There are four beach areas within the park allowing visitors lots of choices. Look under Amenities to see what is available at each area.
The Outlet Beach is a long sandy beach in a large bay where the water gets deep only very gradually. This makes it the most popular swimming and family play beach. The shallow water warms quickly and is sandy underfoot. At the Outlet River which joins East Lake to Lake Ontario, there is a designated dog beach and a great place to explore in a canoe or kayak. Close to the water’s edge the wet sand is the best for making sandcastles. Many have commented that if the towering trees that grow adjacent to the beach were palm trees, you could easily believe you were in the Caribbean.
The Dunes Beach consists of a sandy bay encircled by huge dunes dominating the scenery. Swimming here is sandy and shallow for a short distance out, however quickly drops off. Although there are swimming areas that have buoys marking the drop-off location, swimmers need to be cautious if they venture beyond the designated area. Motor boats and sea-doos often park offshore of the dunes on weekends. The dunes stretch for 8 km ending at the town of Wellington where a channel provides access from Lake Ontario into West Lake.
Sandbanks Beach is on the Lake Ontario side of the dunes. The beach here is more remote and is usually narrower than Outlet Beach. There are more small pebbles on this beach, in parts. The swimming is similar to that at Outlet Beach but being slightly more open to Lake Ontario the water may be rougher. There is also a designated pet area south of the most popular swimming areas.
West Point lies between Outlet and Sandbanks Beach and is the location of the ruins of Lakeshore Lodge. There is no swimming here due to the powerful undertow, but it is a peaceful cool spot with shady trees and usually a gentle breeze. The cliffs down to the water provide a shelter to many swallows and provide a wonderful spot for photography. West Point is great place to visit and explore, or just to get away from the crowds. Shorelines here are limestone cliffs. Be sure to leave any fossils you see for the benefit of subsequent visitors. The ruins of the lodge include a tennis court, shuffleboard area and the remains of a terrazzo dance floor. In August staff run a Lakeshore Lodge Day with a corn roast and games that would have been played in the late 1800’s, including potato sack races, tug-of-war, three-legged races and rolling-pin toss. Park staff wear period costumes for this event.
Check the Maps section to see where these areas are to be found at the park.