Wheatley Provincial Park

Sand, sun, surf and camping
on the north shore of Lake Erie



wheatley provincial park beach Wheatley Provincial Park is a 241 hectare (596 area) protected area surrounding East Two Creeks, along the north shore of Lake Erie just outside the small community of Wheatley that is itself part of the larger municipality of Chatham-Kent. Comprised of Carolinian forests, marshes, small creeks and various shallow, sheltered waterways, like most other natural areas in the region it falls along the main migration route of many bird species and is a huge draw for naturalists.

It is only about 20 minutes by car from Point Pelee National Park and many visitors to Point Pelee use Wheatley Provincial Park as a base to discover the various attractions in the region as there are camping facilities on site. In fact, the park has the southernmost campgrounds in the government run Ontario Parks system and visitors can expect warm, dry weather and a Mediterranean climate on most occasions during the busy summer months. The park is also fronted with a nice 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) sandy beach along the shores of Lake Erie that is well used by both campers and local inhabitants alike.

Please note that the park is gated in the off season but visitors can still park their cars outside its gates and walk through at all times of the year. For more information as to opening times and campsite availability etc visit: www.ontarioparks.com for more information.

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Location of Wheatley Provincial Park




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How to get to Wheatley Provincial Park:

By Car:

From Eastern Ontario
  • Navigate to Highway 401 West
  • Continue on Highway 401 to Exit 63 and turn right for County Road #2 towards Tilbury
  • Turn left onto County Road 1 (Queen St. N.)
  • Turn Left on Talbot Road East
  • Turn right on Klondyke Road which leads into the park

From Toronto
  • Navigate to the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) Hamilton
  • In Burlington merge onto Highway 403 West towards Hamilton/Brantford
  • Near Woodstock merge onto Highway 401 West towards London
  • Continue on Highway 401 to Exit 63 and turn right for County Road #2 towards Tilbury
  • Turn left onto County Road 1 (Queen St. N.)
  • Turn Left on Talbot Road East
  • Turn right on Klondyke Road which leads into the park

From Northern Ontario
  • Navigate to Highway #69 South
  • Highway #69 merges with Highway 400
  • Continue on Highway 400 until it ends at Highway 401
  • Take Highway 401 West towards London
  • Continue on Highway 401 to Exit 63 and turn right for County Road #2 towards Tilbury
  • Turn left onto County Road 1 (Queen St. N.)
  • Turn Left on Talbot Road East
  • Turn right on Klondyke Road which leads into the park

From Western Ontario
  • Navigate to Highway #3 East
  • Continue on Highway #3 East to just east of Leamington and turn left onto County Road #35 (Talbot St. E.)
  • Turn right on Klondyke Road which leads into the park

By Public Transport

Getting to the park by any public transportation services is not an option. You must rent a car and follow one of the driving directions listed above.


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Wheatley Provincial Park Attractions and Activities


Wildlife Viewing

As previously mentioned the entire area around Wheatley Provincial Park is a bird watcher's paradise as it lies along the main North American migratory route and over 250 species have been documented within the parks boundaries including large numbers of waterfowl that flock to its sheltered marshes and shallow waterways.

Some of the species to be found include:
  • Ducks
  • Geese
  • Wrens
And some more uncommon species including:
  • Mississippi Kite
  • Little Blue Heron
The migrations occur in spring and fall and the entire region becomes inundated with both birds and birdwatchers alike. The main draw in the area is Point Pelee National Park but Wheatley Provincial Park serves as the base for many as it has the only provincial camping facilities in the immediate area.

In addition to birds there are other small animals to be spotted in the park including:
  • Deer
  • Rabbits
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Turtles
There is also the annual Monarch Butterfly migration and the park also finds itself on the main migratory route.

For more information on these two natural phenomena's that draw visitors from around the world visit my Point Pelee National Park page.




Camping

The park lies very close to the southernmost tip of mainland Canada and thus has a very favorable climate to camping enthusiasts. It also is the only provincially run campground in the immediate area and combined this means that during the bird migrations and summer holiday months it can book up fairly quickly. This is also, as previously mentioned, the base for many wishing to explore Point Pelee National Park, Pelee Island, and the Leamington region.

In total there are 220 campsites in the park divided into four individual campgrounds:

Boosey Creek

This campground is set amidst the trees and is the first campground encountered when entering the park. Secluded and shady sites are the norm here but please note that almost every site is non-electrical. Please note that this campground is very noise restrictive and is radio free and this is strictly enforced at all times.

Middle Creek

A nice campground located on the far side of Sugar Creek with many sites set amongst the trees. 52 sites have electrical hookups and a few are located along the water adjacent to creeks. This campground has a children's playground. A comfort station is located nearby which houses facilities.

Highlands

Located on the far side of Sugar Creek many of the campsites in this campground are more open with less shade and can get very hot during summer months. 42 have electrical hookups with some located along the banks of creeks. A comfort station is located nearby which houses facilities.

Two Creeks

Located on the far side of Sugar Creek many sites are shady as they are set amongst the trees. Only 1 site in this campground has an electrical connection. This campground has a playground for children and a comfort station is located nearby which houses facilities.

Group camping is available for groups up to 50 people with 3 sites being available. All have facilities and are located fairly close to the beach with toilets, showers and running water. It is recommended that reservations be made in advance. Contact the park at: (519) 825-4659


Swimming

The park has an excellent 1.6 kilometer (1 mile) sandy beach and the waters of Lake Erie are very warm in this area. The swimming area is buoyed, as the water can get deep in some spots. There are change facilities and washroom facilities located in a nearby comfort station.

The beach is very popular amongst locals and campers and can get fairly busy during the hot summer months. It is very popular for day users especially on the weekends and the beach is one of the park's main draws.

Picnicking

This park is very popular among day users many of whom just come for a few hours to swim and enjoy a lunch under the warm sun. The park has 3 picnic shelters set up to protect from the hot sun and any inclement weather. While this is one of the driest parts of the province storms do whip up from off Lake Erie, therefore all 3 shelters are located on the shoreline of the lake.

Canoeing

Wheatley Provincial Park was developed along the shores of many small creeks that fed into Lake Erie so canoeing is naturally a very popular activity both inside its boundaries and along the shoreline of Lake Erie itself.

Since the foundation of the park many of these creeks have since dried up but there are still many popular routes including 2 between Boosey Creek to Sugar Creek.

Please note that the creeks are now landlocked and provide no water access to Lake Erie. It you want to paddle in the Great Lake a short portage is necessary.

Hiking

Wheatley Provincial Parks has two clearly marked hiking trails.

The first, Two Creeks Trail runs between the Two-Creeks campground and the beach along the shores of the creek system.

The other runs through the Carolinian forest highlighting some of the unique and rare specimens to be found here. It is located near the group camping area.

Many people however prefer to simply walk or "hike" along the long sandy beach especially at dusk when the golden hue of the setting sun and the soothing sounds of the waves lapping against the shoreline makes for a very romantic setting.

Fishing

Another popular activity as the waters of Lake Erie has long been known for its abundance of fish. No boat launch facilities are located within Wheatley Provincial Park so all fishing is shore based. Species commonly caught include:
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Smelt
  • Perch



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