Sandbanks Provincial Park, 3004 County Rd 12, Picton, ON K0K 2T0, Canada

Oh, Sand dunes / Camping at Sandbanks Provincial Park

We pulled into the entrance of West Lake Campground with the sun pressing down on our air conditioned car windows. It was the middle of July in Ontario and it had been four years since we'd last been there. This time we'd been back in the haze of raising a newborn and had forgotten to properly strategize for the reservations race that happens every winter for one of Ontario's favourite camping spots, and we ended up taking a chance on the new part of the campground - West Lake.

One of my favourite things about camping with three kids is stepping out of the car onto our campsite. Alice immediately starts assessing the pop up trailer parking situation, Ben clings to my shoulders, one little hand pointing to all of the new things and Isla just silently takes it all in.

When camping with kids in Sandbanks Provincial Park ...

1. Slather your body in sunscreen, especially if you're camping in their new part: West Lake Campground. The sites are open and new and the only real cover is tall grass.

2. Head straight to the beach because you will feel like you've been transported to somewhere in the Caribbean.

3. Try to make shade by angling your tent in the correct orientation to the sun

4. Meander through the path that goes all the way from Dunes Beach, through Westlake campground and then continues through several campsites taking you to Outlet Beach. Discover enormous old trees, wildflowers and eventually clear blue waters. (Also, camping with Nan and Papa makes life better on so many levels)

5. Spend an afternoon at the Wellington Main Street Park. Marvel at the games your children come up with while crawling up and over and through this huge wooden structure. Then swing by Books & Co in Picton to find a beach read and grab a coffee.

6. Lose track of time to the crashing of the waves on a windy day at Outlet beach

7. Visit the local wineries and stop at Karlo Estates (it's our favourite in the area and has a life size game of chess).

8. Thank the Park Staff for selling hot coffee, offering kids programs and for having a play structure at the Dunes Beach side of Sandbanks Provincial Park.

9. Climb the hills of Dunes Beach and feel the caribbean like sand on the soles of your feet.

10. Leave the kids at the campsite with your parents and get in a run along Country Road 12 road with your husband.

11. Leave the toys at home and watch your children do laps of Westlake campground on their bicycles.

12. Do wake up at the crack of dawn one winter morning to make sure you get a site at one of their many campgrounds because you miss the beach, the dunes and even the sand.

Have you been to Sandbanks Provincial Park? I'd love to hear your favourite things to do while you're there.

See you in August Sandbanks!


  1. Although I've never camped there, I have very fond memories of Outlet Beach at Sandbanks from day trips we took as a family from our cottage near Kingston. Usually coming home with lots of sand and sunburns, but always stopped at the lake on the mountain before the ferry ride back.


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