Rondeau Provincial Park is a lesser-known gem on the shores of Lake Erie with scenic trails, beaches, and some of the most diverse habitats in the province.
Located approximately 3 hours from Toronto, you’ll find this serene park in a small community called Morpeth, just southeast of Chatham.
Rondeau is the second oldest provincial park in Ontario and was established just one year after Algonquin Provincial Park. It is renowned as one of the province’s ecological gems, where towering forests, pristine wetlands, and sandy beaches coexist harmoniously.
It is also a popular destination for birdwatchers, with over 360 species having been spotted in the area. Every spring, the park hosts the Festival of Flight, a bird-watching festival during their migration season.
With six scenic trails to explore, Rondeau is a haven for hikers and cyclists of all levels. The Tulip Tree Trail takes you through a lush deciduous forest which has a number of boardwalks to stroll along. It also connects to the beach.
For a longer adventure, the Harrison Trail is an 8 km out-and-back trail extending the full length of the park. You’ll get to experience a number of the park’s diverse habitats, including the Oak Savannah and Carolinian Forest.
One of Rondeau’s biggest draws for visitors however is its expansive beach. The park boasts 11 km of sandy beaches on the Lake Erie coast, where visitors can swim, paddle or fish.
Swimming is also permitted on the Rondeau Bay side but be mindful that you might run into some seaweed or other vegetation there.
If you’d like to stay overnight, Rondeau has 262 campsites found a short distance from the beach. You can make your reservation directly on their website in advance of your stay.
For day use only, you will need a daily vehicle permit, which you can get up to 5 days in advance of your visit.