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Welcome to Presqu’ile 2020 was a year to remember and if nothing else we learned that in times of stress the public has a great need for green spaces. Our park was never busier than it was in summer 2020 with a locked-down population seemingly desperate to get outdoors. We were happy to be there for you last year and we are here for you again in 2021. We had a lot of first-time visitors coming into the park last year and expect the same this year. As such we would like to use this edition of the information guide as a primer for visiting the park to showcase some of our special features and our expectations.

Busy Staff

With the large number of people coming into the park in 2020 we also saw a huge surge in the amount of garbage that we had to handle. Sadly, much of that garbage was not in the proper refuse or recycling containers. Similarly, many people were not using our toilet facilities

WHAT’S INSIDE What’s Special About Presqu’ile?.....................2 Camper Information..........................................4 Rules You Should Know.....................................5 The Friends of Presqu’ile Park....................14-17 Local Services.............................................19-22 Park Maps................................................ 23-24

properly, or at all. This put a great strain on our staff, most of whom are summer students. Our staff were heroes in 2020, under trying conditions. Extra hot protective gear had to be worn, extra cleaning was carried out and many staff stepped out of their normal jobs to help keep the park clean and safe for our visitors and ourselves. We are very proud of their team spirit and the work they put in.


We would like our visitors to remember one simple rule. Please show respect to our park. Remember why you are here in the first place. It is not to visit a litter-infested playground but to enjoy a natural environment. Help us keep it as pristine as possible. Consider bringing fewer disposable materials with you. Feel free to take garbage and recyclables home to dispose of and if leaving garbage here please place it in the appropriate container. Showing respect to the park will keep it the wonderful place we love for you and others into the future. (con’t on pg 2)

The sinking of the Speedy in 1804 was a significant event in Presqu’ile history and a symbol of its importance in Ontario marine heritage.

Last fight of the Speedy. By: Peter Rindlisbacher

What’s Special About Presqu’ile?

Many of you will know of our beach and the campgrounds. Wonderful spots to be sure but Provincial Parks are not just formed as places to play. They are created to showcase and preserve significant features of the natural and cultural heritage of Ontario. These features are thus preserved and available for visitors to learn about and enjoy. The following are some of Presqu’ile’s significant features. Presqu’ile is a Tombolo. Give yourself a pat on the back if you know what that is. A tombolo is an island, attached to the mainland by a sand and/or gravel bar. The campgrounds and picnic areas are on the island and the long, straight entrance road to the campgrounds travels down the middle of the bar. It is that bar that makes up the beach area on its

western side. The Presqu’ile tombolo is the largest on fresh water in Canada and probably the world. It is the nature of tombolo’s that they are made up of a variety of habitats, which leads to Presqu’ile’s next significant feature. Presqu’ile has great Biodiversity. In such a small area it has a remarkable seven distinct habitats. More habitats mean more different plants and animals that live here, i.e. it is biodiverse. Our habitats are; beach, dunes, pannes (wetlands between dunes), conifer forest, deciduous forests, old field/meadows, and offshore islands. Can you guess which is the rarest habitat? It is the pannes, a globally rare habitat. It is best appreciated in spring as a frog breeding ground and in the fall when many unusual flowers bloom. Presqu’ile’s biodiversity is showcased at the Nature Centre with its many live animal displays. It is open daily in July and August. Presqu’ile is a Migration Trap. The Presqu’ile tombolo’s position as a peninsula sticking out into Lake Ontario, with its many habitats, makes it a magnet for migrating birds and insects. They rest here after crossing the lake coming north and wait here for the right winds when heading south. Ducks in March, songbirds in May and shorebirds (see



Turnstones – D. Bree Beach – K. Anderson

Presqu’ile is a tombolo.

M.N.R.F. #52077 (25 K. P.R., 07 02 28) ISSN 1713-9708 ISBN 78-1-4868-5044-0 (Print) (2021 ed.) © 2021 Government of Ontario Printed in Ontario, Canada



Park Office. .................................................................... 613-475-4324

Fire, Police and Ambulance............................................................... 911

328 Presqu’ile Parkway, Brighton, ON K0K 1H0 Reservations........................................... ........................................................1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) @presquilepp

Park Warden (June, July, August)...................................... 613-243-0040 Poison Control................................................................1-800-268-9017

Chestnut-sided Warbler is one of the many songbirds that pass through Presqu’ile on migration. Photo: D. Bree

Presqu’ile main gate, circa 1960.

front cover) in late May and again in September, all provide worldclass viewing opportunities for birders. And don’t forget the insects. Significant concentrations of Monarch butterflies (see page 18) and Green Darner dragonflies occur here in early September on their way south. In fall check out Owen Pt. for migrating birds and butterflies.

Presqu’ile Represents Lake Ontario’s Marine Heritage. Presqu’ile, as the only safe harbour between Kingston and Toronto, became an important spot in the early settlement history of Ontario. This heritage is featured in our Lighthouse Visitor Centre, which will unfortunately not open until 2022 but the area still has the historic lighthouse, built in 1840. In addition, distinct red and blue signs around the lighthouse and throughout the park highlight Presqu’ile’s history.

Presqu’ile has Fossils. Fossils are a window into an ancient world. The rocky shorelines of Presqu’ile’s campgrounds and day-use areas have an abundance of fossils that are 450 million years old. This represents a piece of Ontario’s ancient history - the Ordovician sea that once covered this area. Take your fossil discoveries to the Nature Centre to see what they are. Presqu’ile’s Marsh is Magnificent. While all our habitats are special, it is the pannes and the marsh that stand out. The Presqu’ile marsh is the largest protected marsh on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It provides homes and food for resident and migrating wildlife. It is part of a shoreline marsh system that is disappearing from the shores of our Great Lakes. The best way to experience the marsh is along the 800 metre boardwalk.

Presqu’ile represents Ontario’s Recreation History. Presqu’ile has been attracting vacationers since the late 1800s. The Presqu’ile hotel was the focal point for recreation here between 1905 and 1971. In 1922 Presqu’ile became Ontario’s sixth provincial park and continues to be one of Ontario’s premier park destinations. The many stages of the development of the park mirror Ontario’s social and recreational evolution. More about Presqu’ile’s nature and history can be found on the Friends of Presqu’ile’s website -, or by attending one of the interpretive programs offered by Discovery Staff through the summer or just by talking to Discovery Staff at the Nature Centre during July and August. Enjoy your visit and please respect the park and its many significant features during your visit.

The Presqu’ile Marsh can best be appreciated from the boardwalk.

Panne flowers in late summer. Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile

Otters are best seen in winter. Photo: A. Croes 3

Camper Information

Our Picnic Shelter - see page 10

Roofed Accommodations

There is one heritage cottage and 3 Exploration-type tents available for rent in the campgrounds. Check out the reservation line for details.


Presqu’ile has eight campground areas offering a total of 383 reservable campsites. Electricity is available on 160 sites in High Bluff, Pines, Elmvale and Trail’s End campgrounds. There is sufficient variety in the location and exposure of these sites to satisfy most tastes. However, choice is often limited by the popularity of the park.

There are three decked tents available to rent. Photo: H. Gourley

Drinking Water

You can get fresh drinking water (tested weekly) from any of the water taps or comfort stations in the park. Photo: K. Anderson

Late Arrivals

Call (613) 475-4324 ext. 230 if you have a reservation and you are going to be delayed. Failure to cancel a reservation will result in a “no-show” after 8:00 a.m. on the day after the expected arrival date. Fees for the first night will be levied and your site will then be considered available for new occupancy.


Firewood and kindling are available for purchase at the Park Store, Camp Office and Main Gate.

Washroom Facilities

Comfort stations, with hot and cold running water, flush toilets and electrical outlets, are located in the Maples, Pines, Hidden Valley, and High Bluff Campgrounds. Vault toilets are conveniently situated throughout the park. Please DO NOT wash dishes or cook in the comfort stations. Due to COVID-19 distancing restrictions, numbers will be limited in all Comfort Stations.

Barrier-Free Facilities

Facilities for the physically challenged may be found in all of our campground comfort stations. Campsites # 81 and # 83 are designated as Barrier-Free Sites. The Marsh Boardwalk, Nature Centre and Lighthouse Interpretive Centre are also wheelchair accessible. An AllTerrain Wheelchair is available for loan at the Main Gate, subject to COVID-19 restrictions. Barrier-free access mats from Beach 1 parking lot to the beach are in place from May to October.

Photo: H. Gourley

Trailer Filling and Dumping Station

A two-lane trailer sanitary and refill station is located opposite the entrance to the Owen Point Trail along the main park road.

Dish Washing

Three large outdoor dishwashing sinks are available at the back of the Maples, High Bluff and Hidden Valley Comfort Stations. Feel free to do dishes here. For sanitary reasons please do not do dishes inside the comfort stations or at the water taps. If you do dishes at your campsite please do not throw your waste water in the bush. This grey water attracts wildlife and damages plants.


