Pinery Provincial Park

Discussion in 'Ontario' started by dfury7, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. Hawks

    Hawks New Member

    Jun 26, 2012
    Great point to research alternative ways to get into town (note to myself). We're heading there for the 1st week of August (3rd year in a row) and I will have to hit town once :) Thanks!
  2. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

    May 19, 2010
    We're headin up Aug.10 for a week
  3. Hawks

    Hawks New Member

    Jun 26, 2012
    Haha...we're leaving on the 10th...maybe you're taking our site [;)] Enjoy!
  4. dcel

    dcel New Member

    May 20, 2013
    Thanks for bringing up my favorite childhood camping memories! My dad would take us to the Pinery in the late 70's/early 80's. I loved running in the dunes and really remember Grand Bend as the place to get great french fries and drown them in vinegar!!!!
  5. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

    May 19, 2010
    They still have great fries [:D]
  6. Hawks

    Hawks New Member

    Jun 26, 2012
    Plesantly surprised staying at this campground during the week-end (we were there Tues Aug 5th to Sun Aug 10th) staying in Dunes 1, very quiet at night! Gorgeous weather, not a drop of rain the whole time.
  7. dfury7

    dfury7 Member

    Sep 15, 2013
    Just wanted to add to my original review as we just got back from spending a weekend at the Pinery. This was the first time we've visited the park in the height of Summer, and it was definitely fun to be there during all the hustle and bustle. At one point the parking area and roads around the store/restaurant were a sea of Pups (which of course made me giddy with excitement!).

    We had a great weekend staying in the Riverside campground, although our site was a little bit too far from the bathrooms which wasn't very convenient with two small kids. The other surprise was the sheer amount of Poison Ivy. It was all around our site and throughout Riverside 4. We didn't really notice it in the Fall last year, but perhaps we just have a better idea of what to look for. Usually the Provincial parks do a good job of including Poison Ivy as a warning in the site description.... I wasn't too worried, but my DW was very paranoid about our kids getting into it.

    We rented a four person pedal boat to take the kids down the river. I do NOT recommend it. Those things are designed to have four fully grown adults pedaling, and even then it would be a good work out. We booked it for 2 hours at a cost of $28 (which I thought was very reasonable), but our kids were too small to help pedal and got bored very fast... so poor old Dad had to pedal all four of us for the two hours... by the time we docked I could barely walk! The kids enjoyed looking for fish and turtles on the two docks that straddle the bridge just down from the store/restaurant.

    We spent some time at the beach at Dunes on the Sunday, and on Monday after packing up the Pup it was recommended that we drive down to the beach at Burley campground since the parking lot was large enough for us to park the mini-van and Pup. I've heard a lot of people rave about Burley, so I was curious to check it out. We've really enjoyed Dunes and Riverside in the past. I must say that Burley is a bit overrated (from what I saw). The drive takes a long time and the road is in pretty poor condition with potholes galore. The sites are extremely small and sandy, and quite honestly I would recommend sticking with Dunes as your first choice, and Riverside as a back up.

    Although we had some challenges on this trip, we still recommend the Pinery, and will likely visit again in the Fall.
  8. ccptbo

    ccptbo Active Member

    Great second review dfury! Thanks!
  9. Canoe2fish

    Canoe2fish Member

    Apr 14, 2014
    Pinery is too noisy for us, but it was the best place I have visited in ontario where we saw the most wildlife in the shortest span of time. I suggest taking a long paddle up the Ausible Channel before dusk...we saw turkeys flying up to roost, beavers, snapping and painted (or eastern?) turtles, deer, blue and green herons, an owl (heard and saw silhouette...not sure what type) and many species of fish including a gar pike and what appeared to be a burbot or ling.

    Hands down, the best nature paddle ever...right in the midst of a very busy park
  10. Riddler

    Riddler New Member

    Sep 1, 2014
    MY family and I just came back from The Pinery and let me say, "This place was amazing!" My son (3) loved every minutes of exploring. We stayed in the Dunes on lot 173 then 165. Lot 165 was on the top of a dune and could see the other sites around us.

    I'm hoping to take the family back again next year as it was so enjoyable!

  11. jebby

    jebby New Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    love this park. to bad the natives are causing crap like they did at ipperwash...... time to remove them. save a great park Ontario we don't want to lose another beauty because we are afraid to get our hands dirty.
  12. Winchested

    Winchested Member

    Jun 19, 2015
    Booked here for Aug 25/26 in the Riverside site 738. Was only 3 sites to chose from in the whole place and that's during the week and booking 2 weeks in advance.

    Will be our first time going here and our furthest trip from home so far. Hope we have a good couple of days weather wise. Will be the kids last camp before school starts.

    I'll update my review after our stay.

    Will be bringing our bikes, canoe, rods and our dog. Hopefully the dog beaches are good and we can get that duck dog out for some good swims with us. Although long term weather trend is only showing 23* weather.
  13. real lite virgin

    real lite virgin Rob,Suzanne & Jessie - Black Lab

    Apr 15, 2010
    The dog beach is at the far end of the park. It is quite a long way from the sites so you probably be best off driving over to it. The beach area is big and the water is not that deep so the dog will have a blast.
  14. jA-Frame

    jA-Frame New Member

    Aug 22, 2015
    Site 738 .... I know the site, have been on it some years back, before they built the washroom next to it. It actually was a good site, easy to get into ....but with the addition of the bathroom next to it, there is no privacy, but great, if you need to use the facilities often [:D]
  15. Winchested

    Winchested Member

    Jun 19, 2015
    Yes we finished up our trip. Was fun but quite cold for August. Kids couldn't use the beaches due to heavy west winds everyday pushing 4 foot waves in. Riverside is actually a nice area quite private. Site 738 is nice and big but yes not very private and stinks... they are flush toilets next door but the vent stack stinks. Id stay at least 5 sites away from it next time. Was amazing to see some of the big 5ers tucked into some tight spots. The roads are single only and passing vehicles are touchy. Id stay in Riverside again. Didn't realize the sites didn't have water so we filled at one of the local spouts before parking at the site. We arrived at 12:00 pm as normal and our site wasn't vacated until 2 pm didn't realize of the late times for these sites. Gate staff gave me my wife pass at 12 and didn't inform us anyone was on it.
    So we wasted a 25 min drive going all the way in and then back out to the main drive all the way to the dog beaches for two hours waiting for the others to clean up.

