Loyalist Township

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Sand Beach Wetlands Conservation Area

Please tread gently... 

These 54 acres located at the southwest end of Amherst Island, with picturesque views of Lake Ontario and Long Point Marsh, were acquired by Loyalist Township with the support of the Natural Spaces Land Acquisition and Stewardship Program - a joint initiative of the Ontario Heritage Trust and Ministry of Natural Resources.  The Township is responsible for the stewardship of these lands to protect valued natural heritage for present and future generations. Wetlands play an integral role in the ecology of the watershed and provide natural water quality improvement, flood
protection, shoreline erosion control and even help moderate global climate conditions. Protecting the wetlands also protects us.

The Sand Beach area contains Provincially Significant Wetland; Significant Woodland; Dune Habitats; Breeding Habitats for species at risk and is part of the larger Amherst Island habitat recognized as a Globally Significant  Important Bird Area. Endangered species rely on this habitat.

Please help us protect Sand Beach and keep it open by respecting the wildlife and the environment:

Enjoy and leave no trace behind.




Access to the beach is sign posted in two areas - from the parking area and across from the viewing platform. Sand Beach is an unsupervised public beach so please do not swim alone.  Children should be supervised by parents or adults.

Please refrain from crossing the dunes or vegetation anywhere other than the two access paths - this is to preserve the dunes and aid their regeneration.

Please refrain from camping, lighting fires and using any motorised vehicles including ATV's, snowmobiles, and dirt bikes.

Wildlife Viewing and Appreciation

Wildlife viewing is an increasingly popular pursuit for many people. It can be enjoyed in any season by any age group. Unlike some activities, special equipment is not required. Wildlife watchers need to come equipped only with a sense of appreciation for nature's resources and the knowledge of where to look for them. The viewing platform was built to assist you and looks out over the Big Marsh with many species of birds and wildlife to spot. Below you will find a list of birds, reptiles and other animals you might be able to see.
Birds Reptiles & Amphibians Other Wildlife
Great Blue Heron Blandings Turtle Beaver
Green Heron Snapping Turtle Muskrat
Marsh Wren Eastern Garter Snake White-tailed Deer
Virginia Rail Northern Leopard Frog Little Brown Bat
Mute Swan Green Frog Monarch Butterfly
Pied-billed Grebe Northern Watersnake North American River Otter
Red-winged Blackbird Grey Treefrog Eastern Coyote
Cedar Waxwing Midland Painted Turtle  
Gray Catbird Eastern Milk Snake  
Belted Kingfisher    
Green-winged Teal    
Great Horned Owl    
Least Bittern    
Swamp Sparrow    
Upland Sand Piper    
Barn Swallow    
Tree Swallow    
Wood Duck    
Caspian Tern    
Bald Eagle    
Redhead Duck    
Purple Martin    
Other species more commonly found in the meadows, hayfields and woodland include the Bobolink, Barn Swallow, and Wood Pewee, all of which are species at risk.

Monarch Butterflies can be found just prior to the fall migration in their temporary roosting habitat  of shoreline trees and shrubs which is particularly important for this species as the butterflies begin their migration south across Lake Ontario.             

Viewing Hints

     Sand Beach Trail - Terry McGinn