Sandbanks is among the largest and most beautiful beaches in Ontario, with golden sand and sparkling water. Windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and boating compete with sunbathing and swimming as favourite park activities.
Sandbanks boasts three sandy beaches, Outlet Beach, Sandbanks Beach and Dunes Beach. Two of the finest bay mouth sandbar and coastal sand dune systems in the province can be found here. Sandbanks is also home to an interesting mix of vegetation and wildlife.
Sandbanks offers trails and a day use playground.
Can’t access the beach? Borrow our Beach Wheelchair from the Woodyard.
Check updates for beach closures, reservation availability, fire bans, beach advisories at ontarioparks.com
Swimming advisory updates for:
Sandbanks Dunes Beach (West Lake Beach)
Sandbanks (Lake Ontario Beach)
Favourite hangouts from Peta Shelton ☞ Lakeshore Lodge, overlooking the dunes beach late afternoon and for sunset.
- Reserve campsites well in advance.
- Lineups for Sandbanks beach can be really long, especially on hot days in the summer. Electronic road signs let visitors know if the park is full (yes, sometimes the park is very popular and fills to capacity!) Get there early in the day. Check the Sandbanks Twitter account for updates https://twitter.com/sandbankspp
- The most popular beaches at Sandbanks are the Outlet with its washrooms, shop and rentals, and The Dunes which has the spectacular sand dunes along West Lake as well as washrooms. But for a less crowded area, visit the Sandbanks Beach. This is about 6 km of beach, west of West Lake from Athol Bay to Wellington. Only a couple of basic facilities in the parking lot.
- Visit in off-season if possible.
- There are limited picnic tables. Bring a picnic blanket.
- There are some fire ants, especially near the trees. Bring chairs to protect yourself, or sit far from the vegetation.
- Watch out for poison ivy, especially in the trail areas.
- If you’ve been on the trails, check yourself, children and dogs carefully for ticks.
- Be sure to check out the Lake Shore Lodge area which, gone now, was a popular dance hall and hotel during the 1950s. It’s at the south end of the beach, over an outcropping. Great views and wave action on the rocks when there is a westerly wind.
- For great views and photo opportunities, visit the sand dunes for the sunset: it is very serene and quite the sight to see.
Favourite hangouts from Ianthe Burnett-Stringer ☞ Lakeshore Lodge in the summer.
Pet friendly (on leash, ask about dog-friendly areas of the park)
- 620 campsites located in six campgrounds. Outlet River A&B and Cedars campgrounds are on the Eastlake side of the park, Richardson and the new West Lake campground on the Westlake side of the park and Woodlands campground is located in the middle of the park. Over 260 campsites offer electricity.
- 2 roofed accommodations, Jacques Cottage a quaint 1 ½ story cottage right on the shores of Lake Ontario which sleeps up to 6 and the majestic Maple Rest Heritage House a short walk to the Dunes Beach and the infamous sand dunes. Both are available year round.
- reservations are recommended during peak months of July and August
- one campground with hydro hook-up; each camp site has a picnic table and firegrill
- drinking water taps are close to most sites
- Dunes Playground for children
- comfort stations with shower, laundry and washroom facilities throughout campgrounds
- park store sells camping supplies and souvenirs
- restaurant serves breakfast and light meals, and a Sunday Brunch
Favourite hangouts from Gail Forcht ☞ The beach after tourist season, with a few great friends. Can’t get better than that…
Sandbanks Provincial Park has often been featured in film and television. Sandbanks stands in for Sable Island in the 2002 made-for-television film Touching Wild Horses, starring Jane Seymour. It also appears in the films Fly Away Home (1996) and Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010). This is also where the music video for the 1985 song “Wave Babies” by Honeymoon Suite was filmed. Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbanks_Provincial_Park
- two wide, clean sandy beaches and shallow safe waters
- perfect environment for swimming, sunbathing and picnicking
- beaches are not supervised
PEC NAMED ONE OF THE MOST SWIM-FRIENDLY SPOTS IN CANADA! August 3. 2012 Tournament of Beaches: Day 4 – the most swim-friendly spots in Canada, National Post
Located in Prince Edward County near Picton, Sandbanks has two of the largest freshwater baymouth sandbars in the world. …
- both East Lake and West Lakes have good populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel (walleye), pike, perch and other panfish
- the nearby Bay of Quinte is known as one of the best locations in North America for catching pickerel
- the eastern end of Lake Ontario also hosts a variety of other species, depending on the season
- Chinook salmon draw the most attention and truly offer the angler an opportunity to catch the “big one”
- If you don’t have equipment, no problem, visit The Woodyard and you can participate in our Tackle Share Program.
Boating and Sailboarding
- ideal for motorboating, small-craft sailing and canoeing
- two boat launches in the park
- sailboarding is popular and conditions for the sport are considered just about perfect
- watercraft rentals including canoes, kayaks. paddle boats and surfbikes are available within the park
Birding – Hike out to West Point
Cycling – a great way to see the park
Special Events – participate in Winterfest (Feb), Mother’s Day events (May), Sandfest (July), Theatre in the Park (July & August), Lakeshore Lodge Day (August) and Sandbanks Fall Getaway Fun Run (Sept). Details at friendsofsandbanks.org
- large variety of flora and fauna (see a Hiker’s Wildflower Guide)
- staircases up and down the steepest dunes
- a boardwalk and viewing spot overlooking the Outlet River
- Woodlands Trail
5 km, Hiking & Walking, Cycling – Off-Road, Camping & Backpacking, Canoeing & Kayaking, Snowshoeing & Backcountry
- Cedar Sands Trail
This interpretive trail explains the ecology of the famous sand dunes at this park. Viewing platforms overlook the Outlet River and the Baymouth sand dune complex.
2 km, Hiking & Walking, Cycling – Off-Road, Canoeing & Kayaking, Snowshoeing & Backcountry
- hiking and bird watching in the spring and fall
- in winter, when there is enough snow, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
- at the Visitor Centre, view exhibits about the park’s history and natural attractions
- visit the Friends of Sandbanks Nature Shop
- during the summer months, guided hikes, slide talks, children’s programmes, campfires, and other events
- Friends of Sandbanks (Events, Nature Shoppe, Visitor Centre, Flora & Fauna at the Park)
- North Beach Provincial Park
Plan your visit now:
For reservation information, see the official Sandbanks web site www.ontarioparks.com/park/sandbanks
or call 1 888 ONT-PARK (668-7275)
Office Telephone: (613) 393-3319