Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
Experience Fall at Sibbald Point Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Laura McClintock, Senior Naturalist at Sibbald Point Provincial Park.

I am a naturalist.

I work in one of the busiest parks in the province, but I’m always looking for a quiet meadow or coastline to observe nature.

While known for our popular beach and access to Lake Simcoe, Sibbald Point is a small but mighty center of biodiversity.

Every season has its advantages, but for nature lovers and those seeking solitude alike, fall camping at Sibbald Point is best.

Here are some of the benefits awaiting Sibbald Point this fall:

Discreet autumn colors

When we think of fall, our minds often go to the scarlets and burnt oranges of changing maple leaves.

But have you ever stopped to think about the other colors that autumn highlights in nature? What about purple, gold and white?

goldenrod and aster

Late summer brings new colors to Sibbald Point in the form of asters and goldenrod. These wildflowers begin blooming in August in this part of Ontario and paint the landscape throughout the fall.

A goldenrod soldier beetleA soldier beetle resting on goldenrod.

These flowers provide nectar to insects such as butterflies and bees, as they prepare for migration or sleep in the winter months.

Once they have gone to seed, these plants provide food for birds such as goldfinches.

For me, the blooming of these flowers not only means the end of summer, but also a new beginning for the upcoming fall season.

When September arrives, I look forward to evening walks after work through the campgrounds and amphitheater meadow to enjoy the hub of insect activity these vibrant flowers provide.

Searching for solitude

In our busiest summer months, we see thousands of visitors each week.

From sun-loving sunbathers to families picnicking under the shade of trees, Sibbald Point is bustling with activity.

See also  Explore Fall Colors in These Gems

fall color canopy

However, after Labor Day, Sibbald Point calms down and adopts a slower pace. As much as I love the energetic summers we have, fall is a welcome change of pace.

Spending time in nature has countless benefits for our physical and mental health and visiting Ontario parks is a great way to take advantage of these benefits.

Our Maidenhair Fern Trail It is an ideal place to enjoy nature.

This trail is fairly flat, easy to navigate, and features interpretive signs about habitats along the way.

My favorite feature of the trail in the fall is the various mushrooms that encourage the cooler weather.


As you walk the trail, keep your eyes and ears open for fall migrating warblers using the forest as a way station on their journey south.

Cool Weather Camping Equipment

Working for Ontario Parks, I am often asked when and where I like to go camping in the summer.

To tell you the truth, I’m not a big summer camper! However, planning a quick getaway in the colder months is right up my alley.

fall color canopy

Personally, I think you can get a lot more out of camping in the fall.

Cooler weather is best for several reasons:

  • It’s a great opportunity to see elusive animals, such as the red fox, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys that call Sibbald Point home. With fewer people around, these species are active in more open locations, making fall camping a great time for wildlife viewing. Remember to respect wildlife by giving animals space and keeping your campsite clean.
  • There are fewer mosquitoes, which makes it more comfortable to enjoy the day outdoors. Instead of swatting mosquitoes, keep an eye out for monarch butterflies, grasshoppers, and migrating beetles that are soaking up the last rays of the summer sun.
  • Some summer nights are too hot to roast marshmallows. But when fall arrives, a roaring campfire is a welcome addition to any trip. Use designated fire pits and keep flames below 1 m when burning wood.
  • See also  How fungi, bacteria and invertebrates are the parks' secret service.

    Sibbald Point offers electric and non-electric sites through Thanksgiving weekend.

    Be sure to take advantage of our mid-week vacancies and visit our reservations page to find your perfect spot!

    What’s in Sibbald Point?

    Maybe you like the quiet, but only for a limited time.

    Don’t worry, there’s still plenty to do in and around Sibbald Point when you visit!

    Visit the Eildon Hall Museum, the former home of the Sibbald family. The museum will be open every Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm until Thanksgiving.

    eidon room

    Enjoy excellent fishing on Lake Simcoe.! The fall season is a great time to fish for giant yellow perch. If you are bringing your boat for a day trip, be sure to reserve your spot at the boat launch in advance.

    Stop by our Discovery programs, which will take place from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturdays until October 1. Our annual Falloween will be held on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. Visit our events page to see what we have on offer!

    Have you tried our Adventure Lab course?? Download the FREE app and follow the map to explore the habitats of Sibbald Point.


    Prepare a thermos of your favorite soup and come to a fall picnic. Our day-use and beach areas are the perfect setting for your lunchtime break.

    Check out our iNaturalist project! Did you know that we have 5,873 sightings of 1,272 species in the park? Let’s see where we can get to by the end of 2023!

    Ready to experience the fall at Sibbald Point?

    Whether you’re a dedicated fall camper or looking for a new park to visit this fall, Sibbald Point is a hidden gem to relax and recharge.

    Remember to reserve your advance daily vehicle permit up to five days before your arrival to guarantee entry to the park.

    Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to get updates about the park and see what’s on.

    Book your fall camping trip to Sibbald Point today!