Sandbanks, on Lake Ontario’s Bay of Quinte just south of Picton, is exactly what it sounds like—long, unbroken stretches of sand, including the largest freshwater baymouth sand dune system in the world. Many of the dunes are between 12 and 25 metres high—that’s the height of a small apartment building. Pack a picnic and take the dune stairs down to the lake, where you’ll find wide, clean golden-sand beaches and shallow waters that are perfect for family swimming. The water is warmer inland at Dunes Beach on West Lake—just stay aware of sharp drop-offs after the shallows.
More info: Ontarioparks.com
What’s nearby: Feel like a little road trip? Follow Prince Edward County’s Taste Trail and explore wineries, artisanal ice cream parlours, and bakeries. End your day of trekking just north of the park at Restaurant on the Knoll’s elegant patio, which features fine dining and a spectacular view of West Lake and the dunes.
How to get there: Take highway 401 east to Wooler Road/County Road 40 heading to Trenton. Go right on County Road 33, left onto County Road 1, then left onto County Road 18.