Just returned from Pinery Provincial Park

My wife and I, and 3 month old son, just returned from Pinery Provincial Park. This is our annual trip to the park, to get the kinks worked out of the trailer for the year.

We stayed in Riverside 4, on site 772. It’s a great site, right on the river. You have some good views of the river, however it’s alot windier closer to the river. I find the sites on the river are fairly spaced out, and are large. For some reason, the park officer decided to drive around the park ALL DAY. I think I saw him drive by 10-15 times on Friday, same on Saturday. There were 10 camp sites booked in this area, why the need to drive around all day?

Weather was decent, but fairly chilly. Saturday it didn’t rise past 4 degrees, and cloudy and windy all day. Still great to get out!

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Rock Point Provincial Park

Review Date: June 2014

General Information / Location

Rock Point Provincial Park is located South West of Niagara Falls, and on Lake Erie.  It’s a really nice drive if you’re coming from the 401.  I suggest taking highway 54 from Brantford.  It follows the river, and is a really nice winding drive.  We came from London, and took the back roads along the lake, towards Rock Point.  There are a lot of nice small towns to drive through, which is always nice.

Address:

215 Niece Rd
Dunnville, ON, N1A 2X5

Click here to reserve, or view campsites

Entry / Layout

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The park is located off a back country road.  After a short drive through the forest, you arrive at the main gates.  One quick thing to note, there is a guy selling firewood right outside the main gates.  I didn’t stop here, but if you want firewood cheaper, I would suggest buying from him.  However, I’m not sure how dry his firewood is, as you can see it all piled behind his house without shelter over it.   There is ample parking before the gate, which allows you to go into the office, and register.  The park is split into 4 campgrounds, which you can see above.  There are 3 main bathrooms / showers throughout the park, which provides fairly easy access to all campsites.  There are some vault style toilets along the beach as well.  There is lots of parking for day visitors to access the beach, with the park store near by.

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General Discussion

We spent most of our time in Kinsey Campground, so I can speak confident about that campground.  It’s your basic one-way campground loop, with a bathroom in the center.  There are also paths that lead to the beach on the west and east side of the campground.  The top of the loop is basically a long grass field, with a few trees placed about.  It’s almost swampy, but maybe more marshy.  I could hear bull frogs around my site, which was kinda relaxing. The majority of the sites are not very private, but if you have a large trailer, you can position it to give you some privacy.  The sites were mainly surrounded by long grass, and the surface of the site was grass.  It didn’t seem like we were camping in a forest, but more of a grass field.  I will also say, that it is VERY wet.  80% of the sites had A LOT of water on them.  It might have just rained heavy, causing this wetness.  It looks like when it rain, water pools more then I’ve seen elsewhere.

I did quickly ride through Niece Campground, and it was just as wet.  However, it seemed a lot more foresty here.  There is also a path to the beach on the south end of the campground.  I would suggest NOT camping on the main road that goes through Niece.  (I think there are a few campsites, but not many).  The sites seem to be a little more private in this campground, specially on the southern loop of Niece, but still not great.

Minor Campground, and Lookout campground I didn’t spend to much time in.  When quickly biking through, I could tell the forest, or bush was alot thicker.  I can’t comment on quality of sites, because I didn’t really go into the campground.

The roads through the campgrounds are all gravel, and car do travel fairly slow on them.  The only exception is the road coming from the office, through Niece Campground.  It seems like a Main artery, and cars will drive faster here.  The campgrounds are all flat.  No hills, rocks, etc.

The beach is fairly long, with a path on-top of the bluff running the whole length.   The beach isn’t great.  Pebbly sand, littered with sticks, etc, etc.  It also seemed to be really windy on the beach, which could be normal I guess.  There are change rooms / bathrooms near the bluff, spread out along the length of the beach.  I didn’t go into the water, but it’s definitely not a sandy bottom beach like Long Point or anything.

If you walk EAST, you will get to the “Rock Point”.  It’s a very small point of rock, where they say you can find fossils, etc.  The problem is, it’s covered in sea shells, and not very fun to walk along IMO.  Still worth checking out.

The only trail is the trail that follows the length of the beach.  It’s a decent trail to walk and bike on.

I don’t think this park offers many activities, but I did see a baseball field near the park store, but the entrance was covered in water, and didn’t look like the field had been used in years.

There wasn’t soo much officer presence here, but the officers did drive by 1-2 times an evening.  No issue there really.

There is a park store, on the WEST side of the park, close to the day parking.  It contains small hamburgers / hotdog type restaurant, and of course all your typical park store amenities.  It has ice cream, and chairs and tables to sit outside.

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Best Campsites

The list is fairly short.  The sites weren’t great here TBO.

– 160 fairly private

– 155 is decent.  Tree’s on the site, which is nice. Still surrounded by grass, but more tree’s then most.  Nice trailer pad

-150 has some nice evergreen tree’s around you.  Like you’re camping in the forest. Decent privacy

67, 69, 71, 73 are kinda neat.  Nice forest behind it.  Open forest with not much bush. Sites are fairly Open / wide to the road, but can hide behind a big trailer.

Pro’s

– A nice trail / path on the bluff of the beach.  It’s a campground on the water, which is always a PRO

– Take a look at one of the comments below.  They describe a neat activity with bird banding.  Sounds neat.

–  Hmm…, I’m really not trying to be negative here, but I can’t really think of a PRO to this campground.  It’s in a really nice area of the province (near some neat towns), but nothing really to write home about.

Con’s

– Wet.  Campsites were all waterlogged.

– Beach isn’t very good.  You won’t find beach sand here.

– Sites are all grassy.  Surrounded by grass.

