, so you won’t have to worry about roughing it out there. If living off the land is more your thing, there are also three different group campsites that each accommodate up to about 30 tents each, with fire pits throughout.

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The park is open from May until October and has events on throughout the summer that you can plan your trip around.

Lead photo by renatusmickus

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