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Things to do at The Wandering Dog Inn

 Lighthouse Point Provincial Nature Reserve

The nearly 200 year old Lighthouse is located at the very northeast tip of the island.  Parking can be found on the right hand side of the road about 500 feet before the entrance of the park and there is a small bike rack near the entrance.  Private property falls between the parking area and entrance to the park, so be mindful to not trespass.  Across the road from the parking lot is an inland lake created when the north end of the island was breached during the Nor’easter of 1972.   Catch the sun setting over Lake Henry, behind the trees and reeds on your way out of the park.  Enter through a short walkway on a narrow, sometimes uneven, dirt trail to a newly repaired boardwalk.  Continue on through a wooded area to some of the island’s most pristine beach.

Local tip: Look for lucky stones!  Small white ovals about the size of a dime with the letter J or L on them.  These are ear bones from sheephead fish also known as freshwater drums and believed to be used by indigenous peoples to protect from illness and bring luck along one’s travels.

Local tip: Look for the lotus bloom in August on Lake Henry

Useful: No bathrooms or potable water on site

Instagrammable: Lighthouse approach  #peleeisland #peleelighthouse 

Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve

Fish Point is the very southwest tip of the island.  There is limited parking and small bike racks as well as a bench near the entrance.  A hike through the woods opens up to an ever-changing sandspit point.  Note:  The beach path is not passable along the shoreline due to high lake levels.  Fish Point, like is mainland sister Point Pelee is an important stopover for migrating birds, and a bird-watchers paradise. Black-crowned night herons and other birds frequent a lagoon, and shorebirds are numerous.  Signs are posted along the trail with details about species at risk and rare plant life.  Downed trees and high lake levels have rerouted the footpath; so watch your step and follow the flag markers as you wander a new trail to the beach.  Swimming off the point is not permitted due to dangerous undertow.

Local Tip: Trilliums bloom in mid-May and takeover the forest floor.

Local Tip: Switch your phone to airplane mode and use your phone without worry of roaming on nearby US cell towers 

Useful: Pelee Island Bird Banding Station is west of Fish Point on McCormick Rd.

Useful: No bathrooms or potable water on site

Instagrammable: the waves breaking from both directions at the point #fishpoint

Mission Hall Project

The Mission Hall Sanctuary nestled in the vineyards on Ruggles Run Road is a small open-air structure lovingly built in memoriam of the Mission Hall church originally located just across the road.  It’s a space that welcomes quiet reflection and personal offerings of gratitude.   Picturesque for small weddings and ceremonies. Open air and open to the public. 

Vin Villa Ruins

Vin Villa was one of the oldest vineyards on the island and site of the first commercial winery in Canada; Pelee Island Wine & Vineyard Company.  Today the Vin Villa ruins consist of manicured grounds and a reimagined wine cellar with lounge.  You can find Vin Villa on the Northwest corner of the island, behind imposing wrought iron and stone gates. Weekend tours available.

Pelee Art Works

 Pelee Art Works is located on East West Road just around the corner from the ferry terminal.  Art Works is a project of Pelee Island Community Arts; a registered charity that supports the arts and environmental sustainability on the island.   Arts and crafts workshops offered throughout summer. Shop for local, hand-made souvenirs, art and island keepsakes to take home.

Pelee Island Heritage Centre

Founded in 1988, The Heritage Centre houses exhibits that feature the near and prehistoric history of the island.  The Heritage Centre is located directly across for the ferry terminal with tourist information centre found at the front entrance with brochures, maps and business cards to help you navigate the island.  Consider a self-guided tour of the museum for a nominal donation

 

Pelee Island Winery Pavilion

Pelee Island Winery is Canada’s largest privately owned estate winery with over 700 acres of grapes tucked away on Pelee Island.  The Pavilion wine garden is entirely outdoors with stone fired pizza and snacks to order.  Daily tours are an education in sustainability and cover the rare microclimate that make Pelee Island grapes the happiest grapes that have ever been grapes.

Must Sip: Secco, Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Franc, Vinedressers Meritage, Lighthouse Sauvignon Blanc, Lola Rosè.  Photo Credit: Ian Virtue Photography

East to West – Sunrise and Sunset

You will never be more aware of the direction you are facing than when you are on Pelee Island.  The sunrise in the east bursts over the lake and can be easily viewed from East Park Beach or at the foot of East West Road near the Inn.  Catch the Sunset at any of the benches along West Shore Road, from the deck at The Westview, SH1891 or as you stroll the pier at Scudder Marina. 

