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“A Place for Drunken Rowdyness and Poorly Run Park” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Pinery Provincial Park

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Pinery Provincial Park
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RR 2, Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0 , Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“A Place for Drunken Rowdyness and Poorly Run Park”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2011

I have been to this park since childhood and loved the beautiful scenery and beach access. It is great for young children as they have a large interactive visitors center as well as a well stocked camp store. Needless to say this park always spoils my rest and relaxation with poorly managed staff. The front gate is never running smoothly and there are large line ups with angry people exhausted to just arrive there. The staff does not make any effort to change this scenario which is ridiculous as they have 3 lanes to use. There are ALWAYS drunken rowdy groups that scream and yell all night long that keep you up and I have used the yellow phones to complain. They come and warn them but as soon as they leave, they start up again. I complain again and again and I was so furious and demanded a refund as this is not fair that they do not want to kick out the drunken crowd due to liability issues. Why should any camper, especially with young children have to put up with that crap? If you behaved that badly in public it wouldn't be tolerated. We paid our entrance fee just as them. They need OPP on staff as they cannot control anything that goes on there. Since that time I had enough with this park. There are so many other places to go.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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86 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Saskatoon, Canada
Top Contributor
328 reviews 328 reviews
80 hotel reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
220 helpful votes 220 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2010

This is our second visit to the Pinery. The first one was on a bitterly cold spring day. This time, the weather was spectacular. The Pinery is quite nice for Ontario -- interesting walks, lovely beaches, etc. The services were mediocre. The quality of the signage and trail markers left much to be desired. There were no children's programs on the May long weekend (there were two years ago). The staff were ill-informed -- pleasant but not very engaged with visitors. On balance,there was not enough to do for the kids. Only the weather saved the day (the alcohol-free policy helped keep the park comfortable for families).

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Oak, Michigan
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2010

Every year my family and my sons hockey team and their families would book campsites in Burlie and the dunes we loved it and now that my son has grown and has his own family we still go to the Pinery an stay for a week every summer. its great I could not have one complaint ever the flea market, Grand Bend's entertainment, the tours through the park and even the outdoor theater were all super great and we never got a bad site they were always beautiful and the management very helpful.


Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2010

Love the Pinery. Have been camping there since I was a kid (over 20 years). Don't think the washrooms and showers have ever been cleaned! Great beach though.

Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2009

I was really excited about taking my family camping here. I use to head up to Grand Bend from my hometown of Port Huron, and I really love this area. First and foremost, It was really easy to reserve a campsite on-line - but I'm not sure the pictures gave me an understanding of how the Park looked - ambiguous pictures of wildlife and trees - beautiful pictures but not very descriptive of the park and its unique attributes.

The nature here is beautiful. Tall pines nestled on the shores of Lake Huron. I was really exited as we began our drive to our campsite in Burley (various names for different areas of the park). The drive was long and remote - beautiful scenic drive that took a good 10 minutes. However, I couldn't believe what I saw upon arrival to the "remote" campsites. These sites were literally on top of each other. Our site specifically was adjacent on all sides to neighbors and the sparse trees and brush in-between didn't do enough to warrant a "remote" rating, unless you consider parking in Central Park as "remote." My disappointment waned as I finished setting up camp and headed to the beach. It was a good 3-5 minute walk, and as we ascended to the top of the dune, the beauty of Lake Huron hit me. It was a hot day, so I ran to the water and took the most refreshing swim EVER!

The first night we were kept up ALL night by extremely loud kids (late teens early 20's) that were obviously drunk - yelled and screamed until about 8 am. It was very disturbing, and all our camping neighbors were very upset - I was PISSED. My anger however, wasn't directed at the kids, it was directed at the park management that NEVER did a drive-by the whole night. Extremely disappointed. We (about 5-7 campsites) registered a complaint and found out that they had been warned the previous night. I was so pissed that these kids weren't kicked out. Lots of people packed up and left. We stayed the night but I made damn sure that I had assurances form the park ranger that this would not happen a second night. I think the Ranger went to visit their site, and I'm not sure what he said but didn't hear a peep the whole night.

