Pinery has a silent beauty in winter, with its snow covered dunes and glistening ice-covered river. Warm yourself by a roaring fire. Camp out in a winter wonderland. Explore a trail on snowshoes. Experience the exhilaration of skiing through winter trails. Spot the tracks of deer, rabbit, weasel, as well as coyote and occasionally see the animals themselves. Along the riverbanks, watch for signs of mink, muskrat and beaver. There are many ways to experience the winter season at Pinery.
Pinery has 38 kilometres of packed and groomed ski trails of varying difficulty. The five ski trails around the park have loops ranging from three to 11 kilometres. Trail maps can be picked up at the main gate, trail entrances and the Visitor Centre, or downloaded here. Check the conditions of Pinery’s skiing & winter hiking trails, skating rink and toboggan hill. A volunteer Ski Patrol is often found along the trail to assist skiers and check ski passes. If you would like to learn more about becoming a ski patrol volunteer, please call (519) 243-8507.
The toboggan hill is lit during the evening and will be open daily, conditions permitting. In addition, the Winter Chalet contains washrooms and is kept heated for your use. Both facilities are located in the Winter Activity area just inside the park entrance.
During the winter season, electrical and non-electrical sites are available on a first come first serve basis. If you wish to reserve a Yurt you are encouraged to make advanced reservations by calling (888) ONT-PARK.
Teachers, clubs, and other groups may wish to take advantage of our Group Education Programs offered through the Natural Heritage Education program. Programs are available for all age groups from elementary school to the adult level and have been designed to meet current curriculum requirements.
Be sure to check the activity schedule for details on interpretive programs being offered on weekends in the winter.
Watch nature ‘spring’ to life in Pinery. Abundant White Trillium can be found along the Riverside Trail. Other spring plants to look for are Juneberry, Columbine and White Trillium. Flowers like the Lyre-leaved Rock Cress provide food for Olympia Marble Wing butterflies.
Early spring also signals the annual return of the Tundra Swans as well as the arrival of Orioles, Bluebirds, Kingbirds and Phoebes. Take part in the Pinery Migration Weekend to learn more about Pinery’s summer avian residents.
The spring colours, although less well-known than their autumn counterparts, have an impressive beauty all their own. Spend a few days or a week appreciating nature and its inhabitants.
Teachers, clubs, and other groups may wish to take advantage of our Group Education Programs offered by the Natural Heritage Education program. Spring program topics range from plants to deer, and from early logging history to modern Park management. Programs are available for all age groups from elementary school to the adult level.
Be sure to check the activity schedule for details on interpretive programs being offered on weekends in the spring.
The summer months are traditionally the most popular time to visit Pinery. Go for an early morning bike ride or hike one of our many trails, enjoy a leisurely paddle on the Old Ausable Channel, relax at the beach in the afternoon, and then drift off to sleep after a soothing evening campfire. Take advantage of one of the most extensive and well known Summer Interpretive Programs by joining a Park Naturalist on a night walk, children’s story time or even get to know ghosts from the past at “Rum & Spirits”.
Be sure to check the activity schedule for details on interpretive programs being offered in the summer.
A multicoloured landscape and quiet spaces make the fall season one of the best times to visit Pinery. Catch the Carolinian Forest at its peak in the second last week of October. Watch the progression of colour, from the yellow of the Tulip Tree and the red of the Sumac to the gold blaze of the Oaks.
There is much more to autumn in Pinery than the colours. Cool nights and sunny days make it an ideal time to camp, hike or bike. You can listen to the gentle sounds of falling leaves in the woodland or find yourself strolling along a deserted beach. Try howling for coyotes on a fall evening or observe the behaviour of buck White-tailed deer. During the fall rut, or mating season, in late October and early November their antlers finish growing and become polished. Trails with good views of fall colours include the Nipissing, Carolinian, Riverside and Lookout Trails.
Burley and Dunes campgrounds are closed in the winter season, while Riverside Area 1 remains open for camping year round.
School and youth groups may wish to learn more about Pinery in the Fall by booking the Dune Grass Planting program. This, and other programs, can be booked through our Group Education Programs. The Dune Grass Planting program is available for all age groups from elementary school to the adult level.
Be sure to check the activity schedule for details on interpretive programs being offered on weekends in the fall.