DescriptionFifty-six kilometres (35 mi.) southeast of Detroit and 10 kilometres (6 mi.) south of Leamington, Point Pelee (PEE-lee) National Park is the southernmost mainland point in Canada. The 15-square-kilometre (6-sq.-mi.) park is one of Canada's smallest national parks and one of its most popular summer resorts.
Only a third of the park is dry land; the rest is made up of marshland. The uplands consist of sand dunes surrounded by forests of hackberry, white ash, basswood, black walnut, shagbark hickory, sassafras, red oak, chestnut oak and sugar maple. The lowlands are composed of 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) of marshland. On the west side is Pigeon Bay, known for its beautiful sunsets.
On both the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways and at the apex of the southern Ontario peninsula, the park is a natural sanctuary and critical stopover for migratory birds, butterflies and dragonflies. More than 375 bird species have been sighted. Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico through Point Pelee from late August to mid-October. Such small water animals as minks and muskrats can be seen around the numerous ponds or from the Marsh Boardwalk.
General InformationThe park is open daily 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Apr.-Labour Day. (also 5-6 a.m., late Apr. to mid-May); 7-dusk, rest of year. An observation tower at the beginning of the 1.4-kilometre (1-mi.) Marsh Boardwalk trail affords excellent views of the marsh. Canoes and bicycles can be rented from May to second Monday in October.
Interpretive programs by park staff are available, and special events are offered throughout the year. The park's nature trails are open all year. A free shuttle service is offered in the south end of the park from mid-Apr. to second Monday in Oct. Phone (519) 322-2365 or (888) 773-8888.
ADMISSIONADMISSION to the park is free in 2017 to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation. Otherwise $6.90; $6.02 (ages 65+); $3.45 (ages 6-16); $17.35 (family of seven in same vehicle). An annual pass is $34.69; $30.35 (ages 65+); $17.35 (ages 6-16); $86.81 (family). Prices may vary; phone ahead.
PETSPETS are permitted in the park only if they are leashed.
ADDRESSADDRESS inquiries to the Superintendent's Office, Point Pelee National Park, 407 Monarch Ln., R.R. 1, Leamington, ON, Canada N8H 3V4; phone (519) 322-2365, ext. 0.
Things to SeeVisitor Centre
This pocket park is so popular that even monarch butterflies summer here.