Elgin County is home to some great beaches and some lively beach towns. There are some interesting historic sites including the Ojibway a decommissioned Oberon Class submarine that is open to the public for tours in Port Burwell. Tours are led by past submariners – an attraction not to be missed!
Check out Elgin Tourism’s Visitor Guide for information on the Trail and other activities that will keep you in the area.
Elgin County has 7 waterfront communities though most people will likely be more familiar with the heritage fishing ports in the area: West Elgin (Port Glasgow), Elgin, Dutton Dunwich, Southwold, Central Elgin (Port Stanley), Malahide and Bayham.
Starting out from the western end of Elgin, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail follows Highway 3 where caution should be used due to narrow shoulders. There are a couple of stretches of gravel before arriving in Port Stanley.
Port Stanley was a busy perch fishing port in the mid twentieth century. The fishery is still active today and you can catch perch boats heading out in the wee hours of the morning. Much of the waterfront has now been reclaimed for recreational usage, and Port Stanley boasts a fantastic beach and pier where volleyball players, walkers, swimmers and loungers abound. Taking a side trip 10km north along Highway 4 takes cyclists to St. Thomas (a bronze-rated Bicycle Friendly Community). and continue another 30km for London and the VIA Rail Station.
Travelling east from Port Stanley the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail follows Dexter Lane, a quiet road with views onto Lake Erie every so often. On the eastern edge of Elgin you will find Port Burwell, the Ojibwa, Port Burwell Provincial Park and the connection to the TransCanada Trail.