Ipperwash Beach

Ipperwash Beach in Ontario has gorgeous rolling sand dunes and striking sunsets

Ipperwash Beach in Ontario is a quiet gem featuring a long stretch of soft sand and clean, shallow waters, making it the perfect spot if you're looking to get away from the summer crowds.

Located on the shores of Lake Huron just south of the busy beach town of Grand Bend, you'll find Ipperwash Beach roughly 3 hours west of Toronto.

Despite Ipperwash being one of the longest freshwater beaches in Ontario, it's typically peaceful and serene and dotted with quaint vacation homes and cottages.

The large sand dunes are a signature feature of the area and serve as fragile ecosystems for plants and local wildlife.

The beach itself is composed of soft sand, and the water is typically very clean and warm due to how shallow it is. However, it's always good to check the water quality online before going for a swim.

With its west-facing views, it's also a prime spot for catching sunsets over the lake.

Besides swimming and lounging on the beach, you can also go for a hike on one of the trails at Ipperwash Beach. The easy Ipperwash Dunes and Swales Trail runs for 5.5 km and will lead you through a lush Carolinian forest past the dunes and wetlands.

Alternatively, you can try the Lambton Shores Nature Trails, a series of paths through the area's gorgeous landscapes of beaches, forests, rivers, and marshes.

The area also has a fascinating history. Formerly part of Ipperwash Provincial Park, a major land dispute, known as The Ipperwash Crisis, took place in 1995.

Members of the Stony Point Chippewas (Anishnaabe) took over the park to assert their claim to the land, and the clash resulted in the tragic death of unarmed protester Dudley George. 

The land was then transferred to the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation in 2009, and the provincial park was no more. Today, you can still visit a memorial site for Dudley George at Stony Point.

While the public beach is free to access, there are sections adjacent to the public beach that are private. Parking is also free in Ministry-owned lots.

Lead photo by

Doug Gordon

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