Long Point on Lake Erie is a special place, so much so that it has been named a World Biosphere Reserve. It is a mix of cottage country, wetlands, and sandy beaches that is partitioned into private property, National Wildlife Areas and a Provincial Park. I’ve been here before, and camped here as well. This is not the most wild place to camp, well it could be if you’re keen on trekking into the endless quagmire and swale of the point. The beach is really what you come here for, and I did just that. Sunny days have been few and far between in Ontario this summer so when two days in a row arose in the forecast, off I went.
At the base of the point you’ll find a wonderful wetlands of the Big Creek which empties into small delta on Lake Erie. Here there is several kilometers of trails to traverse through the marsh, it’s a beautiful area. But we warned, wear long pants and tuck them into your socks. The area is home to migratory birds as well swarms of mosquitoes and ticks, bug sprays is highly recommended. There has been confirmed cases of Lyme Disease in this parts, luckily I wore long pants and tucked them into my socks as I found two of these little buggers hugging onto one pant-leg after a trek into the marshlands. Always use safety and precaution, I’ve been told due to our swam and wet summer tick numbers have been on the rise. Besides the invasion of ticks, the most notorious of Ontario’s invasive plants, phragmites is still holding on strong. It’s gobbled up countless acres of marshlands, stopping it seems like a wishful dream at times. But this time around as you can see in some of the photo’s above, the effects of phragmites have been curved by a new pilot project in the area. From the look of things, it’s been effective in the areas that have been treated but long term it’s challenging to forecast.
Besides fighting off ticks in the marshes, one of my favourite things to do is stroll along the expanse of the provincial parks beaches. To a point that is… If you venture far enough up the point, you’re bound to reach the fences and no trespassing signs that signify the onset of Long Point Company property, a private hunting club which has through luck and fortune of it’s members ancestors acquired a substantial slice real estate in South Ontario’s most valuable natural areas. The effects of the rainy summer have not gone unnoticed on the sand spit, the beaches are significantly narrow as the encroaching water has pushed them up against the walls of the sand dunes. Erosion is evident all around, the relentless action of the waves has exposed many roots and event toppled trees from the dune walls. The water constantly builds and destroys the shorelines in these parts.
Long Point is home to many species of animals and plants, of which the Fowler’s Toads is an elusive encounter. This toad while plentiful in much of North America, can only be found in three location in Ontario, all along Lake Erie. I’ve never seen one before, but this time around I found basking on the beach.
Finally there were the sunsets, and as always nature does not disappoint. But what added an extra layer of awesome was the full moon. It was big and bright, at one point during the night I woke up and thought it was morning, but it was just the moon light. As always more photo’s can be found on my flickr.