THE PINERY PROVINCIAL PARK
The Pinery Provincial Park was established in 1957, on 4200 acres of land owned by the Canada Company of London, England. It grew to over 6000 acres with the purchase of the Ski Club property formerly operated by the Walkers of Oakwood Park.
With its outstanding natural features, The Pinery is classed as a natural environment park. The landscape is composed almost entirely of sand. The large hills which immediately welcome the visitor at the entrance gate are beach dunes over 6000 years old, from the glacial shores of Lake Nipissing. Dunes in the park may range in height from 90 feet alongside the highway, to only a few feet at the beach. A unique variety of native species awaits the naturalist, with flowers, trees and wildlife unique to the oak savanna habitat. This oak savanna is an area of international scientific and natural interest, with over half the total North American remnants of this habitat found within the boundaries of The Pinery Provincial Park.
The Pinery contains a mixed forest of red and white pine and hardwoods. Many deer and small mammals can be found throughout the park. There is no hunting allowed within the park boundaries. Fishing is allowed in the Ausable River which flows through the park and with luck you may find pike, bass, and blue gills. Good fishing can be had in Lake Huron.
The park has camping areas, picnic areas on the beach, a large picnic shelter, change houses, comfort stations and many other conveniences for users. It also has a year-round interpretive centre with naturalists on hand to answer questions.
A nature programme was established in 1961. In 1962, an amphitheatre was constructed in a blow hole on the old sand road half way between the lower bridge and the Dune Camp office. This had a screen, a projector booth and a seating capacity for 700 people. In 1968 the park extended its winter facilities by establishing 28 miles of trails for cross-country skiing and numerous camping roads for snowmobile use.
The Pinery has experienced many changes over the years and it is without any doubt one of Ontario's finest parks. Whether your desire is for a quiet walk through the forest observing nature at its finest or a holiday away from the urban sprawl or the enjoyment of the many summer and winter activities for which the park is famous.