The Long Point Peninsula, a 32km-long (19.8mi) sand spit jutting into Lake Erie, is one of Canada’s most fragile ecosystems. The protected core includes the 3,250ha (8,000-acre) Long Point Wildlife Area and a private sanctuary that’s been owned by the Long Point Company since 1866. The zone of cooperation includes the Big Creek and Dedrich Creek flood plains, Backus Woods and the St. Williams Crown Forest.
Monarch butterflies congregate along the spit during their migration in September. The area is also a prime location for 273 species of migratory birds, including buffleheads, canvasbacks, kinglets, mallards, mergansers, pintails, redheads, scaup, sparrows, teals, thrushes, warblers and wigeons; 131 of these, including bald eagles, Forster’s tern and piping plovers, have been known to nest on the sand spit. The Long Point Bird Observatory, North America’s oldest private bird observatory, is located near the entrance to the provincial park. Hikers who are interested in plants should look for bottle gentians, fringed gentians, grass-of- Parnassus, ladies-tresses orchids and sneezeweed. Carolinian species such as tulip trees and sassafras also grow here.
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