If you’re looking for a quiet getaway that will satisfy your nature-loving appetite, then head to Pelee Island. The most southerly place in Canada, Pelee Island on Lake Erie has a remote location that is ideal for families, outdoor enthusiasts and birders. Dubbed “Canada’s best-kept secret,” Pelee Island may be small, but there are a wealth of reasons to visit and things to do.
One of the top ways to visit Pelee Island is with a pair of binoculars. Birders flock from around the world to visit the island for the spring and fall migrations. During the migrations, thousands of songbirds and butterflies pass through the island. You might even spot endangered species like the yellow-breasted chat. Check in with the Pelee Island Bird Observatory (PIBO) to share what you saw. More than 300 species have already been identified!
Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve
There are a few great places to hike on Pelee Island, and Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve is one of the best. Fish Point is Ontario’s most southerly provincial park. It's home to rare plant species and endangered wildlife. The 1.6-kilometre trail is punctuated with interpretive signs that disclose the area’s ecological significance. The boardwalk winds through forest to the shores of Lake Erie.
Stone Road Alvar
Another interesting place to hike is Stone Road Alvar. Covering over 200 hectares, Stone Road Alvar is one of the island’s most significant natural areas. The narrow winding trails through dense vegetation grant access to a unique ecosystem. The area is home to a variety of endangered plant and wildlife, like the blue racer snake and the wild hyacinth.
Bike the Island
One of the best ways to see Pelee Island is to grab a bike and peddle the Pelee Island Waterfront Trail. This 28-kilometre route circles the island and follows the shoreline of Lake Erie. The trail takes you along dusty roads, past farmland and to the island’s nature reserves. If you don’t have your own, you can rent a bicycle on the island.
One of the most beautiful places to explore on Pelee Island is Lighthouse Point Provincial Nature Reserve. The meandering trails will lead you through Carolinian forest, the largest wetland on the island and to the remains of a lighthouse built in 1834. Here you’ll spot a variety of animals, including endangered turtles, snakes and birds.
There are over 200 shipwrecks between Pelee Island and Point Pelee. This makes Pelee Island an ideal spot to set anchor for scuba divers. There are diving tours available through local charter companies and some of the wrecks are just off the beaches of Pelee.
Pelee Island Heritage Centre
If you’re looking for something to do indoors, then head over to the Pelee Island Heritage Centre. This museum showcases all aspects of Pelee Island, from its human history to its natural heritage. Located in the island’s old town hall, the Pelee Island Heritage Centre appeals to families and those looking to learn more about the island.
Pelee Island has an array of accommodations from cottages for rent to bed-and-breakfasts. If you’re looking for a more affordable and natural stay, head to East Park Campground. You’ll be surrounded by nature, starry skies at night and nearby beaches.
Another great way to explore Pelee Island is by paddle. If you’re not staying at a cottage or inn that has canoes or kayaks, you can rent them while on the island at Pelee Island Charters. Whether you’re looking to get a closer look at the island’s wildlife or simply connect with nature, a perfect spot to paddle is Lake Henry Marsh.
Pelee Island is home to some incredible beaches. Most are sandy but some are made up of pebble or shale. If you’re looking for a great place to relax, take in the best sunset or take a dip in the heat of the summer, consider East Park Beach, Sunset Beach or the long stretches of beach found in Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve.
PS. Want to live a more adventurous life?
Join the Adventure Challenge Club!
There are over 2,000 members in our private Facebook community from across Canada and the United States. Every Monday, month, season and year we host massive adventure challenges designed to be completed in any province/state, with any level of fitness and at any age.