Prince Edward County’s beaches are something to brag about. Most people have heard of “Sandbanks”—an amalgamated vision of any of the white sandy beaches and dunes you can find lining the west side of the island (and also that place you go camping), but there are a lot of bodies of water here all around the edge of and inside the County and that spells: a lot of beach. As with any beachy community, a notable portion of water-access property is privately owned, but despite that, a number of Ontario’s most gorgeous beaches are here for the exploring. If you explore PEC from end-to-end, you’ll find the landscape shift from pretty pebble beaches to dramatic slabs of gleaming Canadian shield to those magical expanses of white sand that seems to stretch out past your toes for miles—you just have to know where to go.
My friend Katy has lived in The County for the better part of a decade. She’s an amazing human—vibrant and exciting, a generous conversationalist, and an accomplished impromptu speech-giver—recently, however, she caused a bit of a stir on Instagram when she posted about her extended relationship with the County beaches.
The Beach Life
In January, Katy wrote “It’s Day 150 of my beach streak, 207 days total since I started counting in June. This means I’ve now spent over half a year making time for ‘Beach Katy’. Growing up, I read Sweet Valley books, jealous of how they’d jump in the Jeep & head to the beach every day. I used to wish I lived a life where I would go running on the sand after work or share sunset picnics—and it struck me the other day that THAT IS MY LIFE.”
“On my first trip to the County I went to Lakeshore Lodge and felt a twinge. I’ve dug into that feeling and followed it towards breathtaking waves, awe-inspiring snowscapes & crispy, beautiful night skies. I’ve melted in the summer sunshine and giggled falling into snowdunes up to my waist. I’ve watched fireflies dance past midnight and I’ve seen more shooting stars this year than one girl ever should. All of this magic was created because, on a whim, I decided to be a little more intentional with how I experience nature and now I just can’t stop.”
“I’ve learned that my peace is not an optional condition
I get a real, clear benefit from ditching my phone to dive into forest trails where my animal senses are satisfied, noticing the changing patterns of nature: new footprints, transforming paths, growing plants, natural destruction.
Running the dunes, my heart pumps & my lungs burn as the poets spit sweet lyrics in my ears. And let me tell you, there’s no feeling like surmounting a giant sand mountain only to reach the peak and catch sparkling views, open heavens & not another human in sight. I love the feeling of the wind holding me up like it’s my soul jumped out of my body, now wrapped back around & pushing me to breathe it all in.”
This pic was taken at the same spot I climbed to for my 150th day of the beach streak. I call it ‘360’ because it’s the best place to catch a full-circle view of Sandbanks Park, with Lake Ontario waves on one side, calm West Lake waters on the other & dune forests all around. It felt crazy wonderful making the only set of footprints in the fresh snow, until I followed deer tracks to the top and caught the last gasp of a winter sunset.
Here’s to the next 150 days—I know they’re going to be good.”
As predicted, Katy ended her streak at 300 days. “The beach life will go on,” she noted, “but the counting is over.”
Katy’s Favourite County Beaches
Best sunsets, best waves, best for a beach downer picnic & a long run
360 Peak at the Sand Dunes
Any Secret Beach you claim your own
Mine is a drive up lil spot I take my morning coffee & favourite jams
Some Other County Beaches
Sandbanks and The Dunes (Provincial Park)
3004 County Rd 12, Picton
Massassauga Rd, PEC
County Rd 24, Picton (Cherry Valley)
North Beach (Provincial Park)
440 North Beach Rd, Consecon
County Rd 13, South Bay
Wellington Rotary Public Beach
Beach St, Wellington
*Stay tuned for more detail on The County’s beautiful beaches*