If you have a complaint, report it immediately to any of our park staff and appropriate action will be taken. The Park Wardens can be reached at cell # 613-243-0040 in June, July and August.

Laundry Facilities

Two washers ($2) and two dryers ($2.50) are available at Maples Comfort Station.

Health Facilities

The closest hospital is in Trenton, at 242 King Street, just north of Dundas Street West 613-392-2540. A walk-in clinic (Good Doctors) is located in Brighton at 46 Prince Edward Street, Unit 4 & 5, Brighton.

Beach mats. 4

Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile

Summary of Offences: Rules You Should Know There is one basic rule in Ontario Parks. Have respect and consideration for your fellow camper and the park environment. The following table lists some of the more common laws enforced in the park as well as OFFENCE Alcoholic Beverages Camping Permits and Renewals Camping Equipment Campfires Environmental Protection Fireworks Motor Vehicles



Hours of Closing Garbage

Rowdyism/ Noise

• Have liquor in open container other than residence (campsite) or during ban • Consume liquor in other than residence • Have open container of liquor in vehicle • Fail to vacate and remove property from campsite on permit expiry • Unlawfully occupy campsite • Camp over time limit • Place more than 3 pieces of shelter equipment (a tarp and dining shelter is not included) (only one piece can be a tent trailer or RV) • Start fire other than in fireplace • Have care or control of fire in other than fireplace • Damage Crown property • Unlawfully remove natural or other objects • Unlawfully cut plant or tree • Possess fireworks • Ignite fireworks • Unlawfully take motor vehicle into park or possess or operate it • Operate vehicle off roadway • Unlawfully operate all-terrain vehicle • Park a vehicle in an area not designated as a parking area • Fail to display permit on a parked vehicle

Minimum Fine*

• Unlawfully permit domestic animal at large • Unlawfully permit domestic animal to be in swimming area or beach • Permit domestic animal to make excessive noise • Unlawfully enter park after closing hours • Unlawfully remain in park after closing hours • Litter • Fail to keep campsite clean • Use abusive or insulting language • Make excessive noise in the park • Disturb other persons in the park

$100.00 and/or eviction

$175.00 $75.00


$150.00 $125.00 $100.00 $150.00 $125.00 $30.00


$125.00 $125.00

$150.00 and/or eviction

the minimum fines that apply. The Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act and other legislation governing behaviour in provincial parks are available in the park office. These laws are enforced by Park Wardens who are Peace Officers defined under the Criminal Code of Canada and have the authority of an Ontario Provincial Police Officer within a provincial park. Violating these laws may result in fines and/or eviction. Explanation Drinking and possession of alcohol are banned anywhere at Presqu’ile from May 14 to May 24 inclusive. Outside this period you are permitted to consume or possess an open alcoholic beverage on a registered campsite only. You are required to vacate and remove all property from your campsite by 2:00pm on the date your permit expires. The maximum length of stay in a provincial park is 23 days. If you wish to extend your stay please inquire at the Camp Office before 12 noon on the day your permit expires. Without a limit on the amount of camping gear allowed campsites would quickly deteriorate, becoming larger and larger, destroying the surrounding vegetation. Fires are permitted in fireplaces only for safety reasons, both to prevent injury to people and to reduce the risk of forest fires. To maintain the park as a healthy functioning ecosystem, the removal of natural objects is prohibited. This includes the cutting of any live growth and the damage of any natural or other object. You may not remove any natural object from the park. You may not take fallen or dead wood for campfires. Possession or use of fireworks is prohibited at all times in provincial parks. They constitute a hazard and disturb other visitors. Each vehicle in the park must have a valid permit and it must be DISPLAYED. Motor vehicles may be operated on roads only. All provisions of the Highway Traffic Act apply on all park roads. Off-road vehicles are not permitted. All vehicles must be parked in designated areas and must display a valid permit. Two vehicles may be parked on a campsite. All other vehicles must be parked in other designated lots. In either case an Additional Vehicle Permit is required and must be displayed on the dash. For health and safety reasons all domestic animals must be kept under control and on a leash not exceeding 2 metres at all times. Under the Public Health Act pets are not allowed in swimming areas or on the beach at any time. You must clean up after your pet. Pets are not allowed in the comfort station showers. Only registered campers are allowed in a provincial park during the posted hours of closing 10:00pm to 7:00am. Deposit all garbage, litter and recyclable materials in the appropriate containers provided. Campsites must be kept clean and tidy at all times to eliminate hazards to park visitors and discourage wildlife from becoming pests/. Provincial parks are established to provide a setting for peaceful, natural experiences. Rowdy behaviour, including excessive noise and abusive language is not permitted. You are not allowed to disturb any other person or interfere with anyone else’s enjoyment of the park at any time of the day or night.

* All fines are subject to additional administration and victim impact surcharges. Fines may change without warning.

Park Hosts Are Here to Help

Leaflets Three, Let it Be!

Services of our volunteer Park Hosts are available all summer at Campsite 212 in Lakeside. Our Hosts provide park activity information, beach and weather reports, a small repair kit, and will help you with your camping needs. Drop by and say hello!

Learning to recognize Poison Ivy can save you from a lot of discomfort. Each leaf has three leaflets, the centre one with a longer stalk. It tends to have shiny droopy looking leaves and can be a small plant or a vine. It doesn’t always have berries but when it does they are cream-coloured, waxy looking, and in very dense clusters close to the stem. All parts of the plant contain oil that if it comes in contact with skin can result in a very itchy rash. This oil can be transmitted to you from shoes and pet’s fur (animals don’t get a rash). If you think you have come in contact with Poison Ivy, wash thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible.

Sale of Goods and Services Only authorized concessionaires are permitted to sell goods and services in a provincial park.

Number of People Per Campsite

Poison Ivy is a natural part of our ecosystem, providing food for animals and stabilizing soils in open areas. In general we leave it be in the park but if you see some on your campsite contact a park employee.

A maximum of six persons or one immediate family unit is permitted on each campsite. Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile


Camper Etiquette Consider your neighbours and the environment during your stay

Propane Cylinders and Beyond It takes many hands to operate a park in the summer, and Presqu’ile has up to 60 seasonal staff. There is always more to do. While busy, our staff are never too busy to stop and help our visitors. BUT they can use your help as well. One of the biggest problems at the park is waste divergence. We want to help lessen our environmental footprint on the earth and one way to do that is to recycle – less material in landfills, more raw materials being re-used. Because of their toxic nature, propane cylinders are particularly troublesome. Please HELP US Keep our parks beautiful, safe and litter-free!

Here’s what to do Propane Cylinders Ontario Parks strongly encourages visitors to use refillable propane cylinders and to reuse them as many times as safe to do so. This helps to keep our parks litter-free and reduce waste! Single use (non-refillable) propane cylinders should be deposited in Orange Drop collection cages found throughout the park. Single use cylinders may also be brought to an Orange Drop collection site. Visit to find where to drop-off your cylinders and other household hazardous waste. Safely disposing of your propane cylinders ensures that any remaining gases will be captured and the metal, valves and other elements will be recovered and reused. Other material All our campground refuse stations have multiple waste receptacles. Please use the correct container. •  BLUE barrels, boxes and cages are for RECYCLABLES – METAL, GLASS, and PLASTIC. •  ORANGE cages are specifically for PROPANE CYLINDERS. • GREEN boxes are for RETURNABLE beverage bottles. •  WHITE boxes on the side of the big garbage containers take BATTERIES. • BROWN containers take everything else as GARBAGE.

Here’s what not to do Because of risks to people and the environment: •  Don’t discharge leftover propane into the atmosphere, even if the cylinder comes with a device to do this. •  Don’t deposit any propane cylinders into your blue box. • Don’t put cylinders in the garbage. • Don’t put garbage in with the metal, glass and plastic. If there is too much garbage, the recycle station will not accept it and it just goes to landfill anyway and all the diligent work by our maintenance staff to create two waste streams just goes to waste. So please help us be greener. When it comes to the environment, we all have a responsibility!

Please Respect Campsite Boundaries Campsites are designed to accommodate a limited amount of people and camping equipment. Please respect the campsite boundaries that are set by keeping your tents, trailers and vehicles within these limits and refraining from trampling surrounding vegetation. Also don’t cross other people’s campsites, it is their home away from home, and doing so is disrespectful.

