MacGregor Point Provincial Park is a remarkable park because it doesn’t have a spectacular natural environment, however it is well designed and offers lots of activities and plenty of good campsites.
Environment: MacGregor Point is located on the Lake Huron shoreline, just south of Port Elgin, Ontario and was established in 1975. The park is comprised of wetlands, forests, dunes, and beaches. As the park terrain is flat, it is suitable for leisurely hikes and bike rides and this is exactly what the park space is used for. MacGregor Point is on the east shore of Lake Huron, making it a good location to see the magnificent Lake Huron sunsets.
Beach: When we camped at MacGregor Point, I noticed that the beach wasn’t crowded. After several days I spoke to other campers to find that many of them drove to nearby beaches just beyond the park boundary. The reason for this is oftentimes the MacGregor Point beach will have algae and murky water near the shoreline. Once you walk beyond the algae, the beach is fine. We swam at MacGregor Point all week and didn’t bother to check out the nearby beaches.
Biking: There are four biking trails within the park, as well as biking along the campground roads. If you have the time, you should bike along all of the trails. My favourite is the Deer Run Bike Trail (7.5 kilometres return) because it cuts through the forest and allows you to see the vegetation close up as you ride. The Old Shore Road Trail is 12 kilometres return and covers most of the MacGregor Point shoreline along Lake Huron. Although the trail is flat, some sections near the south end of the shoreline are a little bumpy. You can find many secluded spots to explore the Lake Huron shoreline along the Old Shore Road Trail.
Camping: MacGregor Point has 360 campsites (140 with hydro) that are split among three campgrounds (Huron, Nipissing and Algonquin). We camped in the Nipissing campground because it is centrally located, being close to the beach, visitor centre and playground. If you want large, good quality and private campsites, this is a good park to camp at.
Fishing: The Saugeen River is nearby and provides the best fishing opportunities in the area.
Hiking: There are 5 hiking trails that range in length from 0.8-12 kilometres return. I’ve hiked all of the trails. The Huron Fringe Trail loop is a great little boardwalk trail that starts and ends at the Visitor’s Centre and follows through wetlands and forest. The Old Shore Road Trail is also used for biking and I recommend exploring it by bike as it is quite long. The Tower Trail has an observation deck to provide you with an elevated view of the wetlands, forest and wildlife.
Shopping: The park store offers a good selection of supplies. Souvenirs and books are available at the Visitor Centre. Port Elgin is minutes away by car and offers everything else. While visiting Port Elgin, children will enjoy “The Station”, which is a miniature steam train that takes riders for a tour near the Lake Huron shoreline in Port Elgin. Port Elgin also has public beaches and a flea market that operates on Wednesdays in the summer.
The Visitor Centre: MacGregor Point has a good-sized visitor centre. The visitor centre is situated near the beach, the playground and along the Huron Fringe Trail, making it a busy spot in the park.
Wildlife: There are many great places to see birds in the park, including along the shoreline, the observation deck on the Tower Trail and along the Huron Fringe Trail. While on the Huron Fringe Trail, you may get the opportunity to spot a turtle.
Winter: MacGregor Point is a winter destination in the Ontario Parks system. There are 12 yurts in the park to facilitate winter camping for those less inclined to go. There are 11 kilometres of groomed cross-country skiing trails. Skating and snowshoeing are also offered in the park.
In Conclusion: MacGregor Point is one of the busier parks in the province for good reason. We spent one week there and found that there was plenty to do both in the park and nearby in the surrounding region.
My Park Rating: 4 out of 5