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7 Best Things to do at Craigleith Provincial Park

Welcome to Craigleith Provincial Park! Established in 1967 by Ontario Parks, this adventure park is located on the southern shores of Georgian Bay between Collingwood and Thornbury.

With a sandy beach shoreline containing 450 million-year-old fossils and oil shale fragments, it is a unique destination for water sports such as windsurfing, sea kayaking, sailing, and swimming.

The park is also a great starting point for exploring the surrounding area, including the Bruce Trail, Georgian Trail, and Blue Mountain Village. Conveniently located just a short drive from Toronto and near popular tourist attractions like wasaga beach provincial park, Blue Mountain, and Georgian Bay, Craigleith Provincial Park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy nature.

The small park is only open from mid-April to late October, and its campsites are in high demand during the summer months, so be sure to plan your visit soon!

Provincial Park
Photo by Trevor Minett on Unsplash

The park’s prime place makes it a great home region, and the campsites are in great demand during the summer months. Craigleith Provincial Park is a great place to have an excellent experience exploring all the attractions this place has to offer.

1. Facilities provided

1.1 Park store

Craigleith’s store and our gatehouse are combined. Grocery shopping, firewood, treats, ice cream, cold drinks, pop, snacks, local handicrafts, Bruce Trail Guides, and Nature Books are all available at the store. The shop also offers brewed coffee, hot chocolate, and a free book and movie exchange.

This is a one-stop shop in which you can register for your campsite, buy your s’mores kit, firewood, hoodie, and coffee, and then borrow a book to read while relaxing on the riverfront. The park store is situated at the park entrance, where you can also register for a campsite.

1.2 Comfort station

Each campground area has a comfort station. Area A comfort station has full washrooms, showers, laundry facilities, and a water tap on the building’s exterior. Area B does have full restrooms and showers. Areas C and Area D have complete restrooms.

1.3 Day-use area

At the east end of Craigleith, we have a dedicated day-use area. This area has a picnic table, campfire pits, BBQs, riverfront access, and an assigned parking area.

campground
source: Shutterstock

1.4 Picnic shelter

Craigleith provincial park has one picnic shelter located in the day-use area. Reservations for the shelter can be made online or by phone.

1.5 Laundry

Laundry facilities are available in our Area A comfort station, and laundry soap and fabric softener are available for purchase in the park store.

2. Things to do at Craigleith Provincial Park

2.1 Join a Discovery Drop-in with kids

Discover the beauty of Craigleith Provincial Park at a Discovery Drop-in during July and August. Bring your Discovery Activity Book or pick one up at the park and investigate the flora, animals, and observation attributes to earn your own Discovery Ranger Button. Keep an eye out for the weekly schedule of events uploaded across the park for more information.

2.2 Canoeing

A park is an excellent place for all the visitors to launch their kayak or canoe because the flat rocks of the beach and shallow water make it simple to get in and out of your boat.

Craigleith offers two canoeing experiences within the park: a harsher, more unexpected canoe adventure on the Craigleith shores or a more cuddly and relaxed adventure on the Beaver River.

If you prefer a more protected paddling experience, the park is the place to be.

provincial park
Photo by Shreyas Nair on Unsplash/Copyright 2020

2.3 Fossil hunting

Can you find any trace of the history in the brown shale that lines the southern shore? If you are interested in fossils or history, this is where to be. The park contains well-preserved fossils and is one of the handfuls of fossil-rich areas in Ontario that are easily accessible from the city.

2.4 Attend Shivers on the Shale for Halloween

Register for the Shivers on the Shale event so you can dress up and compete in the costume contest. Trick or treating, carve a spooky pumpkin in October, or visit the haunted picnic shelter.

2.5 Fishing

Craigleith is well-known for its offshore fishing in the spring and fall. Set your thread for a Rainbow Trout, Salmon, or even a Whitefish. The Beaver River is another excellent fishing spot near the river’s mouth, situated 10 minutes beyond the park in Thornbury.

2.6 Bird watching

If you are inspired by nature and enjoy spending time in the woods, this is your place. Craigleith is home to various waterbirds and songbirds, hummingbirds, Blue Jays, cardinals, and chickadees due to its proximity to Georgian Bay.

2.7 Cycling

Pedal on the park roads or the Georgian Trail, situated just in front of the park. You can cycle and watch all the nearby attractions. From Meaford to Collingwood, a nice flat rock chip trail runs. Go to the park store for the most up-to-date trail information for downhill and cross-country skiing and road riders.

Photo by Ali Kazal on Unsplash/Copyright 2022

3. What to keep in mind before you visit

In Ontario Parks, there is one basic rule: respect and appreciation for your fellow tourists and the park environment.

Some Rules to be followed if not followed, there will be consequences; the rules are:

  1. Provincial parks are established to provide a relaxing and natural setting. Excessive noise, foul language or gestures, and loud and obnoxious behavior are not allowed. You are not permitted to disturb or interrupt anyone else’s enjoyment of the park at any time of day or night.
  2. Taking natural artifacts out of the park is banned from keeping it a natural environment. Provincial parks safeguard all vegetation, animals, and natural features. It is forbidden to cut any living growth or damage any natural or another item. You are not permitted to collect any dead or fallen wood from a provincial park for a campfire or other similar purpose.
  3. Because of the environmental damage they can cause, off-road vehicles are not permitted in provincial parks.
  4. The maximum number of travelers permitted per campground campsite is six, and the highest amount of campers permitted per interior camp is nine.
  5. Only enrolled campers are permitted in a provincial park during the posted closing time.
  6. To keep wildlife from becoming pests, dispose of all garbage and litter in the containers. To remove possible dangers to park visitors and minimize human-wildlife conflict, campsites, and facilities must be kept clean.
  7. If you are 19 or older, you are only allowed to acquire or consume liquor on an enrolled campsite. Owners are responsible for adequately storing liquor in their vehicles. Alcohol must be in an unopened carton with an intact wrap or boxed up and unusable to anyone in the vehicle.
park
Source: Shutterstock

Closing Thoughts

Craigleith Provincial Park is a great destination for a fun and adventurous outing, as well as a relaxing camping experience. Located on the beautiful southern shores of Georgian Bay, the park offers a unique sandy beach shoreline with fossil-rich shale fragments, perfect for water sports such as windsurfing, sea kayaking, sailing, and swimming.

The park is also a great starting point for exploring the surrounding area, including the Bruce Trail, Georgian Trail, and Blue Mountain Village.

With four distinct camping areas to choose from, each with its own amenities, the park is suitable for tents, trailers, and RVs. Whether you’re looking for an active day on the water or a peaceful night under the stars, Craigleith Provincial Park has something for everyone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any Regional Health Units for this Park:

There is it is called Grey Bruce Health Unit in blue mountains.

Address: 209403 Highway 26, Blue Mountains L9Y 0T6

Phone: +1 705-445-4467

2. What to keep in mind about parking at the park?

All the campsites are in great condition but Craigleith Provincial Park offers car camping in four distinct areas, each with its own amenities. Area A is non-electrical and best for tents and features a dog beach and a comfort station with showers and laundry facilities.

Area B has both electrical and non-electrical sites for tents and trailers and is close to Area A’s comfort station. Area C has both electrical and non-electrical sites, with non-electrical sites suitable for tents and tiny trailers and electrical sites suitable for trailers and RVs. This area also has a restroom, playground, and sports facilities.

Area D has mostly electrical sites with water hookups, making it ideal for trailers and RVs. It is radio-free and has a comfort station and a day-use area. Most campsites are within walking distance of a comfort station with showers, and potable water is available throughout the park.

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