    We didn't have a chance to check out Burly or the Dunes.

    I rode the 14km bike trail. Got lost at one entrance and took one of the single track cross country ski trails. Thank God it was a hell of a lot more fun than the boring gravel trail. Ended up coming out on the road portion of the trail.

    None of the small trails are for biking which sucks.

    I took the small gals fishing out in the canoe for about an hour the one afternoon and they had lots of fun. There are a couple spots along the north edge of Riverside to launch into the channel. The girls hauled in 5 fish each. First was a small catfish, a black crappie, 2 perch and some pumpkin seeds.

    All in all we were likely the loudest in our area due to yelling at our crazy youngsters.

    Best part was my 5 year old wanting to ride the loop so bad she finally learned how to ride without trainers (ya on the rough bumpy loop roads) in two days she went from not riding to no longer even needing assistance from proud daddy to start peddling.

    Would come back here again. I likely would never stay in Burly, it's just way to far away from anything when you have kids. That was my wifes biggest complaint that the place is just too big and you have to drive everywhere.
  16. elsiemon

    elsiemon New Member

    Jun 5, 2009
    Stoney Creek Ontario
    Stayed at the Pinery from Sept 8th to Sept 16th. We stay twice a year at the Pinery, once in June and then in September. Been coming here for years and this time stayed in Dunes #1. Still booked five months in advance. The nice thing about our site was it was across from the beach and on those nights with strong winds you could hear the waves breaking on shore. Dunes #4 is the only campground in the Dunes section not near the beach and doesn't allow dogs. This time of year the Pinery store closed at 5pm and opened at 9am. The canoe rental / ice cream place was also open during the week. Dunes #1 was only full on weekends. The beach was the most narrow I've ever seen, one day with the winds there was no where to walk as large logs had been pushed right up to the bank. The bank was eroded with a four foot vertical drop. By the time we left on the 16th the beach was 20 feet wide and the logs had gone. We love this park but nothing is perfect. This is the info for the trails at the park. Was at Charleston Lake PP in August and the trails had printed pamphlets at the entrance with lots of info plus the map of the trail at the entrance. Did three trails at Pinery and the map of the trail is at the entrance and that's it. No pamphlets but they do have a "Sign the registry book" box. When you lift the lid there is no book but some dry leafs and maybe a chocolate bar wrapper. This lack of info has been like this for a few years and for a park this size and the nine day use areas something is wrong. We have a Lab x rescue dog and took it to the Wilderness Trail three times during our stay. Its a 3km loop the goes to the beach half way on the loop. The dog loves it and is a nice change to the dog beach. If you take this trail you will see orange plastic fencing has been put up to block two paths that go off the trail. They look like they could be part of the trail but they're not. Have taken them both in the past before the fencing and one takes you to a backyard of a house and the other takes you to the paved road quite a ways from the trail parking lot. This is the only complaint. The dog beach is day use area #1 and #2 and is the best dog beach I've seen. The beach is good for children, shallow and some years has two or three sandbars. No lifeguards so keep you eyes open. For people who have to drive to the beach there are nine day use areas, #3 to #9 don't allow dogs. You can also go to the beach at Dunes or Burley with decent size parking lots. Would reserve early if possible as some sites at Dunes are open with little or no privacy. For firewood we go outside the park to a store at HWY 21 and Greenway Road. For people with bikes this park has a good bike path system which is shown is the park book. Worth a read, it's a busy park in the summer and have seen too many bikes on the main road while trailers are trying to get by. We always start our camping season by coming to the Pinery. Hope this helps for anyone who is interested.
  17. tabbs

    tabbs New Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    We visited the Pinery for the first time this August. We wanted to see what all the popularity was about. I was amazed on how big it was and perfect for running, swimming and cycling.

    I agree with the wood, it was very wet. There were also a lot of bees which caused us to have to eat inside the PUP each day. I also learnt about sand management and purchased a floor mat to help wipe feet once inside.
  18. Tracy D.

    Tracy D. Member

    Jun 24, 2016
    London, Ontario
    I will (hopefully)be booking at the Pinery for the last week of August (Sunday to Friday). The options that I am thinking about are the Dunes area 1, or Riverside area 3. I like the thought of being closer to the beach at the Dunes, but Riverside 3 is radio free which will maybe be quieter.....
    Does anyone have a recommendation? Thanks!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  19. jman1200


    Nov 11, 2013
  20. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    They want to be treated the same and fairly.. then arrest every single one of them, charge them with trespassing and disturbing the peace .. Look what has happened to Ipperwash since it was turned back over to them.. I might indirectly benefit from certain aspects of the treaties but enough is enough.. Mind you our wonderful Federal .Gov did give a convicted Terrorist 10.5 Million. Perhaps the natives just want their piece of the pie ...

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