All-in-all the kids had a great time. We went for bike rides, and swam the whole time. The beach is beautiful - mostly soft sand, but some smooth stones that were bright red, yellow, green - lots of colors. We saw Cormorants, Tit-mice, Nuthatches, and lots of black squirrels.

I would come here again, but don't put up with any crap. They have yellow phones to use if campers are breaking rules - use it.

Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2009

Took a last minute site at the Pinery this week, there were very few left available in the park. After a quick and friendly check in by the teenage staff we went to our site - 629 in Riverside 3, which didn't look very promising being a fairly open pull through right across from the washroom, but it was pretty much all there was. The park was apparently packed, but surprisingly, you would hardly tell. We had been there late last fall, and I thought I would really notice a difference this time, but really I didn't. Our site turned out to be fairly decent, with trees on 2 sides, and we blocked off the other sides with our tent and car. There was a really nice little path down to the river right across the road, and the kids fished there a number of times. The new washrooms and showers were GREAT!!!! They weren't spotless, but they weren't filthy like I have heard reports of. And no line-ups either, ever actually. I had no problems getting in a shower at 8:30 a.m., and only ever saw one or two people waiting. I like the new way of putting all the showers on the end instead of inside the washrooms. We bought wood from the woodlot, and it was actually dry and decent! We saw no racoons ever (although we always keep our food in the car), but we did have 2 friendly chipmunks and a beautiful pair of cardinals on our site. I thought it would be noisy, especially near the washroom, but after about 11:00, it was really quiet. The only exception was our next door neighbour who apparently only had one volume setting rather it was 12:30 noon, or midnight - when I heard him telling his wife, (and half the campground) that he was a night person. Although I heard him again at 7:00 a.m. shouting about who wanted french toast and bacon, so apparently he was a morning person too ;-). We went to the beach twice, and found the comfort station there clean, and the beach clean, and not overly crowded. The kids loved building with all the driftwood. We rented a canoe and a kayak, and there was only a short line there as well. We were only able to get our site for the one night, so after we packed up, we found a day use spot on the river, and the kids fished a bit and caught some catfish. They also spotted a huge snapping turtle. All in all, a fantastic trip. As we were leaving, the kids were asking when we could go back and stay longer.

Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2009

We stayed at the Pinery in the first weekend of June. We booked two adjacent sites in Burley campground. The drive to Burley itself is a stunning site. A winding road that twists its way down to the campground under a canopy of trees. It truly felt like we were on our own in the wilderness for a while.

Whilst setting up I took my son (3 yrs) for a wee walk to explore. We found the wooden staircase to the the beach on Lake Huron and were astonished at the beautiful view. Sunset was like a whole other world with a pink and purple sky and the waves crashing to the shore. Of course, vigilance is necessary on the walk with the young ones but it is completely worth it.

3 days is not enough time to take in all this park has to offer. We had the chance to to take the 'Cedar Trail'. ( Look out for the creepy demon tree!) There were many other walking and biking trails as well as bike and canoe rentals. Fishing as well, though there were no catches in our group. A well-stocked store and snack bar are also available but buy your firewood up the street (at the Shiver Shakes? place) as it's the best deal in the area. Also there are no gas stations open late ANYWHERE nearby so fill-up in the daytime if necessary.

The bathrooms were clean and the showers are free. We never had any wait time but I imagine there would be in the mid-summer when the park is at full capacity. Our site was spacious and well-shaded as well. The racoons are very bold here. One cheeky rascal came up and stole my friends chocolate bar whilst we were sitting right beside it next to the fire. Lock everything in your car at night. I do mean lock, I'm convinced these little guys could handle a car door no problem.

All in all, a great trip and we would all definitely go back.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pinery Provincial Park

Address: RR 2, Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0 , Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Grand Bend
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Grand Bend
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Pinery Provincial Park Hotel Grand Bend
Pinery Provincial Park Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada

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