Sandbanks – July 9-12, 2018

After two lovely nights at Presqu’ile, we packed up to drive to Sandbanks, stopping briefly at the Canadian Tire in Picton to buy a new car battery. We had some car trouble at Presqu’ile and Kory was determined to fix it!

We had heard stories about how busy Sandbanks could be and I wasn’t sure if I would like it there. We purposely booked Sandbanks for the middle of the week to avoid the weekend crowds. Well, we all loved it! Perfect beach during the day and eerily silent each night. I guess we lucked out again! The near-constant line-up for the showers was the only indication of how many people were in the park! Our site, #363, was quite uneven – low in the middle and higher at the front and back with a dirt/rock base and cut off tree roots sticking out in places. The girls wanted to run up and down the slope… Sure enough, Lyssa slipped and cut open her lip. She’s fine but may have a tiny scar to remind her of Sandbanks…

Our site at Sandbanks

 

It likely would have been messy in the rain. It was a huge site with the picnic area behind the camper and the fire pit at the other end. The set-up made it difficult to keep my eye on the girls. Needless to say, it was not my favourite site, but it was private and we were there for the beach anyway. 

After we set up and ate dinner, and walked over to the beach for an evening swim.

I loved that we could walk to the beach from our campsite!

 

The beach was amazing – a beautiful wide beach with the softest sand I’ve felt in Ontario so far! The water felt a bit warmer than at Presqu’ile and we all enjoyed ourselves in the warm evening sun.

Playing in the awesome sand!

 

We woke up Tuesday morning to yet another beautiful day. The girls stayed asleep as Kory snuck out to work on the car. He had the battery successfully replaced before they were ready for breakfast! Three cheers for Kory! After a quick trip into town to return the old battery, we spent another lovely day at the beach! It was fairly windy and the water felt much cooler than the night before. Kory and Em loved it and they even did some wave jumping. Lyssa however was not a fan of the waves or the wind. I can’t blame her – the wind got to me as well and we eventually had to drag Em away.

My big girl offered to do the dishes!

 

Wednesday morning we woke up to, you guessed it, another beautiful day! I think one of my favourite things about this trip was our mornings together in the trailer.

Morning snuggles in the trailer

 

Lyssa would wake up, rub her eyes and slowly peer over the bed rail, looking for daddy. Then she’d get a huge smile on her face and start frantically waving for him! Em would often climb into bed for some (rare) snuggles. It was a few minutes of peace before the near incessant daily whining would begin. That (the whining) was by far the most challenging part about this trip. I think it was made worse by the later than usual bedtimes and change in routine. I will admit that this was our first ever trip where Kory and I questioned our decision to camp with the girls. Overall, the good far outweighed the more challenging aspects of the trip and we’re glad we went. In fact, we’re going to do it again next month!

When we told the park naturalist at Presqu’ile that we were headed to Sandbanks next, he recommended the Dunes trail. We decided to follow his recommendation for our morning hike. This is a 2.5km trail through dunes (obviously!) and wetland habitat known as pannes.

Pannes along the Dunes trail

 

Hoary Puccoon was in bloom and there were several lookouts and viewing platforms.

Hoary Puccoon

 

Em had a great time walking along the boardwalk. She even took off to climb the huge sand dune near the end of the trail. Poor Kory had to ditch his bins and camera to follow her up the hill!

That’s my girl up there!

 

I stayed in the shade as Lyssa was napping in the Tula baby carrier. I’m thrilled that she still loves going uppy at nearly 2.5 years old! I was a bit relieved when the small one asked to go up. It would have been tough for her to hike the whole trail on the sand.

Love hiking with my girls!

 

On the way back to our campsite, we stopped briefly at the small Visitor Centre. I liked that they had a native plant garden with all the plants labeled.

After getting all hot and sweaty on our hike, we ate lunch and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at the beach.

Are we in Florida?!

 

The beautiful beach pulled us back again in the evening and we treated the girls to ice cream and another glorious evening swim! 

Yummy ice cream treat!

 

Sandbanks is a beautiful park! Our experience was certainly enhanced by the perfect summer weather we enjoyed. The beaches are, of course, the highlight, but there are great trails as well.  I have heard that the park sometimes has to close its gates on summer weekends because it is full. I’m glad we had the option of visiting during the week.

Thursday morning we packed up and started the drive to our third park in one week – Charleston Lake. 

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