Outlet Beach, Sandbanks Provincial Park
Outlet Beach is a 3.5 kilometre sandbar formed between Salmon Point (to the east) and West Point (to the west). This sandbar is a part of the coastal dune system at Sandbanks, formed by tiny sediments of rock that were ground down by glaciers over 10,000 years ago and brought here by winds and lake currents. So much sand accumulated that it formed a barrier at the mouth of a large bay, turning the bay into its own lake (East Lake). It is the world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation.
Outlet Beach is an expansive, sandy beach that’s hailed as one of the best beaches in Canada. It’s perfect for families, with shallow waters and a gentle drop off. There’s plenty to do, including cycling, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. It’s also a great starting point to explore Prince Edward County, which is known for its bicycle touring, wineries, food, art, and antiques. With several campgrounds and rental cottages on site, you can stay a while and enjoy all the area has to offer.
If you’re a birder, don’t forget your binoculars! Because of the way the park just out into Lake Ontario, it funnels birds travelling north or south across the lake—making it a migration hotspot. Check out the walking trails to experience both the dune and wetland habitats of the park. And you can find lots of information about the local flora and fauna at the Friends of Sandbanks Nature Shoppe, which is stocked with souvenirs, clothing, artwork, nature books, guides and much more. There’s also daily interpretive programming for the whole family during summer months.