Surround Area Activities

Should I camp here?

I’m unfortunately going to say no.  There just isn’t anything to bring me back to this campground.  Usually there are a few trade-offs with campgrounds.  Ex: Good beach but bad campsites, good campsites but bad beach.  However in this case, I can’t think of much positive things to say about this place.  I really didn’t like camping in a grass field, but I understand that near Lake Erie, that’s kinda what you get.  If the beach was spectacular, then it’s a good trade-off.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  I think they would have been better off putting a few campsites directly on the bluff, then it would make it worth coming here again.

Quite the experience with Ford Canada, CIAS, and the 2015 F-150!

It all started with an unexpected email from Michael, representing Ford Canada and their social media agency .  Now this sparked my interest!  What could this be about.  I immediately called my wife, even before finishing reading the email.  You won’t believe this!

I’m a recently new Ford truck fan, and in August of 2013, I bought my first Ford Truck.  A 2013 Ford F-150, FX4, 5.0L.  I’ve always been a fan of Ford vehicles, but haven’t owned one in  a few years.  Along with ownership of a Ford truck, I took a lot of interest in the Ford brand.  I found that interacting with the brand, made ownership more enjoyable.  I immediately found that Ford has a huge on-line presence, with Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram.  This got me excited, and I started interacting with the brand, by sending in pictures and stories of me using the truck.

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The email from Michael explained they were looking for a Ford Truck Fan, that would be excited in the unveil of the newly redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 at the Canadian International Auto Show.  It was explained they would like to make a short video of my expression, and reaction when the new truck was unveiled.    Ding Ding! I’m interested! Let’s Go!

Within days, my family and I were in my truck, driving down the 401 towards Toronto!  After some frustrating traffic on the QEW, we finally got to the hotel, the day before my appearance at the auto show.

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My wife, son and I had a great afternoon in Toronto.  We went to a restaurant for Lunch, and Supper, and also relaxed in the hotel room.  I had a quick meeting with Michael, where he explained what exactly is happening the next day, and picked a time to meet at the convention center.

The next morning I got up nice and early, and hopped in a cab, to venture over to the Auto Show. I met Michael, and we immediately went to the Ford area at the show.  WOW!  What a spectacle.  All their newest cars and trucks were all set up, and the lighting was perfect.  On the stage was the new pre-production 2015 F-150, new Edge concept, and the 2015 Ford Mustang.  I think I stood there for 5-10 minutes with a smile on my face just embracing it all in.  I even got to sit in the new Edge concept, and the new 2015 Mustang.

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From there, I met a few of Ford’s “twitter’ers” that I’ve been following, and interacting with. @FordArnolderL, @FordAnsonDixon, and @FordCraigSilva. This was exciting for me, to see their faces, and chat with them in person.  I also met a few other people from Ford, and their Social Media agency.  I now have a few more people to follow on Twitter!

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After a quick walk around the Auto Show, and a bite to eat. It was showtime!

My first task was to introduce myself, and say why I was at the show.  The film crew filmed, as I did just that.  “Hey, I’m Nate Meyer, I’m a Ford truck fan, and I’m at the Canadian International Auto Show, to see the new 2015 Ford F-150”.  A couple takes, of that, and I was starting to get less nervous.  From there, we walked into the Ford press area, and sat down in the provided seating.  The unveil of the F-150 was about to begin.  I was excited!

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The premise of the video was to video tape my reaction, in seeing the new truck, as well as to walk around the truck, and describe what I’m liking, and how I’m feeling.  So the unveil has started, and on the three screens behind the F-150 was a video describing some of the features of the new truck.  It was incredible videography, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it.  Finally, the cover came off the truck, and it was unveiled.  It was SHARP!  I immediately started seeing some functional, and stylish features.

We then walked around the truck, video camera in tow, and I tried my best to describe what I was seeing at that exact time.  I tried to be as real, and genuine as I could.  This whole video is about the real reactions of a Ford truck fan.  It really did have some great functional features that I would put to use in real life.  The bumper step, the rear box lighting, box side step, rear tailgate step, huge moon roof, and front camera.  The front end is what really caught my eye.  I love how the headlights are shaped, and how very close it is to the Atlas concept.  After going around the truck a few times, I was introduced to a Product Manager at Ford.  We walked around the truck again, and he brought to my attention a few more styling queues that I missed previous.  How the rear tail lights, are styled around the F, in the F-150 emblem.  He also mentioned how there are a total of 4 video cameras, that get stitched together to create a birds eye view of the truck, displayed on the screen.  How, on the extended cab, the rear door opens completely.  So many more functional features that I didn’t catch the first time.  It was really great to be shown the truck, but someone who knows A LOT about it.

The filming was complete, and that’s when I started to relax.  I then mingled for a bit at the Auto Show, then eventually, back to the hotel to pick-up my family, for the ride back home to London.

It was such an awesome experience to be at the show on Press Day, and to see this pre-production truck so close up.  It was also exciting to see a behind-the-scene look at what goes on during these press-days, and unveils.  It’s such a different experience then being there on public day.  I really can’t say enough how excited I was to be picked to do this!

Here’s the LINK to FORD’s website with the story

Almost forgot the video!  Here is what was produced.

First camping trip of 2014!

Well, we did it.  We booked our first camping spot of 2014.  We are camping at Pinery, in Riverside.

We always seem to book here for the first trip of the rear.  It’s a great spot, close to home, to get all the bugs out of the trailer for the first trip of the year.

This trip will have a lot of firsts!

First camping trip with Jase.

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First trip with our new FORD!

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And first trip of 2014!

There obviously won’t be a review of this site, as I’ve already done one.   But you can be sure there will be pictures!

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