|Port Burwell Provincial
Park (Ontario) Report
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Port Burwell Provincial Park Beach Area, Ontario, Canada
I visited the beach adjoining Port Burwell Provincial Park on Lake Erie on June 24, 2001 and was pleased with the numbers I saw out.
For those unfamiliar with this area, it is a beach area about 2 km long, privately owned, with plenty of sandy beach and loads of room, starting at the boundary with the Provincial Park. It has been an unofficial "nude" beach for years and seems to be gaining in popularity with the numbers Iíve seen.
The owner posted a sign last year at the boundary with the Park because some unsuspecting beach walkers inadvertently strolled onto the private part of the beach and were "taken back" by all the nude sun worshipers. This lead to some misunderstanding and complaints so the sign now tells everyone that access to the beach property is still permitted but you must behave yourself and enter at your own risk. Actually, there is no mention of nude sunbathing so it is a general "walker" beware notice. To avoid any conflicts with the Provincial Park, most beach users observe a buffer zone and set up camp, well away from the boundary line.
The weather that day was ideal although the cool water still kept most from swimming. Later in the season, the waters warm up nicely in a normal year.
I saw a wide range of people out that day including families, couples and singles, both young and old. It was the largest turnout Iíve seen since starting to visit the site 2 years ago. It is also interesting to note that the ratio of males to females was almost 1:1. A very promising situation.
Because the beach is secluded and a little out of the way, there are few gawkers. The beach really is a nude beach rather than clothing optional. Most make the walk with the intention of going fully nude on this beach and are there for that purpose only. Those who want to stay clothed to any degree, tend to use the park part of the beach.
To get to this private beach, one must access it from the Provincial Park (day use pass must be purchased) and walk 10-15 minutes down the beach from parking lot 5. There are no facilities so you must bring all the essentials with you. This doesnít seem to make a difference to most, however. Check out the web site for details on Port Burwell Provincial Park and its many fine facilities at http://www.ontarioparks.com/portbu.html.
I think most users know they have a good thing going and judging from the numbers, the interest in this type of beach facility, is increasing. I must say that all visitors Iíve encountered are friendly, polite and act responsibly. It seems to be a relaxed atmosphere, excellent for all activities and age groups and I have yet to see any questionable behaviour that was even comes close to being unacceptable.
My advice. Check it out sometime this summer. By the way, if you like corn, there are numerous farms in the area selling fabulous ears (and other great vegies/fruit) later in the season from road side stands. The best Iíve ever tasted.
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