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Visits to County’s top summer stops require planning, passes and paid parking

Spontaneous walks on the beach, by the water and visits to provincial parks and conservation areas in Prince Edward County are trickier this summer as new rules take hold in hopes of controlling last year’s unprecedented tourism.

“We anticipate that most, if not all, day-use spaces at Sandbanks and North Beach will book up in advance given the popularity of these parks,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson. “To help eliminate the extended lineups on County roads, people should not show up at the parks without a reservation and expect to get in during the peak summer months.”

Last summer, due to people seeking green spaces during the pandemic, combined with the popularity of the County in general, Sandbanks and North Beach provincial parks reached capacity early in the day, leaving hundreds of cars lined up outside the gates for kilometres – impeding traffic flow and blocking driveways of neighbours of the parks.

Sandbanks and North Beach are among the 17 provincial parks that will be free-of-charge to visit Mondays to Thursdays – but beginning Monday, June 7, visitors must still obtain the free day pass, even if they have a season pass. Friday to Sunday and holiday visits cost between $12.25 to $21 per vehicle. Daily parking passes can be booked up to five days in advance. Details on provincial parks, passes and permits at the Ontario Parks website.

The Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park is not included in the daily vehicle permit system. However, Ontario Parks has instituted paid parking there to encourage traffic flow throughout the day.

The kiosk and control arm installed at the south end of Beach Street used in the summer 2020 will be in place, but a gate system at the intersection with Main Street Wellington has added. Seasonal staff will be supported by third party security personnel to help manage the flow of vehicles and foot traffic on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays until September. – John Ferguson photo

Wellington Beach is free of charge weekdays. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, there is a $10 entry fee per person until the beach reaches a 350-person capacity. There is no charge for County residents who arrive showing their free pass – now available from any of the County’s library branches. Click here to contact your library branch 

Quinte Conservation has begun a parking fee at Little Bluff Conservation Area of $15 per vehicle seven days a week. People can use the PayByPhone app, pay the summer staff on site seven-days-a-week or call 888-680-7275. The fee will reduce to $5 per day, per vehicle, in off-season.

Quinte Conservation’s annual parking passes are not valid at Little Bluff during the summer. They can be used at Beaver Meadow, Macaulay Mountain and Massassauga Point. The annual passes are $50. Day passes are $5. Details at Quinte Conservation’s website.

There are now $400 fines for parking in no parking zones near the Sandbanks, North Beach, Lake on the Mountain, Little Bluff and several unofficial beaches. In most cases, the no parking zone is on both sides of the road.

Point Petre is crown land and as such is open, and it is out of the municipality’s jurisdiction to regulate.
If you suspect a natural resource violation (i.e. unlawful hunting or dumping) contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Tip Line: 1-877-847-7667

For more information about beaches, boat launches, parking fees, where washrooms are located, and who to call about concerns, visit the County’s new Summer Hub website

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. S says:

    love how they told Tourists where the secret beaches are…

  2. Dan says:

    Terrific. Now who is going to tell everyone from the GTA?

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