Top 5 List of Things Others Do That Upset Campers After reviewing thousands of comment cards, we recognize that campers have comments about their fellow park visitors as well as park services. We have compiled this list to help reduce the number of complaints we receive and increase everyone’s enjoyment while visiting Presqu’ile. Speeding on Park roads Our park roads are used heavily by children, pedestrians and cyclists. Many of the park roads are narrow and do not provide room to pull off to avoid hitting someone or something. It is important to keep your speed down while using our park roads. While the posted speed on the main road is 40 km/hour, the speed limit on the campground roads is 20 km/hour. Please take extreme care while operating a motor vehicle inside the park. Causing an unreasonable amount of noise One of our most common complaints or concerns is the excessive amount of noise other campers cause, not only at night but at all times of the day. Barking dogs, generators, loud voices and radios top the list. It is an offense under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act to create excessive noise at any time of the day. Please be considerate to your fellow campers and keep the noise level down. Using outside water taps for personal hygiene or doing dishes The park tests the drinking water regularly to ensure there is a safe supply of water. Unfortunately, if people use the taps to do dishes, wash their hands or hair, or brush their teeth the individual tap may become contaminated. It is important for everyone’s safety to use the taps for water only. A considerate camper will go to the tap, get a quantity of water in a pail or bucket and take it back to the campsite for use. For the same reason do not wash dishes or cook in the comfort stations. Keeping our water safe Please don’t fill up your trailer reservoirs directly from campground water taps. Besides monopolizing the tap for ½ hour or more to the detriment of other campers, it can also contaminate our water supply. Connecting hoses to the taps often overrides or damages the backflow prevention valves leading to contaminated water and costly repairs. Leaving garbage behind Littering on beaches, roads and trails spoils the natural beauty of Presqu’ile and other visitors’ enjoyment of the park. In addition, leaving your campsite a mess when you leave ruins the next camper’s visit. When you are ready to leave, look over your shoulder. Would you enjoy arriving at this campsite in the condition it is in? Please ensure future visitors have the same enjoyable experience you had. Vandalism and carving on rocks, trees or picnic tables spoils the beauty of the park and is also illegal. Park Wardens help control these activities by giving warnings, laying charges and/or evicting visitors from the park. However, it would be much more enjoyable for everyone if all visitors would use some common sense and remember one of the park’s most important rules have consideration for the park and your fellow visitors.

Orange Drop is responsible for managing household hazardous waste such as propane cylinders, single-use batteries, empty oil containers and other products that require special care for recycling or safe disposal. 6

Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile

Ticks and Lyme Disease Do ticks and Lyme disease make you wary of going outdoors this summer? By being aware of ticks and understanding the role they play in spreading Lyme disease you are taking the first step to protect yourself and your loved ones. There are many different species of ticks and not all of them carry Lyme disease. The most common tick you may encounter is the American Dog Tick, which does not carry Lyme disease. The only tick that carries Lyme disease in Ontario is the Blacklegged (Deer) Tick, Ixodes scapularis. Both ticks can be found in wooded areas or tall grass habitats. In Ontario, Blacklegged ticks are more commonly found in rural areas along the north shores of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. Blacklegged ticks are known to feed on migratory birds and as a result, they can be transported throughout the province. Therefore, while the potential is low, it is possible for people to encounter Blacklegged ticks, or to be infected with Lyme disease from the bite of an infected Blacklegged tick, almost anywhere in the province. Ticks feed slowly, and an infected tick must feed on a person for at least 24 hours in order to infect them with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Because of this delay, prompt detection and removal of ticks is one of the key methods of preventing Lyme disease. If you

Found a Tick? DO • • • • •

Use fine point tweezers Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible Gently pull the tick straight out Disinfect the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water Save tick (alive if possible) in a jar, with a piece of damp paper towel for identification and potential testing. Contact your local health unit to inquire about having the tick sent for identification and testing. This test may take several months and is not diagnostic. Additionally, you may contact your family doctor for questions on Lyme disease. • Watch for symptoms and seek medical attention if you feel unwell or if you cannot safely remove the tick


• Grasp around bloated belly and squeeze the tick • Use a match, heat or chemicals • Twist the tick when pulling it out

Pooch Patrol The fact that you have your dog or cat with you is evidence that you sincerely care about the welfare of your pet. However, pets and people can create concerns for each other in a park setting. In the interest of all park visitors, all domestic animals must be kept under control and secured on a leash not exceeding two metres (six feet). If caught running loose, your pet may be impounded and you may be fined. Domestic animals are not allowed in any swimming area or on any beach at any time of the year. During the summer months, most park visitors are faithful to this rule. However, park staff have noted that dog owners are less inclined to leash their pets or stay off the beach during the spring, fall and winter. From a wildlife perspective it is even more

Blacklegged tick with a penny for scale become infected from a tick bite, symptoms usually begin within 1 - 2 weeks, but can take as long as one month to begin. The “classic” symptom is a bulls-eye rash that can develop anywhere on the body; however, this rash may not occur in all cases. Early symptoms of Lyme disease can include flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches, stiff neck, jaw pain, and sore muscles. If untreated, problems with the heart, nervous system, and joints can occur months or years later. Lyme disease is easily treated in the early stages so seek medical attention if you feel unwell. When you are out in tick habitat you can better protect yourself by taking a few precautions: 1. Wear long sleeves and tuck your pants into your socks. 2. Wear light coloured clothing so you can detect ticks before they attach. 3. Use insect repellent containing “Deet” (please follow manufacturer’s directions). Apply it to your skin and outer clothing. 4. Conduct a tick check. Look on your clothes, body and pets. Pay close attention to your groin, scalp and armpits. 5. If you find a tick on your body, remove it - see below. By following these simple suggestions, you can have a safe and enjoyable time exploring Presqu’ile. For more information please consult the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website: lyme-disease.htmL You can also visit:

Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile

Please keep your dog on a leash in the park. Photo: D. Davis important to leash your dog during these seasons. Shorebirds that are resting and feeding along Presqu’ile’s shoreline are particularly sensitive to dogs. Any disturbance such as a dog running loose can impair their ability to migrate and breed successfully. Please do not permit your pet to make excessive noise or disturb other persons. Your pet should not be left unattended at any time and when taking it for a walk, ensure your pet is secured on a leash. Also remember the ‘stoop and scoop’ policy to help keep the park clean and enjoyable for everyone. Always exhibit the qualities of a good pet owner and obey all park rules concerning pets.


Our Shoreline The Presqu’ile shoreline is a dynamic and attractive place, for both humans and animals. The following outline some of the natural events and their effects you may see, and some of the rules to follow, while visiting. Please follow these rules to ensure people can safely enjoy our shores with a minimum of disturbance to wildlife.


Kiteboarding is not allowed anywhere along the sand beach during the crucial spring migration period from May 1 to June 10 inclusive. Outside this period kiteboard launching is allowed from the north end of the beach, beyond Beach 1. Please follow the directional signs to the launch area. Ensure that you stay well clear of the swimming area and off-shore islands. An alternative boarding location is in Lake Ontario off the picnic area. Beach-goers please give kiteboarders room to launch.

Islands Off Limits

Gull and High Bluff Islands are the breeding grounds for one of the most diverse waterbird colonies on the Great Lakes. During the breeding season, over 40,000 pairs of adult gulls, terns, herons and cormorants nest in the trees and on every square metre of available ground. A poorly-timed visit to the islands can lead to widespread panic among the birds and the death of hundreds of chicks. For this reason, access to Gull Island, High Bluff Island and the waters 200 metres from their shorelines is prohibited from March 10 to September 10 inclusive.

Sick Gulls

Presqu’ile’s gull colonies produce about 200,000 chicks each year, yet a great many of these young birds will die before they reach adulthood. Some gull chicks are born with defects that prevent them from growing normally, while others are simply weak and unable to fend for themselves. Cruel as it may seem, this annual “die-off” is necessary for the health of Presqu’ile’s gull colonies. If too many chicks were to survive, food supplies would dwindle, disease would become prevalent and the overall health of the colonies would decline.


Dunlin and other shorebirds can be common on Presqu’ile’s beach during migration. Photo: D. Bree

This Beach is for the Birds Too

You will notice our beach maintenance staff does not rake the area from Beach 3 south to Owen Point. This is part of our strategy to conserve this area for the large number of shorebirds that gather here during spring and fall migration (which starts in July!). Please do not enter this area of the beach or the shoreline as human presence disrupts shorebird feeding and resting and can impair their ability to migrate and breed successfully.


At certain times of the year, you may notice large numbers of dead fish along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. This is a natural, and can be a common occurrence. Healthy fish naturally carry bacteria in their bodies, including Clostridium botulinum, the organism that causes botulism. Dead fish that have washed up on shore create ideal conditions for the bacteria to produce the botulism toxin. When birds eat decaying fish that carry the toxin, they become paralyzed. You cannot contract botulism by swimming in or drinking lake water. However, you can become sick if you eat the raw flesh of a contaminated animal. For health reasons, we advise park visitors not to handle dead animals. Park staff routinely collect dead birds and fish that wash up on the shoreline. We collect information about the die-offs and pass it on to government and other authorities who monitor the situation. Please contact Park Staff if you would like more information.

Firewood Restrictions Bringing firewood when you travel to or from your favourite provincial park may seem harmless but can spread invasive species such as insects, plants and diseases. Many of these species are hidden in the wood and are difficult to detect. Millions of trees have already been infected. Help us reduce the spread by; • •


L eaving firewood at home Purchasing kiln-dried firewood where available Buying local

If you need a second picnic table for your campsite for day visitors, an extra table for cooking, etc., please come up to the Campground Office or Gatehouse to rent a table for $10.00 a day and $5.00 for delivery.

