Though one of Ontario's smallest national parks, Point Pelee National Park has quite the reputation among wildlife enthusiasts. Well-known for spring and fall bird migrations and fall monarch butterfly migrations this park provides ample opportunity for visitors to see nature at its most beautiful during every season.
Pelee Point is located 50 kilmeters south-east of Windsor, Ontario and it sits on the most southern point of the entire country - so far south that it is the same latitude as northern California. The park can be accessed by car and there is parking space available for over 1,000 vehicles. There are very detailed directions and maps of the park online to help when planning your visit.
Pelee Point became Canada's ninth national park in 1918, but it was not until 1972 that a plan was put in place to work on the conserving the land and its wildlife. Parks Canada works hard to preserve Pelee Point Park's natural beauty while also providing facilities and services for their visitors. They work to encourage a peaceful co-existence between people and nature. Friends of Point Pelee is an organization that works to maintain the natural beauty of the park through programs such as the Adopt-a-tree Project and the Festival of Birds.
Southern wildlife, amphibians and reptiles flourish in Point Pelee. There are more reptile and amphibians species in Point Pelee National Park than anywhere else in Canada, as well as insects not found in other parts of the country.
Birdwatching is a popular activity in Point Pelee and for those really keen on bird sightings, Parks Canada offers a Bird Sightings Live feature on their website which allow those online to get up to the minute reports, as well as access an archive of past bird sightings. There is also information on the 370 species of birds that have been seen at the park. Some of the birds seen in Point Pelee National Park are woodpeckers, field swallows, Great Horned Owls, meadowlarks and wood ducks. A canoe trip through the park's marsh is an excellent choice for those canoeists who are also bird watching enthusiasts.
The Monarch Migration which occurs for a few days every fall, is a particular highlight and the park offers many special education programs to add to visitors' knowledge and enjoyment.
One popular educational service offered by the Visitors Centre in Point Pelee is the Self-guided Trail tours. There are trail guides along Woodland and Botham Tree Trails that tell visitors more about the park and its habitats as you hike. There are also audio trail guides offered for Tip Trail and the Marsh Boardwalk Trail.
Though the park is most popular during spring, summer and autumn, Pelee Point is open in the winter. Reduced rates and hours apply during the winter, but the park is open for visitors 365 days of the year. Winter activities include skating and cross-country skiing. Because of the flatness of the park, it is an excellent place for those just learning to cross-country ski. There is shelter with wood and a wood stove is provided at White Point picnic area during the winter months.