When I found out that Canada has the world’s largest freshwater dunes formation and only 2 hours’ drive away from Toronto, I knew I MUST visit the place while I am here. I reached out to a friend and asked him if he was interested, and he happily jumped in. It was almost the end of summer, but the camping season was still on, which means it was an excellent time to visit Sandbanks Provincial Park.
Though our primary objective was to visit the dunes, we made a list of places we ‘might’ want to see on our way back (which didn’t happen because we ended up spending all our time on the beach).
Starting point: Toronto, Ontario
Ending Point: Sandbanks Provincial Park. Prince Edward County, Ontario
Total distance: 216 Km
Duration: 1 day
Toronto to PEC:
We left Toronto at 8.30 am, followed google maps to the location, and reached Prince Edward County at around 11.00 am. We made a brief stop at Picton for breakfast and a stroll on the main street. Later we drove to Sandbanks Provincial Park, located at the western tip of Prince Edward County.
It’s better to travel in your vehicle as it’ll be challenging to get around in public transport.
You might end up spending a lot on Uber.
It would be best if you had a permit to enter the park. The permit is available at the entrance or in the parking lots through machines. We took a day pass as we were just visiting the park. There are different permits for campers.
As the park is adjacent to the lake, driving around in the park is mesmerizing in its own way.
There are multiple beaches to choose from. We directly went to the sandbanks beach, which was moderately crowded.
The dunes were almost empty, as most of the people were enjoying the lake. It is extremely easy to climb up the dunes. We removed our shoes and started walking on the soft sand. Apparently, it’s better than the sand on the Caribbean beaches. The kid in me just wanted to run around.
We made our way to the top for an aerial view of the entire area.
We were sandwiched between two lakes – Lake Ontario on one side and Lake West on the other.
While we were on the top, we wondered if there’s a path connecting both the lakes. We wanted to go and check out the beach on the other side.
We made an impulsive decision to hike till the other end, BAREFOOT. It would be easy to walk as it’s just sand everywhere, right? We walked in one particular direction to avoid getting lost. To our surprise, there was a path connecting the two shores. Almost all of the way is covered in sand. We felt safe walking barefoot over it (obviously, we were conscious), but this might be ‘Life-Threatening’ as per local white people.
I love taking such risks when exploring a new place. These are the kind of memories I love to cherish.
But don’t attempt it if you’re travelling in large groups. Upon reaching the other side, we decided to spend the rest of our time there and take a dip into the lake.
Later that evening, we had a delicious meal at the Picton Lighthouse Restaurant.
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We ended up visiting only one place on the trip. Though we had made a list of other sites, we decide to be in the moment and thoroughly enjoy the park.
If you’re planning a trip to Prince Edward County, make sure you spend at least two days exploring the area.
We managed to leave Toronto on time and get back on time. As we correctly worked the time, I didn’t feel any kind of travel fatigue or tiredness. Make sure you travel light. Walking on the dunes with a lot of stuff would obviously be problematic.
What went well
Everything on this trip went really well, from time management to risky choices.
What could have gone better