The moon rises in the east and you may be able to catch the moonrise and sunset at Fish Point at dusk at the height of summer.

Hiking and Biking:

Stone Road and Brown’s Road Alvars:  These alvars are unique ecological areas that have important plant and wildlife living amongst the natural habitat. Stone Road Alvar has almost 200 hectares of wooded and limestone plain (alvar) that is unlike anywhere else in Canada. Brown’s Road Alvar is a nearly 300 hectare natural area, with a mosaic of savanna, open woodlands, meadows and thickets, this area is a perfect combination for habitats that are crucial to many species at risk. This natural area also surrounds the beautiful Noah Garno Trail from Brown’s Road to Harris Garno Road.

MUST BIKE: The Pelee Island Waterfront Trail: A 28km circular route following close to the Lake Erie shoreline all around the island. The route travels quiet country roads,  farmland, vineyards and natural areas.  The route has equal sections that are paved and unpaved. The Waterfront Trail also connects to the Islands’ Ecological Trail System, providing access to beaches, forests, sand dunes, marshes and alvars found nowhere else in Canada.

*** INSIDER TIP: BIKING THE ISLAND IS AN SCENIC, EASY RIDE.  BRING YOUR OWN BIKES OR RENT UPON ARRIVAL FROM COMFORTECH – 519 724 2828*** 

We recommend e-bikes for those infrequent bikers as a fun and green way to see the whole island!

Beaches: Our beaches are natural. 

It is important to note that the water levels at our beaches are ever changing and there are no lifeguards or public amenities on site. Be careful, but enjoy all the beauty our beaches have to offer!  Want to pitch in and do your part?  Grab “Trash-Hole” Bag and help us pick plastic from our beaches and protect our Great Lake.  A $5 donation is made to Pelee EcoWorks with each bag purchase.

BEST BEACH : East Beach: Largest public beach best suited for swimming is located across from East Park Campground, walking distance to the Inn.  The bathrooms / shower at the Campground can be used for a fee between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  There are 3 public beaches on East Shore Rd. Note, only East Park Campground Beach has facilities.

Lake Access: Small and located at the foot of East West road, steps from the Inn. There is a rough water warning here, so use your judgement before swimming.  This is a great place to go for a quick morning dip or cool off at the end of a long, well enjoyed day.

Sunrise Beach: Small beach, on the east side, south of Parsons.

Brown’s Beach: Through the path at Middle Point Woods and secluded.

SWIMMING IS NOT recommended at Fish point or Lighthouse Point. Both beaches are lovely hikes.

 

Yoga + Slow Living on Pelee Island 

Slow down, catch your breath, take a time out. It’s how we roll on Pelee Island. Call it unplugging. Declare that you’re on island time. However you say it, make sure you do just that while you’re here. If yoga is part of your potion, check out The Rad Alchemist. 

Offering private, couple, bubble group, public classes and oh yes, yoga and Pelee Island wine experiences too.  

Eat, drink and be merry:  

DUE TO COVID-19; NOT ALL ESTABLISHMENTS ARE OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK AND SOME HAVE RESTRICTED HOURS.  

Pelee Island Winery: The Pavilion on Pelee is currently open for tastings.  Reservations must be booked online at peleeisland.com

Westview Tavern:  The locals favourite.  Located just across for the ferry terminal; burgers and Friday night fish fry are our faves!  Expanded outdoor dining in 2020.

The Taco Shack:  Because…tacos!  Tacos, nachos and snacks.  Walk up service, perfect for grab and go and a stroll down the pier at Scudder Marina.

The Filling Station: Soft serve ice cream on waffle cones and blizzard style ice cream cups packed with Reeses bites make us happy!  Walk up service.

The Bakery:  Mile high sammies with low and slow smoked meats and pizza to order on weekends.  Fresh baked bread and sweets.  Take out service.  Outdoor dining.

Stonehouse 1891:  Large patio, just south of the ferry is the perfect spot to grab a cocktail and watch the sunset.  Neapolitan style pizza.

Coneheads:  Located just north of the ferry terminal.  Hard scoop cones and milkshakes.  Wander over for a snack or coffee before getting on the ferry.