Soaking up the sun on the shores of Lake Huron
Sauble Beach is the second longest freshwater beach in the world. Sun worshippers bask in the rays along seven miles of beautiful, clean beach on the pristine shores of Lake Huron. The stretch of shoreline has earned the area the international Blue Flag designation, meaning that the beach meets strict criteria for water quality, environmental education and management, and safety and services.
Dog-friendly Sauble Beach boasts picnic and playground areas, beach volleyball, mini-golf and amusements. Toss your frisbee, build sandcastles and walk along the downtown sidewalks where live music, restaurants and stores welcome visitors. Sauble Beach Fun World amusement park is just blocks from the beach. Racing fans can see stock car action at Sauble Speedway,
Held in August, Sandfest is Sauble Beach's annual summer bash. It's a weekend of family fun with live music, a sandcastle-building competition, a classic car show featuring more than 450 vehicles, a beach volleyball tournament and a DJ dance party.
Sauble beach offers a variety of ways to enjoy the ocean. Near the town of Oliphant, you'll see kite boarders riding on the waves as the wind pulls them along. When conditions are calm on Lake Huron, ocean-goers float on blow-up beds, rented Sea Doos and banana boats, water trampolines or inflatable icebergs with three climbing walls and a slide.
Adventures on Land
Sauble Beach is located in the town of South Bruce Peninsula. From the shores of Lake Huron to the shores of Georgian Bay, visitors can explore the majestic escarpment by hiking the Bruce Trail, canoeing the inland waterways, and go boating and fishing the pristine waters.
Visit Bruce Peninsula National Park and walk the Georgian Bay Trail to see scenic cliffs and shore. West of Indian Head Cove are the Natural Arch and Grotto sea caves.
With a 32-foot drop, Sauble Falls on the Lake Huron shoreline may not be a tall waterfall, but at 246 feet wide, it's an exciting natural water slide and an excellent fishing spot. A boardwalk leads visitors to a viewing platform where visitors can take in great views of the falls, which are surrounded by colorful rust and red rock formations. Every spring and fall, rainbow trout and Chinook salmon leap and thrash as they make their way up the cascading waterfall to their spawning grounds.
Seasons in the Sun and Snow
In the summer, the scenic vistas of the falls takes on the appearance of a lace bridal veil; in winter the ice formations created by the spray from the river form stunningly beautiful pinnacles and icicles.
Flanked by a forest, the falls once powered a timber mill and generating station. Now they're the terminus of the Rankin River canoe route, ideal for novice canoeists.
Located north of Sauble Beach on the Sauble Falls Parkway, the area's famous giant sand dune has long been a gathering point for locals and visitors alike. If you can make it all the way to the top, the objective is to run, roll, or tumble as fast as you can to the bottom.
Seeing the Light
History buffs who love nautical history will enjoy the 15 different lighthouses that stand watch along the shorelines and islands of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. The Bruce Coast Lighthouse Tour is a world-class marine heritage experience. Bruce County's coastline spans a whopping 531 miles, and is home to the first nationally preserved underwater ecosystem, Fathom Five National Marine Park.
In the early decades of the 20th century, Sauble Beach became popular vacation destination in concert with the growth of the automobile and leisure time among the middle class. Most of the resort development of the modern beach area dates from 1948, and still-surviving attractions include the Driftwood restaurant, Sauble Lodge Motel and the Crowd Inn hot dog stand. The main street has remained relatively untouched in the past 50 years, drawing visitors back year after year and reminding them of simpler, more carefree days.
Browse the shops in and around Wiarton, chat with the locals in small country stores and at the Wiarton Farmer's Market, visit the many attractions throughout the area, acquire a taste of local whitefish in one of the family- or fine-dining establishments.
Bluewater Park provides an ideal family outing with the historic Victorian Train Station, a picnic shelter, ball diamonds, a pirate ship playground, a boat launch and the Wiarton Willie memorial.
This is a four-season destination. Spring brings the tasty treats of the Purple Valley Maple Syrup Festival, summer is filled with the bounty of the natural environment and fall is the time for local fairs. A welcome winter break is the Wiarton Willie Festival.
Wiarton is home to Canada's most famous prognosticating albino groundhog and has been celebrating the Wiarton Willie Festival for more than 55 years. Each February 2nd, in the dark and early morning, townsfolk and fans from all over come out to hear Willie's prediction. Will it be an early spring or six more weeks of winter? The event is stunningly similar to the festival held each winter in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, but with a Canadian twist.
The story began in 1957, when where local resident Mac McKenzie sent out an invitation to a hundred of his closest friends to join him in Wiarton for Groundhog Day celebrations. The media got ahold of the story and a lone reporter from the Toronto Star traveled up to Wiarton to see what was going on. Unable to find the celebrations and after making inquiries all over town, the reporter was directed to the local drinking establishment where, sure enough, Mac and his buddies were bending an elbow or two.
When the reporter asked Mac "Where's the deal?" Mac responded, "This is it!" The reporter joined the party but was concerned the next day when he didn't have a story to bring back to the paper. Mac, always an opportunist, grabbed a white fur hat off of a lady's head and flung it in the snow. The reporter snapped a picture and a photo of the grinning group huddled around the "groundhog" made it into Monday's paper with the caption: "High spirits, hole in ice, but as for groundhog—no dice."
The next year, 35 people showed up for the celebrations and year after year, the festival grew. Today, approximately 10,000 people come for the Wiarton Willie Festival celebrations—winter carnival, ice carving, live entertainment, a food expo and sports competitions.
For More Information:
Sauble Beach Tourism Office