The popularity of camping in Ontario has grown exponentially over the last two years. Camping by bike has not missed out on this growth. Some people use terms such as “bike touring” and “bike packing” interchangeably, while others are firmly in one camp (pardon the pun) or the other. The best part is that there is neither a “right” nor a “wrong” way to go camping by bike.
Wheatley Provincial Park is a great place to start your bike camping adventures. By car, it is about 30 km from Kingsville. But a better way to get there by bike is a bit further, and includes the ERCA Greenway and some quieter country roads. On the way through Leamington, perhaps some baked goods from Lakeside Bakery will help you pedal a few more kilometers (or be tucked away for dessert tonight!). If you time it right, you can stop for the freshest fish (and chips!) at the Chip Truck – Taylor Fish Company just north of the Wheatley harbour.
Note: Bring your meal supplies with you as the town of Wheatley has very limited services at this time (however OG Pizza is open, just west of the traffic lights at the main intersection) (as of early June 2022).
After setting up the tent, a stroll down to the beach area might be a welcome change of pace. And if water conditions allow it, perhaps there will be time for a refreshing dip in Lake Erie
Camping meals don’t have to be fancy…..mac and cheese takes on special qualities when cooked at the campsite. For some, a campfire after supper might be in order. But others might be just as content to climb into their sleeping bag after a day of cycling.
Morning sunshine to start the day…..
….and then coffee!
The return trip to Kingsville can be by a different route, heading north then west from the Provincial Park. This route joins the rail trail north of Leamington. Lunch may be on your mind, and Cured Craft Brewery (with their wood fired pizza!) is just off the main downtown Leamington intersection. For cyclists, it can be reached by bike by heading south on Queens Avenue (rather than biking down the busier Erie Street).
Heading back west, the ERCA Greenway leads you back into Kingsville. And whether this was your first time camping by bike, or your tenth, this local adventure is sure to create some great memories.
Due to the popularity of camping these days, it is strongly advised to make reservations at Wheatley Provincial Park well in advance of your planned trip. If the park is fully booked even a couple weeks out from your intended bike camping adventure, keep checking back for cancellations. And better yet, there is a new feature on the Provincial Park reservation system where it can send you a notification if a site that meets your requirements becomes available.
Ride with GPS route from Kingsville to Wheatley Provincial Park, with Points of Interest
Ride with GPS route from Wheatley Provincial Park back to Kingsville, with Points of Interest