Pinery Provincial Park

Discussion in 'Ontario' started by dfury7, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. dfury7

    dfury7 Member

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    We stayed at the Pinery twice last year (once in early September, and once in October). We had heard horror stories about how wild things can get in the park during the peak camping season. As this is probably the "hottest" prov. park in SW Ontario apparently it attracts a lot of young adults who like to party hard.

    Camping in the Fall was fantastic. The first trip was in a site in the much desired "Dunes" campground, and were literally within steps of the walkway that takes you to the gorgeous/huge sandy beach. The sunsets at the Pinery have been listed in National Geographic's top 10 sunsets in the world. Our first visit was for tent camping just before we bought our Pup.

    Our second trip was in October which was after most other Prov Parks close. The pinery stays open year round, although they limit the sites greatly which are open in the Winter. We spent our October visit in the "Riverside" campground which was still only a short drive away from the beach.

    The park features a large restaurant, general store, as well as bike and canoe rentals (although these are not open after Labour Day). The park is quite large and just driving out of the park takes 5-10 minutes if it's busy. The sites are a little on the small side, and backing the PUP in from the narrow lanes was a little tough. Signage was a little confusing, and you can easily get a bit turned around trying to find the tiny sign labelling your site.

    The sites were very sandy, and aside from a few ants we had no issues with mosquitoes or other pests.

    Washrooms in the park are very new, clean and well maintained, and our only complaint about the park is the lack of a playground for the kids. In the fall the beach is a tad too cold to visit, so bring plenty to keep the family entertained if you visit in the Fall.

    Getting to Grand Bend for grocery stores etc takes about a 10 minute drive, although I've heard that in the Summer highway 81 is gridlock and can take 45 minutes. We are going to be brave this year and have a booking in August. We want to see what the park is like when things are in full swing.

    We really enjoy the Pinery, and highly recommend it for Spring/Fall camping!
     
  2. pawseyte

    pawseyte Member

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    I don't know about today, but back in the 80's Grand Bend and the Pinery were quite the party spots.
     
  3. mk12345

    mk12345 Member

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    We regularly go to the Pinery in July or August. Besides for being fully booked, it is a great place to be.

    You may need to wait if you are renting a paddle boat or canoe etc., just go earlier in the day.

    There have been a few loud campsites, but they soon quite down when around 11:00pm.

    large sites, large park...crowds are handled well (along with day visitors to the park). The recent changes in the store area help keep people and vehicles apart better.

    The drive to Grand Bend can get backed up. Check a map, there are a few other ways around the main highway and the traffic.
     
  4. ccptbo

    ccptbo Well-Known Member

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    Really good to know!! It would be a fair jaunt for us so maybe the fall would be better. Great review! Thanks for all the details!
     
  5. mk12345

    mk12345 Member

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    We went last Thanksgiving weekend. Great weather, no crowds....but still basically full due to them having closed sites for the year already.

    Just be prepared for shorter hours in the park...such as the wood lot, we had to search out some firewood on the last night because it closed early and we ran out.

    Even grand bend was quiet, but still fully open.
     
  6. Detroit_Iron

    Detroit_Iron Active Member

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    when I was younger I remember going to the pinery, to much hassle to try and go now. My parents where younger and I know when all my aunts and uncles and mom and dad got together they definitely partied hard lol
     
  7. dadofgirls

    dadofgirls New Member

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    Grew up at my grandparents cottage in grand bend. Have been taking my family there every year for the past 5summers. Beware of the traffic and cyclists on the road. Almost got into a head on collision as a guy cut across to get to the wood shed. Very scary for everyone.
     
  8. ccptbo

    ccptbo Well-Known Member

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    No kidding! Wow. Was the guy a cyclist or in a car? Very lucky no one was killed!
     
  9. real lite virgin

    real lite virgin Rob,Suzanne & Jessie - Black Lab

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    Just got back from 5 nights in Riverside. Have been there twice before and have never had a bad time. Make sure to keep food secure as the racoons are everywhere. The first time there, people in the next site over were tent camping. They got there around 6:00pm, unloaded the car and headed into Grand Bend to eat. By the time they got back an hour later 5 masked bandits had opened their containers and cleaned out anything they found edible. They seemed to really like the apple cobbler. And they are use to humans and will not easily be scared off.

    Anyone with a dog that likes the water will enjoy the fact that 2 of the 11 beaches are dog friendly.
     
  10. ccptbo

    ccptbo Well-Known Member

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    Great review Rob! Thanks.
     
  11. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    We have camped there every summer for the past 10 years or so. It's our favorite park. As far as firewood goes, we never buy from the park. I have had too many troubles with it being wet. There are woodlots 5 - 10 minutes north of the park that sell firewood which is both drier, and much cheaper. Just my [2C]
     
  12. ccptbo

    ccptbo Well-Known Member

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    I think that is fairly common with all the parks! :)
     
  13. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    The wood sucks at all Provincial parks, unless you manage to get left overs from last year.. Not sure who has the current contract to provide wood to the parks, but it can't end too soon ...
     
    Tracy D. likes this.
  14. ccptbo

    ccptbo Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea! One would think it would be a different contract per prov park, wouldn't it? After all, they don't want to import/export the nasty pests, right?? [?:~{]
     
  15. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand. The supplier is out somewhere near Peterborough ...
     
  16. Ziggs76

    Ziggs76 Member

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    We're heading to the Pinery this weekend. I still have a little Peterborough wood left in the truck from Emily. I'll compare the two and let you know. [;)]
     
  17. ccptbo

    ccptbo Well-Known Member

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    Peterborough wood.... [LOL]

    Good times!
     
  18. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

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    they won't let you bring wood in unless it's from a surrounding woodlot
     
  19. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    The bag says it's from an Ontario Provincial Park ... at least all the wood bags I have says that [;)] ...
     
  20. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

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    Ahhh i see said the blind man [8D]
     

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