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Little Bluff to re-open with changes

Little Bluff. Quinte Conservation photo

Little Bluff Conservation Area, located along the environmentally significant south shore of Prince Edward County, is set to re-open to the public starting May 22.

The area was closed in August due to overcrowding, garbage dumping, and non-permitted activities.

Quinte Conservation staff have also completed maintenance and improvement projects to the trail system and upgrades to the bluff lookout.

Summer staff have been hired to be on site seven days a week to assist visitors with questions and concerns, as well as to perform regular maintenance and provide educational information about the area and its environmental significance.

New seasonal amenities include washroom and handwashing facilities to be maintained to current COVID-19 health and safety standards, as well as on-site garbage pick-up. Guests are still asked to practice leave no trace principles, but if they have items to dispose of, they should be placed in the appropriate bins.

A safety fence has been installed along the bluff to protect visitors and deter them from climbing over the barricade onto the unstable and eroded edge. The trail to the cobblestone barrier beach has been graded to make it easier for visitors to take the steep path to and from the water.

The area now has a 30-car capacity and the parking fee has been increased to $15 per vehicle. Parking roadside is not permitted. Parking fees can be paid through Pay by Phone or to the summer staff on site. An electric gate will soon be installed and will replace the Pay by Phone parking system.

Little Bluff Conservation Area is the first of Quinte Conservation’s properties to undergo capital improvement projects. Parking fees support these areas through trail maintenance, replacement of structures, and area improvements to better the experience for visitors and to ensure these natural spaces can stay open and safe for the public.

This area will be temporarily removed from Quinte Conservation’s annual parking pass as well as from local library passes. Little Bluff’s parking fee will return to $5 per day per vehicle during the off season, at which time annual passes will be reinstated for this area.

It is hoped the increased parking rate is a way to control area usage and offer a quieter experience for visitors to spend time in nature.

 

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  1. Julia Swedak says:

    Agreed there is no place to go in the summer anymore. Used to have quiet spots that only the locals knew about. That time has passed. Council just figures on getting bigger and bigger and we know how that turned out for the Lorax. I only enjoy the beaches in the off season. Have purchased land north of here to get away in the summer. Ironic isn’t it. Sad in Picton.

  2. CountyProud says:

    I think was is happening (regardless of who has jurisdiction or control) is a profound sense of loss for so much of our own County. I’m not against change however there was a time when living near Sandbanks if you wanted to escape the crowds and noise you could travel a short distance and enjoy the beauty and solitude of Little Bluff.

    There seems no where to turn anymore to find that rural peace and beauty. Combine all of this with homes and trailer parks going up on every patch of ground we have and I’m not entirely sure what we will be left with to make us the special place we used to be and according to our Official Plan, strive to be.

  3. Administrator says:

    Visit the County’s new Summer Hub website for details. https://www.thecounty.ca/summer-hub/who-to-call/

    The County is in charge of Wellington Beach. Quinte Conservation is in charge of conservation areas, including Little Bluff, Massassauga Point, Beaver Meadow and Macaulay Mountain.
    Issues can be reported to Quinte Conservation 613-968-3434 (Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm) or QCA’s online form.

  4. DAVE THOMAS says:

    What is the rationale for treating Little Bluff any differently than, say, Wellington Beach?

  5. sarah says:

    The reopening of Little Bluff was much anticipated locally. Now, however, residents won’t be able to afford to enjoy their regular access to Little Bluff for walking, bird watching and swimming. That’s because Quinte Conservation decided to remove the annual permit for residents. This decision does nothing to contribute to controlling area usage, their stated aim; there are only 30 parking spaces regardless of who uses them. Making this exception about an annual permit for Little Bluff is a cash grab not a conservation objective. They have no regard for the community in which they operate.

  6. Trevor Collier says:

    I’m at the point where I regard any organization with “Quinte” in the name as a signal that it will operate primarily to serve the interests of the Belleville area, with little or no regard to the feelings of those of us in the South of the County. So it’s no surprise that this cash grab pays no attention to the local culture and traditions. Like many others who love Little Bluff, I feel something precious has been stolen from us.

  7. Sam Lanfranco says:

    The Conservation Area’s fee strategy here is a disaster. $15 might be reasonable for a group coming for the day, but it is prohibitive for local residents who used to come to the beach for an hour or two, to have a swim, relax a bit, and go home. There should be a summer permit for local residents, or Little Bluff will cease to be accessible for “the locals” and only be a destination for those “From Away”. I am reminded of tourist facilities abroad where “the locals” get to look through the fence and watch the tourists having a great time on what used to be “their local beach”.

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