Sandbanks Trees in Winter

Sandbanks Provincial Park, in Southeast Ontario, is best known for its three magnificent sandy beaches. In summer, parking lots are full and the beaches are jammed with both tourists and local residents, all wanting to claim a spot at either the flat wide Outlet Beach or near the huge sand dunes of Lakeshore or Dunes Beach. In all, there are about 12 kilometres of sandy beach, which make it the world’s largest bay-mouth dune barrier formation. In the 1920’s, reforestation in the park area began (after having being used as farmland for many decades) and today, as well as the beaches themselves, there are many hectares of forested parkland. Pine seems to be the most widely planted tree, but poplars, spruce, cedar and fir can also be seen.

In the winter, it’s possible to while away a few hours meandering through the woods, on half a dozen well marked trails. I don’t think I’d call it ‘forest bathing’ when it’s below zero, there’s snow underfoot and the trail ends at a beach with waves pushing up sharp ice shards. But breathing deep the fresh air is definitely exhilarating, allowing body and mind to slowly slip, zen-like, into the best kind of meditative state.


  1. Great photos, Chris. You should drop by next time you are in the area. We were out in the park for a long walk today with Cooper. The weather was perfect. Love for you to join us for a hike ☺️

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  2. It’s interesting that pines are being used for restoration. One of my favorite places to visit, the Sandylands Sanctuary in east Texas, is a similar combination of sandy soil and longleaf/loblolly pines. It’s an odd sort of ecosystem: a sandy prairie with trees, really. It’s managed in various ways to keep the area open enough for the native forbs to thrive.

    I like all the photos, but that second one really does look like our Sandylands.

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    1. It was interesting reading about longleaf and loblolly pines; how evolution led to two very similar trees with very specific ranges and specific preferred growing conditions. The scientists who study such things must be endlessly fascinated with how slightly different environmental conditions can produce different physical characteristics in plant life.

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