Craigleith Provincial Park History
Regulation 245/67, Schedule 59 of the Provincial Parks Act, enacted in 1967, established the park. Two plots of land along Highway 26 as well as holdings along a former railway line were purchased by the government. Only the land north of Highway 26 was turned into a park.
The Park Office is located near the Blue Mountain ski resort on Ontario Highway 26. From May through October, the park is open to the public.
The park contains 172 campsites, with 66 of them having electricity. A comfort station and shower building are available, as well as laundry facilities and flush toilets. Outside of the Day Use area, there are several spots with potable water taps. The beach is within easy walking distance of all of the campers in the camping area. Next to the shower facility is a children’s adventure playground. Firewood can be purchased at the gatehouse, which is located close to the Park Store.
The park is open during the day and closes at 10 p.m. every day, after which only registered campers are allowed to stay overnight.
Ecology The rock
Invertebrate fossils dating back 455 million years have been discovered on the beach of a fractured oil shale plate.
William Darley Pollard opened the Craigleith Shale Oil Works factory to the east of the park in 1859 and extracted bituminous oil shale from 1859 until 1863. Due to inefficiency, the process failed, and the factory closed in 1863. At the site, there are historical plaques for the Craigleith Shale Oil Works.
Visitors are reminded in park brochures not to take any shale as souvenirs because doing so is unlawful.
After the skipper mistook a tavern light for Collingwood harbour light in 1872, the steamboat Mary Ward, which was bringing coal oil, salt, and passengers from Sarnia to Collingwood, ran aground off the park’s shoreline. Eight people died, and the ship’s wreckage has been recovered near the site of the sinking.
Craigleith Provincial Park Activities
Ride your bike on the park roads or the Georgian Trail, which is immediately outside the park. From Meaford to Collingwood, there is a beautiful flat stone chip track.
The park store has the most up-to-date trail information for downhill and cross-country skiers, as well as road riders.
A wide range of songbirds, raptors, and ducks can be found in Craigleith. Chickadees, juncos, nuthatches, cardinals, Blue Jays, robins, finches, and hummingbirds are frequently seen by visitors.
During the months of July and August, join Park Staff for a Discovery Drop-in. Use the equipment and resources supplied to explore the park, examine plants and animals, and discover the wonders of nature. Bring your Discovery Activity Book (or pick one up at the Drop-in). Make sure to tell Park Staff about your findings, sign the Discovery Ranger Pledge, and get your very own Discovery Ranger Button! Keep an eye out for the weekly calendar of events placed throughout the park for more information.
Craigleith is known for its offshore fishing in the spring and fall. You might catch a Rainbow Trout, Salmon, or even a Whitefish if you cast your line. The Beaver River, which has its mouth 10 minutes outside of the park in the town of Thornbury, is another wonderful fishing spot nearby.
Craigleith Provincial Park Map
Next Point of Interest
Crock A Doodle Blue Mountain
Click: Blue Mountain