Point Pelee National Park is known for many things. Its biggest claim to fame is that it’s the southernmost point on mainland Canada. The park is a spit of land and marsh that juts out about 8 kms. into Lake Erie. The park lies on the migration path for many birds – including songbirds, birds of prey, and waterfowl – so it’s extremely popular with birders. Another claim to fame is that the park, which was founded in 1918, was the first national park in Canada specifically established for conservation.
Because the park is pretty small, no matter how little time you have, it’s worth visiting. If you’ve only got a couple hours, after you enter the park drive to the visitor centre. There you can check out the exhibits and learn about the fascinating geography, ecology, and history of the point. Then hop on the shuttle that takes you the 2+ kms. to the point. The scenery is lovely and the ride is peaceful and a great opportunity to listen to the birds.
Getting to the point
When you get off the shuttle it’s a short walk to the actual point. It’s quite remarkable to stand on the point and be surrounded by Lake Erie on three sides.
When you’re done at the point you can catch the next shuttle back to the visitor center and then drive north to the marsh boardwalk. The 1 km. loop takes you through the marsh where you can see – and hear – all sorts of birds, plants, and wildlife. There are plenty of spots along the boardwalk
to look out and benches to relax on.
That’s the short visit – if you have more time, there’s lots to explore and other things to do in the park. There are hiking trails, cycling trails, footpaths, picnic areas, beaches for swimming, shelters, and places to barbeque. There’s even a restored 1830s homestead to visit. You can also rent a canoe and explore the marsh.