ALWAYS check Alerts and other information on the official website, as conditions and facility availability are subject to change.
New Camping Rules for 2023 (7-night max) – new for 2023 are revised rules about the maximum number of nights you can camp. In this park, if you are camping between July 1 and the Saturday of the Labour Day long weekend, you’ll be restricted to no more than 7-nights at this park. Outside of those dates, it’s still the old 23-night maximum. Ontario Parks promises this will be clear when booking.
Rules for backcountry camping and the roofed accommodation haven’t changed.
Day Use Vehicle Permits: because of the popularity of this park, it’s one that may need permits to be purchased in advance in order to guarantee park access. This was started in 2021 and continued in 2022. There’s no reason to believe that this will be kept for 2023.
If you’re smart, grab the permit before any visit, even mid-week. We found this out the hard way at our local Provincial Park.
You can buy the vehicle permit up to 5 days in advance, which guarantees you access to the park on that day. If you have an annual or season pass, you should still book your permit online, but there’s no extra charge.
Facebook and Website Links
Phone #: (613) 393-3319
Main entrance co-ordinates: 43.91122, -77.24169
Address:3004 County Rd. 12 RR#1 Picton K0K 2T0
Opening seasons: April 29, 2022, to October 31, 2022 / January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022
Travel, Directions & Distances
Camping & Accomodation
Pitch your tent at Sandbanks, the perfect getaway for any camper! With over 500 campsites in five areas of this park, there is sure to be one that suits you. If it’s just yourself then take advantage of amenities like water taps and comfort stations nearby or even laundry facilities if needed – not bad right? Have fun exploring all these options while being close enough so when night falls can return home without ever feeling too far away from what matters most: family members who love them more than anything else
Outlet A with its many waterfront sites is very popular with campers. A few sites offer electrical service. This is a busy campground with sites that are grouped relatively close together. Outlet B offers a bit more privacy with some sites along the Outlet River and a loop with electrical pull-through sites.
Cedars is a family-oriented campground offering more sheltered, private campsites. It has less traffic than the Outlet campgrounds but the beach is still close by.
The Woodland Campground offers shady and sunny sites. The fall campers like it cooler, so they go for the sunnies! All of our campsites provide you with electricity – no matter what type or how much power your device uses…you’ll be able to charge everything up here at home while enjoying some family time in nature’s backyard too!.
Richardson’s Campground also offers a mix of sunny and shady sites. Richardson campground offers 19 campsites that are electrical.
Sandbanks have two group campsites that vary in size and can accommodate from 30 to 50 people. Water taps are nearby and vault toilets are on site. Outlet Beach is approximately 1 km away.
Reservations can be made online or by phone.
Hiking, Biking & Paddling
Cedar Sands Nature Trail – 2 km loop
The cedar sands trail is a 2 km loop that leads you around the shores of the Outlet River and provides scenic views with its two lookouts. Along this interpretive path, there are 12 stops where we can learn about what makes up our natural environment in order to better appreciate it!
Woodlands Trail – 3.5 km, linear,(7km total out and back) easy, no trail guide
Immerse yourself in old agricultural fields bordered by giant hedgerows and a mature, deciduous woodland where giant oaks and maples tower overhead. There are lots of wildlife viewing opportunities on this path, linking the Main Gate with the Dunes Beach
Sandbanks Dunes Trail – 2.5 km loop, easy to moderate
Sandbanks Dunes Trail is a 2.5 km loop that travels through an interesting fragile dune habitat and onto some rare wetland plants, which support wildlife species uncommon in this area of the country
The trail offers visitors to our natural environment while they enjoy their walk or bike ride along its edges!
In addition to the main trail, there is also a one-kilometre loop at the beginning of the trail that is barrier-free. Please stay on the trail to minimize your impact and to avoid Poison Ivy, which is common throughout the area. Trail Guide is available at the trail.
Lakeview Trail – 2.4km one way, linear, easy, no trail guide
This easy trail offers a breathtaking view of Lake Ontario from its edge. Along the way, there are many shaded trees and wildflowers that scent your morning air with their fragrance as you make progress towards West Point along one direction on this 2.4 km looping stroll!
Richardson’s Trail – 1 km one way, linear, easy, no trail guide
The forest is alive with the sound of cicadas and pines, welcoming you on this shortcut through old-growth forests. These reforested areas were established to slow down destructive movements in Dune’s Beach sand dunes by linking up two popular camping locations – Richardson’s Campground just off Highway 12 or miles south at “The Ledges.”
MacDonald Trail – 1.5 km one way, linear, easy, no trail guide
A useful connection between Woodlands Trail and the Lakeland Lodge Day Use Area, this trail bisects the fields and forest in the centre of the park to provide a safe and speedy way for users to venture between the east and west parts of County Road 12.
The trails at Sandbanks Provincial Park have been established thanks to the generous financial contributions of Friends, a not-for-profit charitable organization. If you would like to join this group or make your own donation please visit their Discovery Centre and Gift Shop!
There are no dedicated bike trails at Sandbanks but it remains one of my favorite places to bike. You can explore the park along campground roads, particularly enjoyable out of season when the main gates are closed and there’s no one camping. Prince Edward County, beyond the boundaries of the park, is a favorite destination for bicycle touring. This includes an easy bike ride between different parts of Sandbanks park.
Routes: There’s an easy paddle between East Lake and Lake Ontario using the Outlet River that connects the two. Out of season with the park gates closed, you can still access this paddle from the boat ramp on East Lake.
Powerboats are allowed on Lake Ontario, East, and West Lake but not near the swimming areas or on the beach. A boat launch is located in the Outlet River A Campground. It is suitable for boats less than 18 feet. Other boat launch facilities are available outside the park.
Although there are no formal canoe routes at Sandbanks, the Outlet River is ideal for those just learning to canoe and who wish to explore the marsh habitat.
Weather Conditions – if you are looking for weather information or snow conditions, the following list should help you.
Canadian Snow Research –
Dark Sky –
Environment Canada – weather forecasts, hourly forecast, and weather radar map.
National Weather Service – US Government, but it does include Ontario.
Open Weather Map –
Snow Forecast – more relevant for downhill skiing.
The Weather Network has lots of ads, but you get 7 and 14-day forecasts. Snow reports from downhill ski areas but remember they do make their own snow.
We’d love to hear from you if you have any other suggestions – please message us.
Maps & Resources
Ontario parks have a park overview and trail map for sandbanks provincial park click here for more information
Ontario Crown Land Use Policy Atlas: most Provincial Parks have excellent signage, maps, and marked trails. If you take up back-country adventures, then it’s not always clear. The Ontario Crown Land Use maps are an excellent resource. You might also want to join one or more of these groups on Facebook
Crown Land Camping Group
Crown Land Camping Ontario
Ontario Parks and Crown Land
Ontario Crown Land Campers
Sharing Ontario Crown Land Camping Spots
If you know of a useful link, Facebook group, or resource that might improve this post, please message us through our contact page. We are always happy to include relevant local business information – just a one or two-sentence paragraph and a link to your website or Facebook page.