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“Great Beaches & Largest Fresh Water Sand Dunes in North America”

Sandbanks Provincial Park
Ranked #1 of 44 things to do in Picton
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 11, 2013

Sandbanks provincial park and all of Prince Edward County has so many great things for both families and couples. We will definitely be returning and staying for a couple of days. The beaches have to most beautiful sand, and make one feel like one is in Hawaii!! The water deepens very gradually, and is great for the little ones. Bringing folding lawn chairs and some sort of portable shelter would be ideal.
There is a park fee, but well worth it. I understand it can be difficult reserving a camping/RV spot in the park since they are so very much in demand. There are many other places to stay just outside the park. I can hardly wait to go back!

1  Thank Lori M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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738 - 742 of 1,048 reviews

Reviewed September 10, 2013

Why oh why oh why oh why did we wait so long to visit here? A great location half-way (more or less) between Ottawa and Toronto ... close to Kingston, Belleville, etc....LOVELY. Not sure what took us so long to visit, but we'll definitely be back next summer! We only were there for a day trip, and only a few hours at that (spending the rest of our time touring around Picton and the surrounding area - lovely as well). There are 3 beaches here at the Provincial Park, as others have mentioned. One day pass for your car ($16, I believe it was) provides admittance to all 3. We checked out the "Dunes" beach first. We weren't terribly impressed with the water area here, nor the beach area, though it is nice and shaded and could work for a picnic, I suppose. It didn't do much for us. However, we took a short walk along one of the pathways leading from the parking lot that lead us to the sand dunes which we could climb (quite a work out!) which was nice. WE were actually surprised that walking on the dunes was allowed - it reminded us a bit of Cape Cod, where walking on the dunes are most certainly NOT allowed! We moved onto "Outlet Beach" next, which was our favourite of the 3. Wide expanse of sand, very clean, and plenty of room. Granted, we were there on a weekday in late August (I expect it is busier on a weekend in July!) but I would think it could get really busy and still not feel crowded as it is very large. The sand was so incredibly soft - softer, in fact, than the sand we've experienced in south Florida. The water was clear, and you could walk a far ways out - it reminded us also of Wasaga Beach, if anyone has been there. Volleyball nets set up, and it would be a great place I think for young adults (well, and families too) to hang for the day. Parking was easy to find, at least when we were there. I did note that it didn't appear to be very "accessible" for those who have mobility challenges, however....we had to climb up and over dunes to get to the beach. Walking in that sand is quite a work out! I did not see any pathways or accommodations for accessibility, so I'm not sure. We moved onto Sandbanks Beach next, which was nice enough but we didn't like it as much as the Outlet Beach, though it was also very clean and was a great sand/water combination that would be plenty fun & relaxing. As we were just exploring, we didn't look for food purchases (meals, etc. we did back in the Picton townsite) so I can't comment on that; neither did we need to use the facilities while we were there, so I also can't comment on that aspect. Please note, it did not seem to be watched by lifeguards, which doesn't matter to us at all, but it may be a factor for others so you might want to check on that before you go. Most certainly will return next summer and could kick myself for waiting for so long to go before now. Geesh!

1  Thank clamc40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

What a wonderful and very clean beach. The park is well organized with beautiful sandbanks and lots of places to put down your blanket. The parking area is also very good. We were first time visitors to the park and we would highly recommend a visit.

1  Thank Fallcolours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Visited this beach during labour day weekend and loved the sand beach with very shallow water which was perfect for our 6 year old daughter to wade in and find small clam shells. There are a few picnic tables located on the beach if you are lucky enough to secure one to put your things on and to give you a place to sit if you did not bring beach chairs.The only negative was when we did try to sit at the picnic table near the water to watch our daughter we were bothered by black flies and horse flies to the point we could not sit at the table and ended up waded in the water the whole time to get away from pesky bugs!

1  Thank PBLToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Absolutely gorgeous! Been hearing such great things about this park lately that i decided we had to go see it for ourselves. Since it's about 30-40 minutes off Highway 401 (near Belleville), we decided that we would take a little detour from our way to see my sister in Toronto.
It's about a 4 hour drive from Montreal(390 KM) but since it was raining on the way there, we decided we would take a chance to stop there on the way home from Toronto. It is about a 2 1/2 drive from Vaughan,Ontario. It was still sunny when we got there but it got cloudy not long after so it sort of took away from the beauty of the beach.
The place was sort of empty b/c it was a Tuesday. We still went in the water b/c we said we did not drive all this way to not try the water. The water was warm, but maybe it was b/c it was so windy outside that it felt good to be in the water. There were waves which made so much fun!
There were a few of us that were courageous enough to go in the water & i could see we were all enjoying it. Water was blue & clear & when the sun is shining thru the clouds you could see the blue waters a bit further out. Water is very shallow esp. at the beginning & is good for kids.
One problem we had were the seagulls attacking us each time we decided to have a bite to eat. At one point they actually tried to steal a piece of pizza off my husband's hand. They must have been starving.
It is one of the most beautiful lakes i have ever seen & coming from Quebec i have seen my share of muggy brown lakes. It does smell of lake though & if that doesn't bother you, then all the better to enjoy this beautiful place!
A previous review mentioned some algae along the shoreline but i did not see any of this, even when i went for a walk. The bigger bathrooms were closed but maybe b/c it was the middle of the week & the month of September. We used the smaller washrooms located in the same building. They seemed cleaned but maybe it was due to the small amount of people there. There were also changing rooms across the road & they seemed okay too.
There were many numbered parking lots available all along Outlet beach which is very long.
I have heard that Sauble Beach in Ontario is also another gorgeous place & i cannot imagine how nicer can a place be. The only problem is that it is another 2 hours & 40 minutes north from Maple, Vaughan where my sister lives. Trying to convince her is a feat all on it's own.
Coming from Montreal Sandbanks is not too far from Kingston, just to give you an idea.
Only regret is that I did not get a chance to visit Dunes Beach which is on the other side of park but still part of it. Day Access to the beaches is about $11 per car.
All in all the place is beautiful & i would definitely go back. .

3  Thank rosiebmontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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