If you move firewood out of an area regulated for a quarantined pest without prior approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) you could face penalties of up to $50,000 and/or prosecution.

An Ontario Parks employee would be happy to deliver the yellow picnic table to your campsite.

For more information on firewood movement restrictions and the latest updates about emerald ash borer and other regulated pests, please visit or contact the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342. Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile

Shoulder Season Use Fall, Winter and Spring Self-Serve Fee Collection All vehicles in Presqu’ile Provincial Park must have a valid permit displayed on the dashboard at all times of the year. During the fall, winter and spring, park visitors are required to pay day use and camping fees at a self-serve fee collection station located at the Main Gate. A pay and display machine takes credit cards and coins and an envelope deposit system takes all cash. Please follow the instructions as posted. Sorry, refunds are not available. Please be prepared to provide your own correct change. Fall Camping Between Labour Day and October 31, 2021, six of Presqu’ile’s campgrounds are open for shoulder season use. All sites in Maples, High Bluff, Elmvale, Pines, Lakeside and Trail’s End campgrounds are reservable for the fall. After October 31, 2021, electricity, water, and comfort stations are shut down and campgrounds are closed. Spring Camping Camping season starts on the last Friday of April with reservable electric and non-electrical sites available in High Bluff, Elmvale, Pines, Maples, Lakeside and Trail’s End Campgrounds. Controlled Waterfowl Hunt A controlled waterfowl hunt is operated at Presqu’ile each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from late September to late December. There is no early goose season in the park. Hunting is permitted only from designated blinds located in the Marsh and on High Bluff and Gull Islands. Please contact the Main Office for more information. During the season the Waterfowl Technician can be reached at 613-242-2554.

Photo: K. Anderson

Spending the Day at Presqu’ile More Visitor Information Road Safety Many pedestrians, cyclists and in-line skaters use Presqu’ile’s roadways, so please drive with extreme caution and obey all of the signs and speed limits posted in the park. Bicycles and motorcycles must also be operated with care, and are not allowed on the walking trails or on the beach. At the Beach The beaches at Presqu’ile are not supervised. Parents, children are your responsibility. Use the buddy system and never swim alone. Please respect the rights of other beach users by playing with Frisbees, etc. away from crowded areas and keeping all personal water craft (e.g. Seadoos) off the beach and out of the swimming area. Please do not pollute the water with soap or shampoo. Keep all glass containers, dogs and other pets off the beach. Picnic Areas Picnic tables and vault toilets are located in our day use areas, along the southern shore of the park. Campfires Fires are permitted in designated campsite fireplaces only, and are prohibited in the day use areas and on the beach. Hours of Operation Only registered campers are allowed in a provincial park during the posted hours of closing: 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Lost and Found Please report any lost items and hand in any found items to one of our park offices. Boat Launching Visitors are encouraged to use the municipal boat launch, east of the park gate at the end of Ontario Street. Please respect the private property of area residents.

Firewood is available from the Camp Office and Main Gate. Regrettably the bags are NOT recyclable – please place them in the garbage. Photo: K. Anderson Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile


Take a Walk on Presqu’ile’s Trails Bicycles are ONLY permitted on roads and paved pathways and the designated Bicycle Trail Marsh Boardwalk 1.2 km loop – Experience the wonders of the marsh along an 800-metre barrier-free boardwalk featuring two observation towers and two teaching platforms. Owen Point Trail 1.6 km loop – This sandy path is one of the best birding areas in Presqu’ile. Pets are not permitted in the viewing stations along this trail. Pioneer Trail 3.8 km loop – Follow the yellow arrows to enjoy a walk through forest, field and plantation. Newcastle Trail 3.0 km loop – Orange arrows will guide you through forest, field and plantation. Lighthouse Foot Path 0.3 km loop – See Presqu’ile’s lighthouse and read about Presqu’ile’s history at interpretive panels along the way. This path also provides excellent birding opportunities during spring and fall migration.

A walk along the Marsh Boardwalk can be enjoyable at any time of year. Photo: K. Anderson

Jobes’ Woods Trail 1.0 km loop – Old growth forest, Black Ash swamp, old field and pine plantation are some of the habitats you will discover. Cemetery Trail 0.3 km – This short trail connects the cemetery interpretive panel at the Camp Office parking lot with the site of an abandoned Pioneer Cemetery. The site itself is marked by a commemorative granite boulder. Bicycle Trail Cyclist and pedestrian lanes are provided along the main road between the Main Gate and the Camp Office. Remember these are shared lanes, please give pedestrians the right-of-way. Between the Park Store and Camp Office there is a paved pathway. Please use this and avoid the main road around the curve. There is also a bike and pedestrian trail behind the store that goes into the campground and along roads and trails to the loop road. Bicycles are not allowed on any other non-paved trail in the park. The law requires that all cyclists aged 17 and under wear a helmet.

To assist those physically challenged enjoy our trails and beach a nonmechanized, All-Terrain Wheelchair is available for loan with a small refundable damage deposit. Enquire at the Main Gate. Availability subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

Our Picnic Shelter! Subject to COVID-19 restrictions, our Picnic Shelter is available to rent on a daily bases for groups up to 70 people. Rental fee is $75.00/day, which includes a large solid fuel BBQ (bring your own fuel). Reservations can be made online or at the general Ontario Parks reservation line. Once the camping season starts it can also be reserved at the gatehouses. If the shelter is not reserved (check the sign outside), feel free to use it. 10


Ask Ontario Parks’ Staff about borrowing a PFD!

Subject to COVID-19

Be PARKsmart

Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile

Water Safety – It’s Your Responsibility 1. There are no lifeguards on our beaches. Water safety is your responsibility at all times. 2. Take the steps to be safe around water. Learning how to swim and water survival techniques help keep us all safe.

Ontario Parks Beach Posting Fact Sheet Recreational water quality is routinely monitored at Ontario Parks designated beaches. Samples are tested at Public Health Ontario Laboratories for Escherichia coli (E.coli), an organism found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals.

Water Quality Factors

Recreational water quality is influenced by a number of factors, and can change between sampling periods. Influences include: • • • •

Heavy rainfall Large numbers of waterfowl High winds or wave activity Large number of swimmers

3. Always supervise children and non-swimmers by watching them when they are in or around the water. 4. Ensure children and non-swimmers wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) in or around the water. 5. Swim only in designated swimming areas. When the water is rough, or conditions are not clear – STAY OUT! Never swim alone. You should always swim with a buddy. 6. Using a floatie? Offshore winds often blow inflatables out into dangerous waters. Ensure inflatable rafts or toys are used in shallow water areas only and pay attention to changing wind conditions. 7. Be responsible. Avoid substance use when involved in water-related recreational activities. 8. Protect your neck. Never dive into shallow or murky water. 9. If you suspect a drowning or any other type of water emergency, call 911 and contact the park office immediately. ­

Beach Posting

Ontario Parks staff post signage at beaches (example below) when E.coli levels in the water exceed provincial standards. Signage is placed to warn bathers that the beach water may be unsafe for swimming. Swimming in beaches that are posted for elevated bacterial levels may cause: • Skin infections/rash • Ear, eye, nose and throat infections • Gastrointestinal illness (if water is consumed) Beach postings are based on E.coli counts in beach water samples taken within the past 24 hours, and are removed when test results show bacterial levels are acceptable. Beach water quality can change at any time and guests should avoid swimming during and after storms, floods, heavy rainfall, or in the presence of large numbers of waterfowl.


How you can help

The Lighthouse Interpretive Centre

Ontario Parks guests can help maintain our beach water quality by following these simple guidelines:

• Do not feed birds or other wildlife • Leave nothing behind - dispose of all garbage/food waste • Use designated pet beaches when swimming with your dog –pets are not permitted in Ontario Parks public beaches o Do not let children swim in soiled diapers o Do not use shampoos or soaps in lake water

The Friends of Presqu’ile provide a free service for campers and Park visitors. The FREE WiFi hotspot is available in the area of the Lighthouse Interpretive Centre (LIC). The Friends, with support from DeCastris Electronics (Belleville), have installed a router in the LIC which transmits about 30 metres to the front of the building. Visitors and staff are able to log on while sitting outside on the picnic benches. This service available May to November.

Presqu’ile’s PARK STORE

We are the source for your camping needs: • Firewood • Ice • Groceries • Sundries • Camping Supplies • Beach Accessories • Ontario Parks Merchandise • Used book exchange

Open weekends Victoria Day to Canada Day. Open daily Canada Day to Labour Day. Hours posted on bulletin boards throughout the park.


Van Houtte gourmet coffee and Old-fashioned milkshakes Scooped ice cream - up to 20 varieties!

