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Your guide to Pelee Island
All About Pelee Island
The 10,000-acre Pelee Island has the distinction of being the largest landmass in Lake Erie and the southernmost populated point in Canada (the Ontario island is also off the coast of Sandusky, Ohio). Its location on the Western Basin of Lake Erie makes it a popular spot for catching smallmouth bass and walleye, and on land you’ll find numerous reserves and conservation areas that are home to animals and insects like the swallowtail butterfly and the Eastern spiny soft-shelled turtle — who love the island’s marshlands. You could spend your entire time here outdoors, hiking to the 1833 lighthouse at Lighthouse Point Provincial Nature Reserve or wandering through Stone Road’s wooded and limestone alvars. Pelee Island is recognized as a globally significant bird area because of its location between the major migratory routes of the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways. Continue your appreciation of nature from the town of Pelee Island, where it’s possible to grab fish and chips with a lakeside view, or sample the local grape harvest from one of Canada’s oldest wineries.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Pelee Island
Pelee Island’s climate is one of the mildest in Canada, and generally summers are warm — making this a popular time to book Pelee Island rentals and to possibly take on the half-marathon — and winters are cold and quiet with occasional snow. Spring and fall are comfortable, although temperatures start to drop in November, and you’ll see migratory birds flying over town during these shoulder seasons.
Top things to do in Pelee Island
The Pelee Island Bird Observatory
Pelee Island is a popular spot with birders, and the Pelee Island Bird Observatory is a great place to spot one of the many species of resident and migratory birds who make their home here. Local volunteers are knowledgeable about loons, herons, hawks, owls, and woodpeckers — just a handful of the more than 300 species you might spot.
Pelee Island Heritage Centre
The Pelee Island Heritage Centre focuses on the island’s history through exhibits exploring the archeological evidence of the island’s Indigenous peoples, a display on the shipwrecks in the Western Basin, and infographics on Pelee Island species that are at risk of extinction.
Pelee Island Waterfront Trail
The Pelee Island Waterfront Trail is a 17-mile path that extends around the shoreline of Lake Erie. It passes along quiet country roads, farmlands, and vineyards along an ecological trail system that connects beaches, forests, dunes and marshes. You can spot rare native plants along the trail, as well as spotted turtles, salamanders, and butterflies.