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Quinte Isle’s South Beach Dunes and Huyck’s Point CA Review
This review is of two Crown Lands on the South-West shore of Quinte Isle. You can walk from one to the other, or you can drive 18 kms between trailhead parking areas.
The Huyck’s Point Crown Lands Review
This one is accessed rather unceremoniously at the termination of County Rd. #20. There’s no signage or anything to tell you that you’re entering Crown Lands. From the 401 take Cty rd # 40 to # 33. Turn right onto #33. Turn right onto Cty Rd # 20 and drive 6.4 kms to the end of the road. This link will open Google Maps at the location : https://goo.gl/maps/PUB3qDxxbvjFAebM7.
As stated, you’ll know you’re there when you run out of road. So, just continue on foot Westward. You’ll pass a very wide trail off to the right. We were told this is private property access to the Lands, but no one seemed to care if we used it, including the owners. There weren’t any signs, and the trail wasn’t chained nor gated so, I don’t know. On our first visit here, I wanted to get to the lake ASAP, so we kept going past that trail, and started walking to the right once we hit the lakeshore. The trail is just a few meters back from the shore and about a meter above the waterline. It’s severely undercut in places on it’s way to the lake, but still quite stable walking.
A personal thrill for me was the spotting of a rare form of trout lily I’ve been seeking since I first heard of it. This white variant of the normally yellow trout lily was spotted amongst a forest floor of white trilliums. I almost missed the patch of lillies.
The trail is only about 160 meters long when it opens up onto the beach. By “beach” I mean over two kms of varying sized, water worn, shards of limestone. You won’t be mistaking it for the Bahamas no matter how lovely the day. There are two wetlands “behind” the beach (Huycks and Pleasant Bays).
It can also be accessed from the termination of Bakker Rd. https://goo.gl/maps/oeJxqP3UXp5UcwDj7
When we walked it in early June, the beach was interrupted by water between Lake Ontario and Pleasant Bay, disallowing us continuation of our attempts to get to the “North Beach Dunes”, the subject of the other Crown Land in this review. Early June of 2020 was a chilly one, so we didn’t elect to pull off our shoes and socks to wade across.
The Final Take on Huyck’s Point and Beach
With the exception of a short trail through a wooded section and a rare wildflower sighting, this one is mostly about the beach, and the bays behind it. In warmer weather, you can walk the entire length of the beach, right over to The South Beach Dunes. From the bottom of Cty Rd # 20 to the break in the beach will provide you about 4 kms (return) walking. There are, of course, no facilities of any kind here.
The South Beach Dunes Review
Your best way to get to these dunes from the 401 is to take Cty Rd # 40 to # 33. Turn right on # 33 and right onto # 27. Your access will be on the left, directly across from the entrance to North Beach Provincial Park. This link will open Google Maps to the precise location : https://goo.gl/maps/PsYMWxJmWtWYfyMg8
You’ll see a sturdy yellow gate displaying an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources sign stating “Road closed to unauthorized vehicles”. Walk around the gate, and follow the very wide and clear trail to the lake. If you visit in the season, be sure to park your car well out of the way of the Provincial Park entrance. Also, park well off the road, so as not to impede traffic to and from the park, and the Pleasant Bay Camp at the end of the road. The trail to the lake is rather odd, as it appears to be through an old fruit tree orchard, but we didn’t see any flowers on the trees, so I have no idea what they were.
Once you arrive at the lake, follow the path to the left, to get to the dunes. You’ll notice a sign asking you to be careful of the dunes as they’re sensitive to even human footfalls. While I would like to reiterate that request … I find it hard to do so with a straight face when you’re going to see that this is an ATV idiot’s paradise. I wouldn’t suggest you go anywhere near these dunes on a weekend. However, on a Monday in early June, we found them to be beautiful and fascinating (and, we had them all to ourselves).
You can also get a view of Pleasant Bay from just behind the dunes.
If you follow the dunes far enough, you’ll find a pathway into a forested section. This will take you across the point (on soil, and through meadowland) to the Beach from Huyck’s Point. Once you return from there, you can walk the beach back to the trailhead for a bit of variety, or to cool off close to the lake. As for us, we did it to rest our weary feet as the sand those dunes are composed of, makes for some very tiresome walking.
The Final Take on The South Beach Dunes
Much like the Huyck’s Point walk, this one isn’t so much about a trail, as it is the unique ecosystem of the dunes. There’s also the views of the “bays” which are often more like lakes behind the beach. If you wanna just walk the dunes and lakeshore, this will provide you with about 3 kms of walking. If you wanna take it over the point to Huyck’s beach to Pleasant Bay, you’ll add another 1.5 kms to that. The Wife and I are normally timbercruisers, but I find a sunlit beach and rare dune topographies, a refreshing and interesting change up. As with the other sites in this review, there are no facilities of any kind here.
The Blue Jay Barn
Just a bit of fun and fascination you’ll see near the dunes. Just off Bakker road which I mentioned as a possible access site, you’ll see a Cold Creek Road. The first farm you’ll see on Cold Creek Rd has a most unique piece of “barn art”. The Google Maps link is here : https://goo.gl/maps/uzLKRpndaxdN7U9d6
Have a nice walk,