Point Pelee, The Southernmost Tip of Canada

If you travel within the southern reaches of the province of Ontario, you will come across the southernmost piece of Canada. It is located in the south-western part of Ontario and is on the same latitude as northern California (believe it or not!) The sandy stretch of land is on the north-western part of the lake and juts out into Lake Erie, located between Ontario and northern Ohio. The park which is named Point Pelee National Park is located 10 kilometres south of the town of Leamington, Ontario.

The land Point Pelee inhabits is only about 10,000 years old and has a sand and gravel base with some topsoil that supports the vegetation. A10 kilometre sand spit and forms this thin triangle of land. The land was discovered in 1882 by a young naturalist from London, Ontario named W.E. Saunders while looking for a place to duck hunt. The park was not declared a national park until 1918 by the Canadian government. Although Point Pelee National Park is one of the smallest provincial parks within Canada, it is one of the best parks in Canada for birdwatchers and butterfly watchers. It is commonly known as the Warblers Capital of Canada by these bird lovers and annually features approximately 350 different species of different birds that visit this site. Birds such as The Acadian Flycatcher, Carolina Wren and red bellied Woodpecker all pay visits to the area. These birds stop there for its lush vegetation during their migration south during the fall months and on their return home to Canadian air during the spring months. Butterflies can be found a plenty at the park during the warmer months. Though no butterflies are considered extinct in Canada, some species are on an endangered list that can be viewed while visiting the park. The park is the one of the best places in all of Canada to view the monarch migration to the south during the fall season.

The landscape of the park boasts many variations of textures and surfaces. It features marshes and wetlands and sandy areas. The nature and physical makeup of the landscape is always changing due to the lake currents and the winds. The park features over 700 flowering and non flowering verities of vegetation. There are 70 different species of trees alone in the park. From silver maples to red cedars to hop trees to bass wood, these trees can all be found in and around the park. Vegetation is another feature that the park has to offer. Over 700 species of flowering and non flowering plants can be found at Point Pelee and some of these plants only survive in this region of Canada. Cat tails and water lilies can be found in the marshy area; lime grass, beard grass and witch grass can be found among so many more wild growing vegetation that makes the park their home.

Not only can vegetation be found in Point Pelee, but a lot of wildlife make the park their home either during the summer months or all year round. No where else in Canada can be found so many types of reptiles and amphibians in one spot. The park boasts 27 species of reptiles and 20 species of amphibians. This area is also home to many types of insects that do not live anywhere else in Canada.

Point Pelee Provincial Park is famous for its landscape both wet and dry. The park offers guided hikes amongst its 12 km of hiking trails. These tours are offered both in English and French and take place during the day or in the evening. The Bike paths are well maintained in the park and there is a boardwalk over the marshy area that is a definite must see. The park offers camping facilities during the summer months. Canoes can be rented to view the park from the park’s marshy areas which cover almost two thirds of the park and if you decide to visit during the winter, the park offers ice skating as well as cross country skiing trails and though the land is quite flat, these trails are good for the beginner. If you do not want to walk to the tip of Canada? You can ride transit. This is available during the summer months.

Point Pelee Provincial Park attracts 400,000 visitors each year. The park is open from April 1st until mid October (check ahead for winter activities), but the best time to visit the park is during the spring and autumn bird migrations. That is truly a sight to enjoy and remember!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *