Set within the Carolinian forest, Elgin County is home to great beaches, lively beach towns, heritage fishing ports and provincial parks and conservation areas.
Elgin County has 7 waterfront communities though many people will likely be more familiar with the heritage fishing ports in the area: West Elgin (Port Glasgow), Dutton Dunwich, Southwold, Central Elgin (Port Stanley), Malahide (Port Bruce) and Bayham (Port Burwell). Brimming with interesting historic sites such as:
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 Trans Canada Trail.
Check out Elgin Tourism’s Visitor Site for information on the Trail and other activities that will keep you in the area including 100 km of great hiking trails such as the Trans Canada Trail.
Elgin Hiking Club’s digital map for a hike that begins at the Port Stanley Beach and heads north along Kettle Creek to St. Thomas and west along Dodd Creek to connect with Thames Valley Trail at Southdel Drive. Other hikes are also recommended on the website.
Hawk Cliff Woods –6 km east of Port Stanley, at the foot of Fairview Road, is 230-acre woodland fronting on Lake Erie and one most significant deep interior forests in Elgin County.