Saturday, August 24, 2013

Turkey Point Provincial Park is a Turkey

Not all parks are what Beverley and I like.  I wouldn't say that we're Ebenezer's or Murtaugh's yet -- but we are definitely getting there.  For example, we're not really into party camping where late teens, early twenties get together at a camp site to drink, play loud music, and eventually fall down to sleep.  In my day that was called a "bush party", where one would drink all night dancing around a fire until somebody finally fell into it and was engulfed in flames crying "Why me?" but that's the way it was and you liked it, you loved it! (and for anyone not my age that is a Dana Carvey SNL reference) Oh, and you didn't have to pay for a camp site to do it, but every once and a while the police would come and break it up.

"Hey, Stop that bush partying!" Howie Fidler

Turkey Point Provincial Park is located near Lake Erie about an hour and a half south west of Hamilton.  There are 235 campsites in total with 124 electrical sites.  Turkey Point is the only Provincial Park with it's own golf course and if you show them your pink permit for camping your golf club rental is free (bring some balls though).  It only costs $16 (weekdays) or $17 (Weekends and Holidays) to golf a 9 hole golf course.  Beverley doesn't golf normally and we didn't even know there was a golf course at Turkey Point Provincial Park until we got home, which is a good lesson for all the campers out there.  Read the program!  I still don't think we would have gone, but at least I would have known.

There it is in black and white... and colour.

 Now here is the rub.  The beach for the campsite is about 2-3 kilometres away from the park. So by car it takes you about 10 minutes to go from your site to the beach (which is cool, but not if you are going to be drinking), about 40 minutes to walk by a trail/roadway, or 30 minutes walking on the highway. Your best mode of transport would be a bike, I'm sure it's only 10 minutes and even though it's a bit uphill on the way back, it would be worth it.  We did swim a couple of times and the beach is great and the water is warm, but I just wish there was a trail from the campground to the beach since they do have property all the way to the water.  Maybe in future.

Build the trail over there! For some reason I think that rhymes?
As far as hiking goes I think Turkey Point thinks you'll get enough exercise going back and forth to the beach because there is three trails but all together they would take a relatively healthy person as long as it would take to get to the beach and back -- Once.  The Oak Savannah Trail (1km) -- prescribed burning of conifers in an attempt to recover an oak savannah forest.  I found this one cool, but it was really short and didn't have any more information than what was given in the guide.

Tree racists.

 The Lookout Bluff Trail (2.2 km) -- takes you on a trip through the history of the forest to a lookout over Lake Erie and the Long Point Peninsula. I found some pretty cool mushrooms on this hike, but still can't get over how they could just put a staircase at the midpoint of this trail to get to the beach.

Still don't know if they are flowers or mushrooms?

Lastly the Fin and Feather trail (2 km) is a walk to the Normandale fish culture station which would be cool if my parents didn't live within a mile of a fish culture station near Chatsworth Ontario.

Turkey Point is built in a Oak Savannah forest so privacy isn't easy -- that being said sites 18, 23, and 47 in Walking Stick Woods Campground, 214, 226, and 235 in Fin and Feather Campground, and 117, 118, 122, 166, 172, 174, and 175 in Whippoorwill Campground are the best sites.

Whenever you are camping it is what you make it and, by that token, we made the best of Turkey Point swimming, hiking and just being together.

Site Cleanliness: O.K.  Took some time to clean up from previous campers.

Privacy: Difficult to find.  The numbers I have highlighted are good but everything else is not.

Hiking and Activities: Good.  There is a three decent trails and a good walk to the beach (Man I wish I could let it go already).

Fire Pit and Amenities: Excellent.  All the fire pits are great, a picnic table or two for all the sites, and the comfort stations are excellent.

Beach Quality or Ease of Getting to the Water: Sucks. But the beach is amazing.

Overall Impression: It is what you make of it.  I want to be clear that there is no such thing as a bad provincial park.  If you like golf it would be great. If you bring bicycles it would be great. If you are a partying youth it's awesome. For us we won't be back.

Rating out of 107: So this is the first one that is not going near the top so again it's difficult. I'm giving it #101 for the 101 proof Wild Turkey which is a blend of 6, 7, and 8 year old bourbons with an explosion of vanilla and caramel and hints of orange and honey.

Run for the bushes!

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