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“The Pinery”

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Pinery Provincial Park
Toronto
Level Contributor
67 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“The Pinery”
Reviewed 20 August 2012

My husband and I have been going here for the past 6 years, and he has been camping here since his childhood (over 20 years ago). We love it here. Typically we stay in the Dunes area, however this summer we spent a weekend in the Riverside 4 area (#811).

I'm almost hesitant to write this review mainly because it is already a popular place to camp, and for it to get any busier and lose it's charm would be a shame.

But, it also deserves recognition. There is so much to do here (if you want to) or you can simply relax on your site and do whatever you want. Over the years, we've rented bikes, rented canoe on the river or simply relaxed on what we believe is the best beach in Ontario.

The comfort stations (flush toilets, showers) are the cleanest that I've been to in comparison to other campground (both private and provincial), they have recycling and garbage facilities, and water taps throughout the grounds. At the end of the day, they do their part in providing the facilities, it's up to the campers to respect their surroundings.

Another great thing about the Pinery, for those staying for longer times, if you need a change of scenery, Grand Bend is just a quick drive.

Over the years, we've never had an issue with the quality of the sites and will continue to go here for a long time. We had a couple friends join us and they haven't been camping before and thought it was an amazing area.

Room Tip: Due to the popularity and repeat visitors, it's wise to book your site very early in the year (w...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank butterf1y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
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  • English first
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English first
Vaughan, Canada
Level Contributor
91 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2012

We spent 3 night's here with our kid's.
It was our first official camping trip on our own.
We were located in the dunes area. It was a great location and the kid's had a great time playing in the dunes and on the beach.
The bathrooms were cleaned 3 times a day at least which was great as they were clean.
The only issue i found was that if you are looking for a small place this is not it, in order to get around to the park store or visitors center you have to drive or bring a bike.
We also spent the morning canoeing with the kid's which was a lot of fun and not very expensive.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank KNGD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
Level Contributor
95 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2012

We stayed at Pinery in Dunes 1 area August 9th - 13th. Fabulous site beside boardwalk access to beach and close to comfort stations.

Disappointed we only found out about the poison ivy due to the fact that it was raining and we decided to drop in on the Visitor's Center. Campers need to be told about this at the GATE.

Also, preservation of the dunes is apparently a priority, but there is not enough posting on campgrounds to prevent people from taking 'herd' paths or man made paths to the dunes. If it is really a priorty, once again, gate keeper should be telling campers to only access the beach by official marked paths.

Plenty of policing taking place on beach and camp grounds, which makes for a safer feeling.

MUCH less rowdier crowds than Sauble Beach and MUCH larger camp sites to give you privacy.

We will book early again for next year :)

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ADK_Dreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2012

We stayed at the Dunes and the campsite was great. I don't know what you have to do to get a large campsite with electricity, as a buddy of mine handled that, but it's worth it. Some of the other sites looked pretty open and a bit on top of each other. Our site was fine.

We were basically there to hang out for a weekend, drink some beer, eat some BBQ, and shoot the breeze. There were activities posted, but we didn't do any.

If you need food, firewood, or refreshments, turn left out of the gate and go about 5km and hit one of the wood sellers. A stack of wood will run 10 bucks. Get one per evening to be safe. The liquor store will be a little further along in Grand Bend itself, across the road from a super market.

I'm a jogger and went for a run on the Cedar Trail. It's a 2.5km loop near the Dunes campsites. Quiet and empty in the mornings. There's some lookout spots with a view of the river. Nice spot for a run.

The bathrooms/showers were cleaner than I thought they would be. I think they were cleaned nightly.

