Canada’s Deep South – Point Pelee

We recently took a drive from Toronto, Ontario to visit Canada’s Deep South – that is Point Pelee National Park. Point Pelee is that wedge of land that juts out into Lake Erie, and is the southernmost point in mainland Canada. It’s latitude is just below 42°—about the same as Rome, Barcelona, and northern California. As a Canadian, I find that quite exciting in itself.

42nd Parallel - Point Pelee National Park

In 1918 Point Pelee was saved from development and named one of Canada’s National Parks. Today it is home to five unique Carolinian habitats with diverse plants and wildlife species. The main sounds you will hear are from the wide variety of birds at this world-renowned sanctuary.

It’s a lovely, peaceful spot, with sandy beaches, forested nature trails to hike, and a boardwalk to stroll through one of the largest remaining southern Great Lakes marshlands. There are also bike paths and canoe rentals available.

The Tip

At the Tip of Point Pelee

After our walk through a leafy Carolinian forest trail we arrived at the Tip of Point Pelee. It’s a breezy spot and the colliding currents are continually changing the shape of the Tip.  We stood at the Tip and snapped our photo as everyone does, then walked down the beach to sit on the warm sand and watch the waves.

Winston at the beach - Point Pelee

The Marsh Boardwalk

The best time for bird-watching was a month ago in early May. But there was still a chorus of birds calls around us as we walked through trails on our way to the Marsh Boardwalk. We met an 85-year-old man, Walter, who has been coming to bird watch each year for more than thirty years. Walter told us if we were here a month earlier, the chorus of bird calls would be a roar. Thousands of visitors from around the world come for the annual Festival of Birds, so he reserves his accommodations a year in advance.

Marsh Boardwalk 1

Strolling around the Marsh Boardwalk on the warm sunny day was great, and there is also a birdwatching tower you can climb for even better views. We watched others paddling canoes around the network of canals in the marsh and that looked fantastic.

Exploring the marshland by canoe
Winston on the Boardwalk

We really enjoyed our day at Point Pelee and would recommend it for all ages.


See our review of fresh fish tacos at Birdie’s Perch Bustaurant.

Point Pelee National Park Facts

  • Point Pelee National Park is recognized as: a UNESCO Wetland of International Significance, a world-renowned Birding Area, an International Butterfly Reserve, and a Dark Sky Preserve.
  • Point Pelee National Park Entrance Fee: $7.80/Adult, $3.90/Youth, $19.60/Family or Group.
  • Location: Point Pelee is located next to Leamington, Ontario, one hour SE of Windsor, Ontario (or about the same distance from Detroit, Michigan) and about four hours SW of Toronto.
  • There is a shuttle running from the Point Pelee Visitor Centre to the Tip from mid-April to Thanksgiving.
  • Swim or sunbathe at one of three beach areas.
  • Picnic: Day-use areas are equipped with barbecues, picnic tables, washrooms and parking.
  • Paddle: Canoe rentals available at the Marsh Boardwalk.
  • Bike the 4km Centennial Trail from the Marsh Boardwalk to the Tip.
  • Hike one of eight trails through a variety of Carolinian habitats.
  • Don’t forget: sunscreen, bug spray and water.
  • Pet friendly (must be kept on leash).
  • In the park, snacks available for purchase at the Marsh Services Canoe Rental area.
14 replies
  1. Melissa Taylor
    Melissa Taylor says:

    I am a former Windsorite going on 3 years now. 32 years of field trips, day visits with family friends.. many wonderful summer and winter memories walking through the wooded trails, walking the boardwalk through the marsh, canoeing and riding the trolly to the point!
    The moments of history they’ve kept has been nostalgic to see each time; looking through the windows of what used to be homes, the tiny cemetery that appears around a corner after passing the large wooden arch entrance and down the grass path. There is/was also a tiny piece of the original road left behind that had history boards along with it showing Point Pelee in it’s hay day with the even longer beach, cars parked to the brim. The photos show quite a sight.. that was before my time. lol.
    Pelee Days Inn was a fun hotel to stay at, and if they didn’t close due to the pandemic, there used to be a great double decker bus converted into a fish n chips place just before you reach Point Pelee. The local perch is a must try! : )

  2. Catherine Sweeney
    Catherine Sweeney says:

    Point Pelee looks so pretty and peaceful. And check out that happy little dog! 🙂 I guess we’re near the same latitude since I’m in Northern California and I’ll be in Rome next month — I think that’s exciting, too.

  3. Donna Janke
    Donna Janke says:

    Great looking spot. I’ve never been to Port Pelee, but I think I’d like to get there. It was interesting to look it up on a map and realize it is farther south than most of Michigan.

  4. Susan Moore
    Susan Moore says:

    Looks wonderful! And 42 degrees parallel – that is deep south for Canada 🙂
    I haven’t traveled around Ontario much – looks like someplace I would enjoy though. I hope to road trip across Canada within the next few years. Thanks for introducing me to Point Pelee.

  5. Doreen Pendgracs
    Doreen Pendgracs says:

    Thx for this post about Point Pelee! I’ve long been drinking wine from the area, and have heard about it, but never seen pics before. Looks like a place to add to my Canadian Bucket List!

    • Shelley
      Shelley says:

      Thanks Doreen! This area is great place for wine lovers. We only had time for one winery visit, Kew vineyards, but really enjoyed it and would love to try some others.

  6. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Beautiful nature. Not to mention, a sandy beach and the expansive lake for you to enjoy. One day, my wife and I will go there.


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