Exploring the Sandy Shores of Lake Erie: Morgan’s Point

Living in the Niagara area for about two years, I’ve found lots to keep me busy.  From the world-renowned tourist destinations (Niagara Falls, local wineries) to little known but breathtakingly beautiful spots (discovering the older Welland canals, Queenston Heights) I’ve had a great time adventuring!  So far though, one of my favourite days was spent discovering the only Great Lake I hadn’t explored yet: Lake Erie ..
I’d been missing the wild shores of Lake Superior and heard so many people talk about beautiful sandy beaches so I decided to go for a drive.  The area is lovely but the shoreline was almost all private homes and after one look at the number of trucks parked at Long Point and I almost headed back.  Then just to the east, I decided to take a right turn to find a better photo opportunity and stumbled upon Morgan’s Point!  The park is surprisingly diverse considering its size – I wandered back and forth from magnificent shoreline with bedrock shoals and white sandy dunes to tall grass meadows and shady green woodlots.

Publicly re-opened in 2005 after a significant restoration from its former life as a “trailer park and local dumping ground” this unique area is one of a few remnants of the oak savanna prairie habitat that once dominated the Niagara Peninsula and provides an essential stopover for migrating birds and monarch butterflies.  The rejuvenation was made possible by the Ontario Trillium Foundation among other partners and maintains one of the few remaining access points to the Lake Erie shoreline amidst a wave of privatization.

I love visiting naturalized parks because they have an air of wilderness: a number of rare and fragile species are protected in the ecosystems found here.  Staff have stopped cutting the grass and a meandering boardwalk minimizes human impact on the sensitive sand dunes.   I’m also a bit of a geology dork and the rocks along this shoreline show interesting relics of post-glacial deposits (and some strange dried red algae resembling a prehistoric creature’s skin) I was getting sunburned so decided to call it a day but the Grand Trunk Railway Corridor and Wainfleet rail Trails pass quite near by – I'll have to come back for more exploring!

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