Room Tip: I heard electricity was optional. If you want power, make sure you get a site with an outlet.
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Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Sean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2012

This is a return visit for us. We stayed in the Dunes last time. This time we chose to stay in Riverside 1. If you stay in one of the loops it is fairly quiet and with trees between the sites. The sites near the shower are very open comparatively. We did not take the dog with us this time. We stayed a week and enjoyed P3 beach daily and one day on P5. P3 has a comfort station at the top of the stairs. No walk thru the dunes like some of the other beaches. We thought that Riverside was the quietest of the places that we have stayed. We often slept until 9 am in our pop up trailer. This is really something for us since we have three kids aged 4, 6, and 11. Near the end of the week though a group of 11 decided to try to camp behind us (4 adults, 1 teen and 6 small children). Note: that only 6 people are allowed to camp on any campsite and visitors must leave by 10 pm. They were very noisy. The adults were the loudest -- constantly yelling at the kids to be quiet and sit down or go to sleep. When someone called to them to quiet it down they continued to blame the kids for the noise. They even washed their three youngest in the drinking water tap while they loudly protested. Needless to say everyone complained the next day and the offending half of the group was not there the next night. My one experience with having to make a complaint at the Pinery was a good one. They do write up complaints at the front gate of the Riverside campground and forward to the warden to deal with. Thank you Pinery Staff for restoring the peace. The staff made multiple visits to the bathrooms thru the day trying to keep them clean. Showers always had a line-up on the weekend. Camping thru the week is very quiet. We loved the sandy beaches. We went into Grand Bend for laundry, grocery, coffee and to buy the kids some boogie boards to ride the small waves on. Riverside has one machine but, there are a couple of places in Grand Bend with multiple machines -- take lots of loonies and quarters - there isn't a coin machine. There is a laundry across the road from Tim Hortons. The water front in Grand Bend has been revitalized with a splashpad, concession, lifeguard chairs and washrooms. There is parking near the beach. Lots of places to get touristy food and beach items. Grand Bend also has a Rona, Sobeys, and a No Frills. My kids liked to grab a box of popsicles and head to the beach. It was strangely not that busy the week we went -- even the long weekend was not as busy as I expected. We felt like "Who needs to fly somewhere when we have beautiful beaches like this right here in Ontario". There are multiple sandbars to swim out too. We took life jackets, a blow-up rowboat and boogie boards with wrist attachments. Lots of water and drinks. Remember to take a garbage bag. The seagulls will rip into anything that you leave out for them to scavenge (when you go into the water). Oh. About the premium riverside campsites-- many of them had little paths leading down riverbank where people fished. Fished right from the campsite. I am told that they are hard to get though. I noticed a few were empty thru the week. Happy camping. Hope that this helps. I have another review of the pinery when we stayed in the Dunes last year.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank bizzym0m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
216 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2012

This park was perfect but the Poison Ivy and Poison Oak makes the campsites hazardous. They are easy to identify but I had a patch 4 feet by 5 feet right in the middle of my campsight. I know they are trying to let nature take it's course, but if you have children or a dog you'll have to watch them like a hawk. Too bad, part of being in a park is to be part of nature, not just staying on the paved parts.
TIP for coming into your campground at a busy check in time. Go to the right of the right lane and wave your pink campsite (car version) permit. Otherwise you may wait 30 minutes as we did.

Room Tip: Set up on high ground in case it rains.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank 466Richard789466
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2012

We stayed for two nights midweek and the place seemed really busy. We were lucky because we had a private sight near the beach in the Burly section of the campground.
Our site was literally a 15 minute drive from the main gate...it is a big park. Upon check in the main gate attendent send us to the Burly check in office, which was closed, so we had to back track to the Riverside office which wasted a half hour of our time.
Our site itself was large, but was filthy. We had to pick up a garbage bag full of cigarette butts, tissue, plastic...it was nasty. We gave the bag of garbage to the office, they didn't really seem to even care.
It is nice being in the woods, but remember with that comes no grass on the site, which makes it quite dirty, especially with kids. The park has lots to offer including the great sand beach and canoe/paddle boat rental. The camp store (again...a long drive) is well equiped with camping supplies and the typically overpriced (gouge) ice and firewood. We did not see a single park vehicle patrol our camp area. There were park staff driving on the main roads, but none in the individual loops to ensure compliance with rules. We will likely return in a few years, but prefer our local conservation area.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Drakestar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pinery Provincial Park

Property: Pinery Provincial Park
Address: RR 2, Grand Bend, Lambton Shores, Ontario N0M 1T0, Canada
Region: Canada > Ontario > Lambton Shores > Grand Bend
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Speciality Lodging in Grand Bend
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Pinery Provincial Park Hotel Grand Bend
Pinery Provincial Park Grand Bend, Ontario

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