The Lost Files: Long Point Provincial Park

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A stone marker commemorating the Long Point Company and the founding of the Long Point Provincial Park.

I’ll call this part two of the lost files (side note, found a few more memory cards) where I revisit different trips for which I had previously misplaced the memory cards. I really need to figure out a system where I don’t lose memory cards after I take them out of my camera, it’s becoming a bit of an issue.

Long Point Provincial Park occupies just a small section of the much larger Long Point peninsula which stretches some 40 km into lake Erie. Much of the peninsula spanning to the very point has been designated as a National Wildlife Area and is inaccessible to the every regular nature enthusiast. It’s a off limits area that is not easy to access, no roads lead you there and what’s worse the middle track of the peninsula is private property owned by the Long Point Company. Now that didn’t mean I didn’t try to make the long 40+ km walk in the sand up to the point, but once I hit private property, I had to turn back.

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The property line of the LPC.

All of this struck me strange as when I viewed the maps of Long Point on google, almost the entire peninsula was the lovely shade of green that denotes parkland. Except of course for a chunk right in the middle. I didn’t think too much of it as it has no markings on the map and the photos showed nothing to suggest it was private property, no roads to speak of or buildings. But sure enough after an hour a dredging through the sand there was a fence and a name… That lead me to do some further digging and it appear that the Long Point Company is a private hunting club of sorts owned by a few wealthy people whose ancestors bought much of the peninsula from the government in the mid 1800’s. It would appear that the sand spit had a very nefarious past of hedonism, poaching, prostitution and all other sorts of deplorable behaviour. At one point in time the government did not know what to do with such skullduggery upon the sands and concluded it was best to sell it off to private interests that could take control of this hinterland for the good of all. And in turn the Long Point Company was born out of the consortium of hunters and fishermen who wished to preserve their favourite harvesting lands for themselves. Now this is not to say that this had been all bad for the nature, the spit was cleaned up and much of the endangered wildlife thrived under the new approach. Over time the company had donated back much of the land to create the provincial park and the wildlife area, but one problem still remained. I can not get to the tip of the Long Point… A selfish problem, I know… But one I didn’t expect to encounter. 

Overall the area is just beautiful and the camping is done right on the sand, it is a much different feel then all the other parks I usually frequent in Ontario. The wildlife is also quiet a drastic contrast; no bears, or moose but instead there are ticks hunting in the tall grassed. So be cautious, and always wear bug spray. On the bright side turtles lay their eggs in the beach sand and numerous migratory birds make lengthy stopovers in this rare ecosystem, it’s truly beautiful. But it’s on a verge of a natural catastrophe, the wetlands have become a wasteland of phragmites monoculture. This highly invasive plant makes up the vast majority of the wetlands on the Long Point, kilometer upon endless kilometer of rare habitat has succumb to its deadly grasp. It seems unstoppable, it destroys all plants in its path and nothing will consume it. It snuffs out valuable resources, creating food deserts where life does not thrive. It’s a really disturbing environmental drama that is unfolding on Lake Erie.

In all I think I’ll be making a trip back to Long Point next year with my Paddleboard in hand to try and paddle my way up to the very top. But until then, a few more pictures can be found on my flickr page.

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6 thoughts on “The Lost Files: Long Point Provincial Park

  1. I had never heard the name ‘phragmite’ before but I recognized the plant. I didn’t realize it was a non-native invasive plant. It sounds like all our natural spaces are at risk because of non-native plants. I was only aware of the strangling dog vine.

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  2. Pingback: Long Point Provincial Park | Ontario Camper

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