Staycation is an overused term, no question. But it’s not an overused concept when it comes to taking the dog out. Thanks to our Ontario Parks Pass, we’re checking out parks on a whim this summer (and fall).
Which is otherwise known as jumping in the car and heading to the closest Ontario provincial park with a dog park … at Selkirk Provincial Park about one-hour drive from home. Worth it, on a sizzling summer day. Hot enough that my elderly pup Victor ventured into the water, which he rarely does.
A day at the beach was just what the universe ordered. Selkirk is near Port Dover along Lake Erie in Southern Ontario. Pack water, snacks (we should have), reading material and maybe a beach chair. Then set course for the great outdoors – or at least a pocket of trees, trails and tadpoles (if you can find them).
Selkirk is half overnight camping, half day use: campsites located in Areas 2 and 4 can accommodate trailers with pull-throughs and electrical hook-ups. A comfort station with showers, flush toilets and laundry is in Area 2 only. Other camp Areas 1, 3, and 4, have toilets nearby and are mostly used for tent camping. No boat launch or dedicated bicycle trails which means more access for dogs.
Best part – the small crescent-shaped dog-friendly beach is in the day-use area near the picnic tables. The walk into the lake is gradual, a bit pebbly and marsh-like but shallow. My dog waded in easily but not far enough that he had to swim. He was the only dog there, yet we were not the only people. Fortunately, the groups of moms with young kids were pup receptive.
After Victor thoroughly soaked himself, we strolled through the open day area until he tired himself out sniffing tree to tree and settled down under a picnic table allowing me to read an entire issue of The Writer. Plus, the vantage point from above the beach is the best view of the lake.
Next time, with no heat advisory, we’ll do more walking specifically along Wheeler’s Walking Trail, a 1.5 km trail extending from one side of the park to the other across the marshland boardwalk and past a White Pine plantation. This might be our go-to-get-away … the one within an hour of home anyway.
TRAVEL GUIDE: Selkirk Provincial Park is located at 151 Wheeler’s Sideroad, RR #1, Selkirk, Ontario, Canada and offers 150 camp sites, 50 of which are RV pull-through sites, but no roofed accommodations. Day use includes 1.5 km in trails, lake swimming (no lifeguard), a dog exercise area, and dog-friendly beach.