Pinery Provincial Park in Ontario might be the ideal winter camping destination
With an expansive beach, skating, countless trails to explore, and heated accommodations to stay in overnight, this park has it all for a cold-weather escape.
Located just under three hours from Toronto near Grand Bend, Pinery's rare ecosystems and incredible biodiversity make it especially unique. It has the largest remaining tract of Oak Savanna in the province, as well as one of the longest freshwater coastal dune ecosystems. You can also find over 300 species of birds here.
The park has breathtaking views of Lake Huron in every season, which you can take in from the park's 10 km of sandy beach. With its unobstructed west-facing views, sunsets here were ranked "Top 10 Best in the World" by National Geographic.
In the winter, ever-changing ice formations arise by the shoreline, creating spectacular illusions of a frozen tundra.
The park boasts 38 km of trails for cross-country skiing, ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced. There are also 5.3 km of packed trails you can hike or snowshoe along, while taking in the beauty of glistening oak trees.
If you don't have your own equipment, the park rents out skis and snowshoes.
Pinery also has an outdoor skating rink and tobogganing hill, fun for all ages.
With so much to do and see, the park has several options for those looking to stay overnight and extend their stay. There are 14 heated roofed accommodations on the park grounds, including 12 yurts that have beds, electricity, barbecues, fire pits, and private decks.
Running water and bathrooms can be found a short walk away at the shared comfort stations. There are also campsites for car camping or winterized trailers and tents.
Pinery Provincial Park is beautiful in all seasons, but visiting in the winter is especially serene and special. Whether you're looking to get active in the great outdoors or just want a peaceful getaway with stunning winter sunsets, this park has endless variety.
The park requires a daily vehicle permit that can be purchased in advance online. The roofed accommodations also book up fast, so it is recommended to reserve well in advance either online or by calling their call centre.
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