Lake Huron. Amazing Sunsets. Trails. Nature Programming. Bike Rentals. Beaches.
This park should be amazing. Unfortunately, all that somehow adds up to a rather mediocre experience.
MacGregor Point Provincial Park is located on the shores of Lake Huron, close to Port Elgin. It opened in 1975, due to the ban on overnight camping at nearby Inverhuron Park during the years that Bruce Nuclear operated its heavy water plant. Inverhuron began allowing overnight camping again in 1995.
Within its 12 square kms, it boasts 7 kilometres of shoreline, almost 15 km of trails, boardwalks, a Visitors Centre, interpretive programs, guided hikes and festivals. It has bogs, marshes, meat-eating plants and a wide variety of migrating birds.
It sounds like a great park, and comes highly-recommended.
Unfortunately, for us, it seemed to lack the “wow” factor of some of our other camping trips at Ontario Provincial Parks.
That said, our experience was not terrible – it was pleasant enough and I am very interested in returning to experience it in different seasons, when I think its assets would really shine. I would also love to check out some of their events. The Friends of MacGregor seems to have a lot going on, and I am disappointed that our timing didn’t allow us to participate in any of their programs or events.
Site 225 in Nippising Campground had a good privacy rating, good quality rating and was just a quick walk away from two comfort stations and a trail to the Camper’s Beach. The site was pretty private – we were quite close to some other sites, but it was well-treed. It was pretty small though. We had no problem setting up the tent, but the placement of the campfire ring was really awkward and we had no room to play games or run around.
We walked to the Camper’s Beach along a nice trail, but we became pretty apprehensive as we got closer – it looked rather marshy.
We were right. The bottom was a sludgy, disgusting mess. I was almost willing to tough it out, but it was too gross for the rest of my family. We walked back to our site and headed for the day-use beach. Pretty disappointing, considering I had chosen our site because of its proximity to the beach.
So, we headed back to the site – a good half hour wasted – and drove out to the day-use beach. No sludgy bottom here – but a whole lot of rocks.
I did like that it was very natural and the sand dunes and mixed forest were pretty.
The water was really calm here – a first for us on Lake Huron. Great for families with young kids – sort of. Seriously, watch out for the rocks!
The kids had a great time floating on their air mattresses and playing in the water. We joined in the fun and then relaxed on the beach for a bit.
We ended our swim under this amazing sunset.
Sunday morning I made a coffee and headed out for a stroll along the Old Shore Road Trail. It was a peaceful walk, but I could have been anywhere. It was a great start to the morning, don’t get me wrong, I just could have done a similar stroll at a different campground. We had planned to do a bit of hiking Sunday morning, but we ended up just having a lazy breakfast and packing up. To be honest, after the amazing trails at Killarney Provincial Park a few weeks earlier, we weren’t really excited about the trails here.
We headed to Port Elgin for ice cream at The Beachside Cafe.
The beach was busy and the garbage bins were over-flowing, but the sand was soft and the wavy water provided plenty of fun!
Port Elgin is just a few minutes from MacGregor Point by car. It is also accessible via the Rotary Way Trail. This trail is rated easy and cycling is allowed. Bikes are available for rent from the Park Store.
MacGregor Point is a nice campground, and I would recommend it – as long as the drive isn’t too far and you aren’t expecting anything more than a pleasant time camping with friends and family. And plan to spend beach-time in Port Elgin!
For beach-time on Lake Huron, I personally prefer Point Farms Provincial Park
Planning a Trip?
There are 360 campsites spread over 3 campgrounds. Sixteen of those are yurts. There are also two group camping sites.
Camping is available year-round.