“Bring your own mug and get a discount on your coffee – Think Green”

Located on Presqu’ile Parkway, 2.2km from the Main Gate or follow the bicycle paths from the Camp Office or High Bluff Campground Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile


Ontario Parks – more than a single park, a system The COVID year of 2020 clearly demonstrated the public’s need for outdoor green spaces. We have never been busier. Many of our 2020 patrons were new to the park system. This short article provides some insight on how you, as a visitor, can take advantage of the system. From best value passes to other near-by Ontario Parks you might want to visit. To start, we should be clear that we are taking about Ontario Parks, a provincial system, not Canada Parks, the federal system, or municipal parks or Conservation Areas, all of which may require fees to enter. The many park systems do not honour each other’s passes. Maybe someday. The good news is that Ontario Parks has the largest and most diverse system by far in the province, so there is lots to choose from for a visit.

Sunset at North Beach.

North Beach Provincial Park


This park is a 40-minute drive to the east of Presqu’ile. It is a day-use park only and features a 2 kilometre bay-mouth barrier sandbar and dune system with a beach on both Lake Ontario and on North Bay. Beware - on windy and wavy days the Lake Ontario beach is known for its rip-currents and swimming can be dangerous. The bay side is almost always calm but has a steep drop-off so caution is always required. North Beach is open June to Labour Day.

Did you know for day use you can’t beat a seasonal pass? A summer pass, valid from April 1st to Nov 30th, 2021 costs $75+tax. An annual pass, valid Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st, 2021 is just $99+tax. These are valid for day use entry into any Ontario Park. With some parks charging over $20.00 in the summer for day use you can pay for a seasonal pass in a week! Be warned however, if a park is closed for day use because it is full, your annual pass will not get you in. For Presqu’ile that means coming early on weekends and stat holidays in July and August. You should be OK other days at any time.

Sandbanks protects an extensive dune system.

Did you know that any valid pass to a single park, can be used at any other park for a day visit on the same day? If you are camping at Presqu’ile, your campsite permit allows you in at any other park for a day visit on the days it is valid. You could drive up to Ferris Park, 30 minutes away and get in with your pass and check out their trails. The same goes for a day use pass – it can be used at multiple parks on the same day, though the reality is, going to more than two would probably be more driving than visiting.

Sandbanks Provincial Park

The famous Sandbanks is about an 80-minute drive away to the east in Prince Edward County. During July and August this is a very busy park and last year often closed to day-use, with long line-ups early in the day, even during the week. It is definitely worth a visit at other times of the year to experience the extensive dune system and three sandy beaches.

Some of the other nearby parks you might want to visit, for the day or to try camping at are listed below.

Hog-nosed Snakes and Five-lined Skinks can be found at Petroglyphs. Photos: D. Bree The suspension bridge is a feature at Ferris. Photo: Northumberland Tourism

Ferris Provincial Park

Located outside Campbellford, just a 30 minute drive north of Presqu’ile. It is a small park on the Trent River, but due to a hydro dam, there is no swimming at the park. It does have trails along the river or through the forest-covered drumlins. There is a picnic shelter and a suspension bridge to check out and it has some lovely private forested campsites. Fall colours can be spectacular. Being close to Campbellford you are just minutes from supplies, including a cheese factory (with ice cream), chocolate factory outlet and bakery. Ferris is open mid-May until the end of October.


Petroglyphs Provincial Park

Almost 90 minutes north of Presqu’ile this day-use park is worth the drive. Geologically it features marble rock-barrens. This soft rock almost never shows at the surface, but here there are large areas of marble exposed with significant implications for both flora and fauna and indigenous cultural heritage. The marble has deep fissures that provide cover for some of Ontario’s rarest reptiles. Five-lined Skink and Hognosed Snake are both present. Sunny fall days after cool nights are the best time to try and see these. The park’s main importance is as a sacred site for Indigenous people. The soft marble has hundreds of symbols and images carved into its surface, going back hundreds of years. The largest concentration of these are protected under a glass-walled building. There is also a Visitor Centre introducing elements of native spirituality through the teachings of the medicine wheel. Petroglyphs also features two of the prettiest picnic grounds in parks and several kilometers of trails through the mosaic of rock barrens, forest and wetlands that make up the park. Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile

Superintendent’s Message Welcome to Presqu’ile Provincial Park for the 2021 season. As all of you know last year was an extremely challenging year for everyone. Presqu’ile Provincial Park faced its most challenging year probably in its history. Park visitation went up exponentially and all our records for visitation were broken.

The rare Piping Plover nests at Darlington. Photo by: K. Anderson

Darlington Provincial Park

Less than an hour west of Presqu’ile, this Lake Ontario park is open all year for day use. Camping is open May to October. It features nature trails a visitor centre and an extensive beach. The rare Piping Plover has nested here the last 4 years.

As many of you would have witnessed the park was closed almost every weekend and holiday due to overcapacity. The park did not actually decrease the number of cars and people we allowed in due to COVID-19. The park simply reached total capacity due to the huge increase in visitation. Challenges also erupted due to low staffing levels because of COVID and this impacted the quality of many people’s park visit. Many new visitors came to Presqu’ile which was wonderful. Every Saturday and Sunday that I worked the gate I was amazed by the amount of people for whom it was their first visit to Presqu’ile. This was a great opportunity for the park as many new people fell in love with Presqu’ile and I’m sure will be back. I’m extremely happy that many new people enjoyed their stay at Presqu’ile and will hopefully make the park part of their outdoor traditions. There were some challenges however due to the increase in visitation and the many new visitors. As a visitor to a Provincial Park people have certain responsibilities. One of these is not to toss trash and waste everywhere in the park. We realize some of our garbage cans became full, however as a visitor you should attempt to find another waste deposit area or take your garbage home with you.

Sharbot Lake Provincial Park.

Sharbot Lake and Silver Lake Provincial Park

These two parks are quite close together along Highway 7 about 2 hours NE of Presqu’ile. Both parks have camping on forest-fringed lakes and feature swimming, fishing and boating opportunities.

Canoes are available for rent at Silver Lake.

CAMPERS AND DAY-VISITORS! Please help us keep parks clean and dispose of all garbage correctly. Garbage can result in human-wildlife conflict and become a hazard to park visitors. We suggest bringing a garbage bag with you to collect your trash and dispose of it at park designated garbage and recycling areas before heading home. We appreciate and encourage park-lovers who are committed to protecting our environment for the future.

The amount of litter and human waste strewn throughout the park last year was terrible. It harms wildlife, destroys the natural beauty of Presqu’ile and causes the park staff undue work and places them at risk. This year will undoubtedly be another very busy year at the park. Be prepared for long waits at the gatehouse and traffic issues. The park staff do their best in very difficult situations to ensure you enter the park smoothly. We hope all our returning visitors and new visitors will do their best to respect the park and not treat it like a dump. Our staff work very hard in order to try and keep it clean and safe for you, please make their job easier by disposing of garbage properly or taking it home with you. Another issue that occurs every season is the number of sick and dying colonial water birds. The gulls and cormorants become ill with various diseases like Botulism and Newcastle disease. These diseases naturally occur in bird populations and this is part of the ecosystem. Many of our visitors do not enjoy seeing these birds in distress and contact the park staff. The park would like our visitors to only contact us if one of these birds is on your campsite or endangering members of the public. Please do not touch these birds as Botulism can be contracted by humans. If you have any questions regarding these events, please contact park staff. Ensure during your visit you take in all Presqu’ile has to offer: The Nature Centre, interpretive programs, and wildlife are all here for you to enjoy. The Friends of Presqu’ile have continued their great work of rebuilding and renewing the boardwalk sections of our trails. I urge all our visitors to hike the trails and look at the excellent work completed by this group of volunteers. I also ask you to support the Friends through a donation or by volunteering. This group has done so much to improve the visitors’ experience at the park, and they can always use your support. I urge you to learn about the Friends of Presqu’ile, and if you would like to be involved, please contact them. Please also take time to enjoy the town of Brighton and the local area, as the many shops and services will provide a great addition to your visit to Presqu’ile Sincerely, Rob Cunningham Park Superintendent Presqu’ile and Ferris Provincial Parks

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The Friends of Presqu’ile Park For over 30 years, the dedicated volunteers of the Friends of Presqu’ile Park have supported vital park programs in education, research, and the environment. Established in 1988, we are a registered charitable organization. Since our inception the Friends have contributed over $5 million in funds and volunteer time to Presqu’ile Park, an impressive record. COVID-19 upended many of our plans in 2020 forcing the cancellation of our education programs Kids ‘n Nature and Presqu’ile to You as well as our fundraising events including the popular Christmas at Presqu’ile. Undaunted, the Friends responded to the challenges posed by the pandemic by looking at new ways of program delivery using technology. But 2020 was not without successes. In this guide you’ll learn about the reopening of the Marsh Boardwalk and the Raise the Boardwalk Campaign, the Memorial Tree Program, the Common Tern Research Project, and our new online store where you can buy a variety of Friends merchandise. Thanks to the generosity of long-time member, Audrey E. Wilson, the Kids ‘n Nature program will go viral in the fall, offering elementary school teachers a new curriculumbased resource on biodiversity in the park. Unfortunately, with the continued uncertainty around COVID-19 and the rollout of vaccines, not all our programs will return this year because of the inability to comply with social distancing requirements. You can keep up to date with the latest information new or returning activities on our website or follow us on our Facebook page. This spring the Friends were excited to move into premises in the new Park Office. Now we have a space where our volunteers can work in close cooperation with Park staff and have a proper boardroom for our meetings. Our activities would not be possible without the commitments of volunteers who give selflessly of their time to serve on the board and committees, raise funds, repair, and monitor trails, remove invasive species – and so much more. Annually volunteers devote over 10,000 hours to improve the park experience for visitors. New volunteers are always needed and welcome. If you have the time, please consider becoming a volunteer. You’ll find an application on our website. Apart from volunteering, other ways you can show your support for the Friends include taking out a Family membership for $20, sponsoring a Memorial Tree, or making an online donation to the Friends at www. Enjoy your stay in the Park and stay safe! Christine McIvor, Chair The Friends of Presqu’ile Park


Who are the Friends?

