SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS
Places to stop along the Great Lakes in Ontario
N 43°12'31.2" W 81°59'14.0"
On the southern shoreline along Lake Huron, where almost everything is private property this is illegal. The beautiful white sand, rolling dunes and an enormous shallow bay of shifting sandbars; I've been coming up for thirty years now. The Dunes are thick with the trees, and they rise above the beach making it easy to disappear into. People walking the beach will never even know you’re there. Guerrilla camping at its finest. Another one of the longest freshwater beaches in Ontario, Ipperwash Beach has 3 main access points just off West Ipperwash Road, Ipperwash Road and Army Camp Road. Small parking lots, barbecue pits and washrooms on small strips of Crown owned property. There’s been a ban on beach fires for years so the barbecue pits are a big deal if you’re keeping it simple. The parking is limited but free, so you might want to be there by lunchtime or evening and avoid a headache. I gave specific coordinates but a little poking around and there are plenty of places. There's an abandoned casino at the Center Road with a band shelter in lieu of sleeping in the rain. Most of the time I'm at home with just a sleeping bag on the beach. Unique concretions of Kettle Point made of calcite emerge from the outcropping of sedimentary rock. They rise dramatically as the soft shale breaks away. Looking like cooking kettles they became the namesake of this point. The kettle point grocery store prepares some delicious fresh bread in the mornings, and Wally Gators (built a century ago in 1920 as the Ipperwash hotel) has been revamped into the Ipperwash Beach Club if you want to sit on the patio enjoying a meal. The only remaining part of Wally Gators is the Wally Burger on the menu. The reservations on both sides have ample dispensaries to keep a tourist economy alive. It’s a short hop to the tourist trap at Grand Bend if you want to visit somewhere a little less quiet for a bite and a night out. I usually sleep in the dunes with just a sleeping bag, but there is also the nearby Pinery for camping of the more civilised kind. Another tranquil place to visit is the meditation garden at the back of birch pine park…Quietly, it’s not really a tourists place.
© sleeping under the stars 2021