Presqu'ile Provincial Park (Waterfront trail)



Well as you may well have discovered by now in Canada, an over enthusiastic spring outing after a long winter's chill can sometimes mean you venture out too soon...as we recently found out while  revisiting Presqu'ile Provincial Park in Brighton.   

What can I say? The sky overhead was azure blue, and the sun peaked out from the clouds more often than not, but still my fingers chilled to the bone in no time and sometimes trying to take photographs was actually quite painful.  I love to take photographs, and lost my fingerless gloves, or rather forgot to bring them, I forgot that too.

The Presqu'ile Provincial Park caught my eye on the map for several reasons, the lighthouse was one.  It was built in 1840, located just at the southern tip of the peninsula, it is the second oldest still operating in the Canadian side of the Great Lakes.  Until 1872, William J. Swetman, the first lighthouse keeper, alerted passing ships to the presence of landConverted to electrical operation in 1935, the lighthouse no longer needed a keeper by 1952.  
 
Presqu'ile is Ontario's fourth oldest provincial park. It was created in 1922 for the sole purpose of protecting distinctive habitats and to offer city-dwellers an opportunity to experience and enjoy the natural heritage that is so much a part of Ontario's history.  

Here there are over 400 campsites, several beaches, a walking and cycling trail, boat launches and cross country trails in winter.  The asphalt road winds its way throughout and you imagine this over 17 km area is booked all summer, which is another reason to get a sneak preview.

Unlike the western shorelines beach, most of the eastern shoreline is made up of natural marshland. In fact there is over 161 hectares of wetland that stretches along Presqu''ile bay, making it the largest protected wetland on the north shore of Lake Ontario.




Making several stops along the way, this was the highlight of a very late winter and very early spring.