We are volunteers dedicated to the preservation and protection of the park for future generations to enjoy. We support the mission of Ontario Parks and add value through the following activities:

What We Do M. Barker


Fund education staffing and school and outreach programs

N. Sutton

Tree planting and invasive plant removal Fund research and special projects

We need you – You can make a difference!

Fundraising – Lighthouse Gift Shop, BBQ’s, raffles, Christmas at Presqu’ile, grants

J. Cockburn

Trail monitoring and maintenance

J. Cockburn

Boardwalk and viewing platform building Support special events

• Become a member of the Friends • Actively volunteer as a trail monitor, fundraiser, builder, interpreter, committee member or board member • Help our fundraising efforts by buying a raffle ticket, making a donation or shopping at the Lighthouse Gift Shop or Christmas at Presqu’ile

Keep in touch at

M A R SH BOA R DWA LK TO R E- OPEN Look for Presqu’ile’s very popular Marsh Boardwalk to re-open in 2021.

The boardwalk has long been a favourite trail for park visitors to stroll through forest and view wetlands. But in Spring 2019, record high water levels caused substantial flooding heavily damaging the boardwalk. Portions of the wooden walkway were completely submerged, boards were warped, and footings were damaged meaning the boardwalk had to be closed to the public for safety reasons. Once the water finally receded, park staff were able to assess damage and devise a repair plan. Then the Friends of Presqu’ile went into action, raising $18,000 for the necessary improvements and putting together a team of talented volunteers to join forces with park staff and get the


work done.

While working - as often happens - the team discovered additional structural damage necessitating further repairs and that caused project delays. More than 1,110 feet of boardwalk needs to be elevated from 10 to 18 inches, followed by installation of new support beams which will provide greater stability. All of this will not only bring the boardwalk back to a usable state, but also help protect it against future flooding. And so, as weather allows, the work crews will be back at the project in Spring 2021. All told, 14 volunteers – just small crews due to COVID restrictions – have worked on the project, contributing over 300 volunteer hours.

Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile

THE FRIENDS OF PRESQU’ILE PARK Finding Tomorrow’s Leaders Today – the Friends of Presqu’ile Park Bursary Program!

Presqu ile to You '


Visitors to Presqu’ile Provincial Park have grown accustomed to seeing the smiling faces of Park Staff throughout their visit. Presqu’ile’s staff members can be found busily checking in campers and selling day passes at the gate, cleaning and maintaining the washrooms and campgrounds, running the interpretive programs, and providing friendly service at our store and visitor centres. Their work is crucial to the success of the park and its programs. What many visitors don’t realize is that most of the park’s employees are summer students.

As we are currently unable to provide in-person programs, please access our website for

The Friends are pleased to sponsor a Bursary Program to recognize these hardworking young people. Bursaries are open to all students working in Presqu’ile Provincial Park who intend to return to full-time education or trades training in the fall. The bursaries will reward exceptional workers, encourage post-secondary education, improve the image of working in all departments of the park and will support our mission, vision, and values.

Collaboration Ensures a Future for Presqu’ile’s Terns

There will be four $500 bursaries available, one for each of the four departments in the park – Maintenance, Store, Gate, and Discovery/ Education. Each department is equally important to the success of the operation of the park. Students may be nominated by their peers, supervisors, or members of the public.

Videos • Activity sheets • Trail guides

By Jennifer Arnold and Stephen Oswald, Penn State University Over 50 years ago, Presqu’ile’s beaches rang to the raucous call of breeding Common Terns: over 10,000 of them. Regionally, tern populations plummeted in the 1970’s. Chief among them was Presqu’ile’s colony, dropping to below 200 breeding birds, where it remained for 40 years. Then, further downturns put this colony at risk of permanent abandonment and the loss of one of nature’s unique voices. Fast forward to 2020 and a strong collaboration between institutions and individuals has secured the start of a recovery for the Common Tern at Presqu’ile. Although, not common yet by any means, the numbers of these elegant birds breeding at the park have doubled in the last 6 years. How? Through dedication, commitment, collaboration, and, yes, grit.

The next time you visit the Park, take a look at all the vibrant young people working hard to make your visit a pleasant one. When you see a star performer in action, please let us know by filling out the form below or using the form on our website: Forms are also available at the Gatehouse, Camp Office, and Park Office. Nominations can be submitted to these locations or in the park mailbox. Submission deadline is August 15th.

Nomination Form for Student Employee Bursaries Park Student Employee’s Name:__________________________________ Nominator’s Name:____________________________________________

Once we began studying Presqu’ile’s terns, it was clear that restoring the colony required protection for nests against regular predation. Supported by the Friends, we worked tirelessly with the park on the development of predator exclusion cells (fenced enclosures that protect breeding terns from nest predators) on High Bluff Island and monitored the tern egglaying. It was a relief when the first eggs were laid, and chattering calls rang out over the waves.

Nominator’s Telephone Number:_________________________________

Nest predators were once again active at Presqu’ile this summer. However, small chicks within the exclusion cells were protected, grew rapidly and within 30 days they had flown this “coop”. Through all this, volunteers and park staff worked tirelessly through heatwaves, storms, and lots of head-pecking to make sure all these chicks were accounted for and cells were maintained.

Accessible Beach Walkway

More than 60 Common Tern chicks fledged from Presqu’ile to wing their way to South America as winter closed in. Sixty chicks that would not have survived if it had not been for a group that recognized the importance of this colony and the consequence of failure for its future at Presqu’ile. We anticipate continued growth of the colony as these birds eventually return to Presqu’ile to lay their own eggs.

Why are you recommending this student?__________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

Thanks to funds raised by the Friends of Presqu’ile, from the Municipality of Brighton, John M. and Bernice Parrott Foundation and Ontario Parks, bright blue beach mats are now in place during the summer. The mats run from Beach 1 parking lot out into the beach and allow access to the beach for those with mobility issues.

Follow The Friends



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Come Shop with The Friends of Presqu’ile

Friends in Action Photos: M. Barker

D. Bree

The Friends of Presqu’ile operates a lovely Gift Shop located in the Lighthouse Interpretive Centre. It contains a wide selection of clothing, publications, games, toys, jewelry, and art cards. The Gift Shop is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. It will reopen when it is safe to do so. Until we can shop in person, we are pleased to introduce our online store. We have selected a wide variety of clothing – sweaters, hoodies, sweatshirts, jackets and T-shirts for men and women. Ordering is simple – go to our store online at: You can place your order, pay, and then pick up your garments right in the Park.

100% of the proceeds from our store remain in Presqu’ile Park to further The Friends’ Educational and Environmental Objectives

Nursery Work. Presqu’ile operates its own tree nursery. Seeds are collected in the park, nurtured in a green house and then transferred to growing beds in the nursery. Friends help with all aspects of the operation.

Tree Planting. Trees from the nursery are used for reforestation and buffer zones between campsites. Planting by Friends and Staff occurs in spring and fall.

Buckthorn Removal. Volunteers and Staff work to eliminate buckthorn and other invasive species in the park.

Facility Repair. Friends build and maintain boardwalks and viewing platforms in the park.

John Warner Named Volunteer of the Year John Warner, head of the Park Improvements team has been named the 2020 Volunteer of the Year by the Friends of Presqu’ile Park. John began his volunteer work with the Friends finishing the original Marsh Boardwalk build back in 2010. Since that time, he has had a hand in designing and building multiple foot bridges, walkways, viewing platforms and even picnic tables – all in an effort to improve the Park for its visitors. John and his wife, Joan, first moved to Brighton in 1972. John had a long career with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and then Agriculture Canada at the Experimental Farm in Smithfield. When that facility closed, they relocated to Southwestern Ontario, but happily returned to Brighton when John retired. John is a tireless volunteer, always willing to step up, no matter how great the challenge. He is very handy with a hammer and all manner of tools, with a meticulous eye for detail. Skills he claims he acquired while growing up on a farm. John is playing a lead role in our 2020-21 marquee project – Raise the Marsh Boardwalk. He works every bit as hard as every member of the crew. Congratulations John, The Friends of Presqu’ile are very grateful for your contributions. The Volunteer of the Year Award is named in honour of the late John Cole, who was the first Chairman of the Friends of Presqu’ile in 1988.

Have Fun in the Park! Free Wi-Fi Volunteering makes a difference.

The Friends support educational and environmental projects in Presqu’ile Park as well as tackling improvements to the Park’s infrastructure. Our average annual expenses are about $60,000. We raise these funds through donations, membership dues, grants and fund- raising activities such as barbecues and our gift shop. In normal times we also run the very successful Christmas @ Presqu’ile Arts and Crafts Show. Although some of our activities have been curtailed due to COVID-19, we still need assistance for others. We rely on volunteers to help with our activities, programs, and projects within the Park. Opportunities can include everything from trail building and repair, sales, writing, greeting guests, organizing special events, serving on a committee, to planting trees – something for every interest. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and provides many opportunities to meet new and interesting people. Some activities require only a couple of hours once or twice a year; others ask more of your time. Your involvement is up to you.

in the Park

The Friends of Presqu’ile are pleased to offer a free Wi-Fi hotspot for Park visitors at the Lighthouse Interpretive Centre. You may check for important messages and let everyone know what a wonderful time you are having at Presqu’ile. Please be kind and limit your usage.

Enjoy the Park, join The Friends of Presqu’ile The Friends of Presqu’ile is a non-profit, charitable organization run by volunteers and is focused on providing an understanding and an appreciation of the unique natural and cultural history of Presqu’ile Park. You may have walked through the Jobes’ Woods Trail or used the accessible beach mat. These are two of the many projects funded and constructed by volunteers of the Friends. There are many other great opportunities to participate on our programs and projects. By becoming a Friend, you will make a difference in protecting Presqu’ile Park and ensuring that the quality of these experiences will continue for others to enjoy. You may apply online to join us at: or you can complete the Membership form below, enclose your payment, and mail it to us at:

The Friends of Presqu’ile Park, PO Box 1442, Brighton, Ontario, K0K 1H0

M EM BER SH I P A PPL ICAT ION FOR M The fee for a family membership to The Friends of Presqu’ile Park is $20.00 per year. Memberships are valid until December 31st each year. Name(s) ............................................................................................................................................................ Address ............................................................................................................................................................

If you would like to help in any way, you can contact Nancy Sutton, our Volunteer Coordinator at You can also sign up online at our website: www.

Town/City................................................................Province/State .................................................................

Give a little, gain a lot.

All correspondence will be via e-mail, unless you elect hardcopy by checking the box [ ]. Please make your cheque payable to The Friends of Presqu’ile Park. Thank you for your support of the Friends.

Volunteering gives you an opportunity to change lives, including your own. 16

Postal Code .............................................................Telephone......................................................................... E-mail Address.................................................................................................................................................

Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile


Our Accomplishments How does the work of the Friends of Presqu’ile Park impact me as a park user? If you are a visitor to Presqu’ile, your experience has been improved through the work of the Friends. Our organization has contributed over $5 million worth of funds and volunteer hours to the park since 1988. While the list of our completed projects is extensive, here are some accomplishments that impact your visit. We could not have completed these projects without the support of other organizations and our dedicated volunteers!

Do you use the beach or picnic facilities?

We: • Placed a beach accessibility mat at Beach 1 in cooperation with the Municipality of Brighton, Ontario Parks, and the Parrott Foundation • Constructed accessibility boardwalks at washroom facilities. • Built picnic tables to replace those lost to flooding.

How You Can Support the Work of the Friends –DONATE! As you can see from the articles in this publication, the Friends of Presqu’ile Park continue to support many programs in the Park, despite current restrictions. The pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of most of our revenue generating programs. We need your support to continue our work to enhance the educational, interpretive, and ecological programs in the Park – we need to raise at least $70,000 each year just to maintain our current programs. Of course, new projects and requirements happen regularly, and we must be ready to help out. We are a registered charity (124351511 RR0001) so your donation to the Friends is tax deductible. We have teamed up with Canada Helps to make it very simple for you to donate – just head to our website: and click on the big “Donate” button. You can donate by credit card or PayPal and a receipt is automatically sent to you. Of course, you can also donate by cheque. Simply mail your donation to P.O. Box 1442, Brighton, ON, K0K 1H0.

Are you a trail user?

We: • Funded the replacement of the Marsh Boardwalk through fundraising and donations ($320,000.) Our volunteer team did all the construction (10,000 hours) • Built the boardwalks on Jobes’ Woods Trail ($90,000), improving accessibility for users of all abilities. Work was carried out by our volunteer builders (5,000 hours) • Installed boardwalks over wet areas along the Newcastle, Pioneer, and Owen Point trails

Do you enjoy wildlife viewing?

We: • Contributed to the funding for the research behind and building of wildlife tunnels and turtle fencing ($100,000) along with Brighton Rotary Club, Ontario Parks, Ministry of Natural Resources and Laurentian University • Removed Scot’s Pine from the panne habitat ($25,000). We continue to remove invasive plant species as well as collect native tree seeds, grow seedlings, and plant them in the park. • Built the viewing decks at Calf Pasture, Lighthouse Point, and the Camp Office

Some donors prefer to set up a regular monthly donation or to donate stocks and bonds – our treasurer would be delighted to set this up. Simply use the Contact Us link on our website or give us a call at 613-475-1688. Planned giving helps you to control your cash flow and helps us to manage our needed revenues. You may choose to donate to our General Fund or to support our Environmental Fund or our Memorial Tree Planting Program. The Environmental Fund was established to ensure we can contribute to important environmental initiatives in Presqu’ile Park. Each year, volunteers and Park staff remove invasive and non-native species and replace them with nursery grown native trees. Funds are also used to support research and programs designed to preserve and grow our flora and fauna. Some recent success stories include the installation of fencing to reduce mortality in turtles and other small amphibians. Our Common Tern population is rebounding. You can direct your donation to the Environmental Fund if you donate online, in person or by mail. Your financial support will help to ensure the beauty of Presqu’ile Park is preserved for generations to come.

Memorial Tree Planting Program Many people have asked about making a memorial donation in remembrance of a loved one or to mark a milestone event (birthday, anniversary etc). To meet such requests, The Friends of Presqu’ile Park are pleased to announce a Memorial Tree Planting Program.

Do you participate in education activities?

We: • Funded half the cost of the Lighthouse Interpretive Centre ($500,000) • Paid the salary of interpretive staff at the visitor centres and for outreach programs. • Constructed a new stage at the amphitheatre. We are pleased to support Presqu’ile Provincial Park and its staff and provide visitors with an enhanced experience. Please demonstrate your appreciation for the contributions from donors, volunteers, and park staff by • Using facilities properly • Cleaning up after yourself • Treating other park users with kindness • Not harming or removing wildlife, plants, and natural objects from the park

The Friends of Presqu’ile Park BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Christine McIvor, Chair Doreen Cable, Vice Chair & Finance Chair Linda Alkenbrack, Treasurer Donal Gray

Phil McRae Wayne Meyers Larry Paradis

During the third weekend in April and the third weekend in October, Memorial Trees will be planted in the presence of the donor(s) by making an appointment. The trees will come from the Park nursery, grown from seeds collected in the Park. The minimum donation is $100.00. There will be the choice of a deciduous or coniferous tree. An income tax receipt will be issued for the full amount of the donation. A picture of the donor(s) with the tree will be provided. These trees will be planted to regenerate the Park forest. The location for the planting will be chosen by the Park and the planting will be done by the Park. To make a donation, please go to our website: memorial-tree-planting-php. The Friends of Presqu’ile Park is a non-profit charitable association of volunteers dedicated to enhancing the educational, interpretive, and scientific research programs at Presqu’ile Provincial Park. A registered Charitable Organization 124351511 RR0001

Don’t be Shy, Keep in Touch



is posted every week on our website.

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There are a number of ways you can keep in touch with Presqu’ile Park. Become a member of The Friends, volunteer, or sign up on the home page of our website,, to receive our news bulletins. Telephone: 613-475-1688 Use Contact Us link on our website:

Caring for and Preserving Presqu’ile Provincial Park Together

D. Bree 17

Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) NDD has been identified as a problem in our modern society, particularly among children. Individuals that do not have a connection with the natural world seem more prone to anxiety, depression and attention deficit problems and have difficulty relating well with other humans. Regularly visiting a Provincial Park can be a great cure for NDD, but then you already know that – you are here! Our Discovery staff can help with you and your family’s connection to our natural (and cultural) heritage at Presqu’ile. So come and...

Discover Presqu’ile in 2021 The COVID-19 Pandemic has certainly affected our daily lives and how we interact. This is true for the Discovery Program at Presqu’ile. While it is hard to predict at the time of writing what summer 2021 will be like it seems likely it will be much as it was in 2020 with regards to COVID protocols and what we can offer. The good news is the park will be open and we have lots for you and your family to discover, both on your own and with some guidance from our Discovery staff. Here is what we have: Nature Centre Get up close and personal to the live frogs, snakes, fish, turtles and monarch caterpillars. Other displays highlight the varied habitats and other creatures found at Presqu’ile. The Nature Centre has been modified to be a one-way experience and limited to two well-spaced family groups at a time. But don’t fret if you are left outside in line for a bit. We have displays and naturalists out there too to interact with. Masks are mandatory while inside the building. Open daily between Canada Day and Labour Day. Check posters for hours. Discovery Buckets Come sign-out a Discovery Bucket at the Nature Centre. Each bucket has a net, critter cages and ID sheets of some of the insects and other creatures you can discover with your family. Two types of buckets are available – one for field and forest creatures and one for pond creatures. Ask the naturalist the best places to go explore and best techniques for net use. And don’t forget to tell us what you found when you come back. At an Interpretive Program Naturalist-led programs, both drop-in and more structured, can happen with appropriate physical distancing. Keep an eye on the weekly posters and road-side sandwich boards for a variety of activities in July and August. On Your Own There are several trails to explore at Presqu’ile. Jobes’ Woods and Owen Point Trail have guides available at the trailheads. Pick up a “Presqu’ile for Kids” activity book at the Nature Centre. One on nature and one on history are available for $2.

Monarch tagging. Photo: M. Van Meer

Spotlight on Monarchs at Presqu’ile The story of the Monarch from egg to adults flying to Mexico and back is well known by most school children and adults in Ontario. When you are at Presqu’ile you have a chance to experience that story first hand. Monarchs usually arrive at Presqu’ile in small numbers in late May. If you are lucky enough to see one of these, note its condition. These will be tattered, long-distance migrants. These early Monarchs will be looking for milkweed shoots to lay eggs on. Follow one and see if it is successful. By June and July we are starting to see fresh Monarchs. These butterflies will stay in the area and breed. Watch them and see what they like to feed on – flower nectar, fruit juices (from wild fruit), water from mud puddles, even the juices from dead animals! By the 1st of July, Common Milkweed is usually flowering so it is easy to spot. Watch for Monarchs fluttering around Milkweeds but only landing for split seconds. That is probably a female laying eggs. Go look under the leaf she was at and see if you can find a cream-coloured dot. This is the egg! A good place to look are the milkweeds at the Nature Centre. Ask staff if they know where any eggs are. Eggs hatch into caterpillars. There are usually some zebra-striped caterpillars in the Nature Centre display, but it is more fun to try and find them in the wild. Look for milkweeds with holes in the leaves and examine them. Don’t forget to look under the leaves. Big caterpillars are fairly obvious but small ones are difficult to find. In summer don’t mix-up the Monarch with the look-alike Viceroy. The Viceroy is slightly smaller and has a black line on its hind wing parallel to the hind edge about 1cm in. A good place to compare the two is in the back-beach areas. Viceroy caterpillars eat willow and can be common here. Monarchs like to go to the flowers that grow in this area. By late August, most of the Monarchs flying around are those that will go to Mexico. They start drifting south from all over the province and start building up in numbers along the lakeshore. They are waiting for a good north wind to take them across the lake. There are usually hundreds, if not thousands, of monarchs in the park, peaking in the first 10 days of September. On rare occasions there might be tens of thousands of these butterflies present, sometimes all in one big roost! This is the generation of Monarchs that we tag. Check out the Nature Centre in late August to Labour Day, they often have a Monarch to tag and let go. Labour Day weekend is also our traditional Monarch tagging days with expert Don Davis. He has been tagging butterflies at Presqu’ile for 35 years. Monarchs can be seen in the park into November if the weather stays nice, but it is unlikely these late emerging butterflies will make it to Mexico. Whatever time you visit Presqu’ile, from June to September you will be able to share in part of the Monarch story.

The Monarch look-alike Viceroy can also be seen at Presqu’ile. 18

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Get in Touch





Te l : 6 1 3 - 4 7 5 - 1 1 1 0


Common tern feeding chick on Gull Island. Photo by: D. Tyerman

Don’t be disappointed RESERVE YOUR SITE NOW! 22

1-888-668-7275 | www. Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile

Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile







384 379 382





Bayshore Road

Barrier-Free Campsite

Walk-in Site

Regular Site

Premium Site

Demand Site

Electrical Site

Premium Electrical Site

Demand Electrical Site

Campsite Designation Legend














230 232 227







154 149 156



161 142























117 116

121 120 118




P 3



99 98 91




97 93




95 79

Dishwashing Station


Comfort Station

Comfort Station with Showers


Amphitheatre and Campfire Field

Water Tap

Camp Office


Bicycle Path

Roofed Accommodation


Additional Vehicle Parking



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78 80 75 90 89 94 5 92 86 87 73 82 7 6 77 85 84 9 71 83 8 76 18 81 69 74 20 72 67 11 22 44 70 19 24 46 21 10 65 42 43 13 48 68 23 17 63 26 41 45 66 14 50 47 28 64 16 25 61 49 15 30 52 62 27 40 59 60 51 29 54 32 58 53 55 57 31 34 56 36 39 TO PARK 38 33 STORE AND 37 35 4


Bicycle and Walking Path to Park






108 112 114



101 124


105 107 109



250 206

146 139 141 148 150 147


129 131 127



135 143 144











184 186 188 189



Presqu’ile Provincial Park Campgrounds

229 228 215 235 226 216 237 217 238 225 213 214 223 239 224 211 221 240 219 222 212 209 241 242 220 210 243 218 207 244 245 208 247 249






190 181 183 185 187











172 174 197









195 176 196




311 308

301 300








CRAIGS (Radio Free)






278 265 282 263

267 279 277




326 314




329 327

295 293 296 291 270




290 272







349 350 348 294 292

320 345 346

334 332 323 321


To Day Use, Group Camping, Nature Centre, Lighthouse Interpretive Centre and Calf Pasture

One-Way Road


355 356

335 336 376 366 369 337 367 378 365 370 364 324 385 368 338 380 363 362 340 322 383 381 339 361 360 402 404 406 344 341 342 400 343 407 401 403 405 351 353 352

391 375 389 377 387



390 388


hth Lig

e ous

Paxton Drive One-Way Road




Reservations To make a campsite reservation at Presqu’ile or any other Ontario Provincial Park, please call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-

7275), 7 am to 9 pm EST or visit 24 hours a day. Reservations can be made up to 5 months in advance. A non-refundable $13.00 (Call Centre) or $11.00 (Internet) fee applies. The same phone number and internet site can be used to cancel or change a reservation. A minimum $10.50 (Call Centre) or $8.50 (Internet) fee applies. Please note that campers who make reservations and subsequently cancel or shorten their length of stay before their arrival date will be refunded only a percentage of the camping fees, depending on how long the reservation has been held. Campers shortening their length of stay after arriving at Presqu’ile will receive a 100% refund for any unused camping nights.


Access Prohibited to Gull Island, High Bluff Island and the waters 200 meters from their shorelines between March 10 and September 10 inclusive

Popham Bay

Kiteboard Launching Zone

Kiteboarding and Boardsailing Area

Park Boundary


High Bluff Island


Beach 2



Trail L


se L

hou ight

Jobes' Woods Trail


Chatterson Point



ad e Ro shor rive Bay nD xto a P




Group Camping Area

Newcastle Trail

Calf Pasture Point

Presqu'ile Bay




Lighthouse Foot Path

1 KM


Salt Point

& Day Use Facilities

Lake Ontario



A map of our campgrounds is on page 23.


Owen Point Trail

Marsh Boardwalk Trail

Designated Swimming Area

Beach 1 P

Gull Island


Hennipen Point

Park Boundaries

Atki ns L ane


Ontario Parks I Presqu’ile

Clarke-Denson rental cabin


Bicycle Path


Nature Centre



Amphitheatre and Campfire Field

Camp Office


Swimming Area

Comfort Station


Beach Area

Park Store


Trailer Filling & Dumping Station


911 Our 911 address is 328 Presqu’ile Parkway, Brighton, Ontario K0K 1H0

Police .................................. Fire Dept ............................. Ambulance..........................

Park Office.................. 613-475-4324

(June July August) Park Warden contact number .......... 613-243-0040

Emergency Numbers

If a member of your group becomes lost, contact one of our staff immediately. If the lost person happens to be a child, have someone stay at the exact spot where the child was last seen, and someone else wait at the child’s campsite.

Lost Persons

First Aid kits are available from all Park Offices and vehicles. In the event that you suspect a drowning or require first aid, please approach any member of our staff. Most staff are trained in basic first aid and can offer assistance with minor cuts and scrapes.

First Aid

In An Emergency



Walking Trail


Park Office/Friends Office

Private Property

Picnic Shelter

Picnic Area

Presqu’ile Lighthouse, Interpretive Centre and Friends’ Gift Shop


Profile for Willow Publishing

Presqu’ile 2021 Information Guide  

Presqu’ile Provincial Park 2021 Information Guide

Presqu’ile 2021 Information Guide  

Presqu’ile Provincial Park 2021 Information Guide

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