Port Elgin is a small town that rests on the shores of Lake Huron in Bruce County, Ontario. Port Elgin is located less than 10 minutes from Southampton and these two towns are referred to as Saugeen Shores. Given its prime location on Lake Huron, this lakeside town becomes a haven for beach goers and outdoor enthusiasts. In the summertime, Port Elgin turns into a bustling tourist town between day trippers and cottagers. Although this town is small, you’ll find beautiful beaches, lovely trails and stunning views of Lake Huron. The charming town of Port Elgin offers locals and visitors plenty of great things to do outdoors.
Meander Down the North Shore Trail
The North Shore Trail is a beautiful 6 km trail that winds around Lake Huron, connecting Port Elgin and Southampton. This trail offers a two lane paved surface, that is great for walking and biking. Being only mere feet away from Lake Huron, this trail is very scenic providing great views the entire way. The trail is equipped with benches strategically placed at viewing points. North Shore is lovely during the day, but is also a spectacular place to watch the sunset.
Take a Drive along Shore Road
Shore Road is a scenic drive that runs the same course as the North Shore Trail. As the road follows the curves of Lake Huron, its makes for a picturesque drive. As you’re driving you can watch and listen as the waves lap against the rocks. Even if you’ve already walked or biked the shore trail, a drive along this road is still lovely.
Spend a day at the beach
With a prime location on the shores of Lake Huron, Port Elgin offers beautiful sandy beaches great for swimming. While there are 6 beaches in town, the Port Elgin Main Beach is the most popular with beach goers. The Main Beach is gathering spot during the summer with beach volleyball nets, a band shell, weekday markets, the harbour next door and of course the lovely sandy beach. You’ll also find a restaurant and restroom facilities at this beach.
Along with Port Elgin Main Beach, you will also find Gobles Grove, Eidts Grove Beach, Shipley Beach, Miramichi Bay and North Shore Park Beach.
Stroll Along the Saugeen Rail Trail
Historically, the old railway ran between Port Elgin and Southampton but has since been shut down. Nowadays, the old train line has been transformed into a footpath with hard packed stone that connects the two towns. The trail is popular for biking and walking during the warmer months and gets used for snowshoeing and cross country skiing during the winter. As the Rail Trail is fairly long, 25-30km, you can find many access points to the trail.
Wander Around the Port Elgin Harbour
The Port Elgin Harbour is located directly beside The Main Beach and is a hub in the summertime. Many boats come and go from this harbour and call it home during the warmer months. The boats in the harbour make a beautiful backdrop against Lake Huron, both during the day and at dusk. The harbour has a great path that winds around the water and making it a great place for a walk. In the evenings, you can find people enjoy ice cream cones, watching the sunset and fishing off the rocks.
Venture to Macgregor Point Provincial Park
Macgregor Point Provincial Park is located on the outskirts of Port Elgin and gives you more great views of Lake Huron. This park is equipped with many lovely hiking and biking trails. Many of the trails lead you through the wooded forest and toward Lake Huron. With many birds calling Macgregor Point home, its makes for a great place to do some bird watching. The park also offers a limited number of camping sites.
Watch the Sunset
Port Elgin is a fantastic place to watch the sunset. The sun sets directly over Lake Huron creating a dramatic scene against the water. You can basically watch the sunset anywhere close to the water. Some of the best places to catch the sun slip away are Port Elgin Main Beach, The Harbour, North Shore Park and Shore Road. The sun loves to put on a show with Lake Huron, so be sure to watch.
Visit Downtown Port ELgin
Downtown Port Elgin is lined with locally owed store fronts and restaurants/bars. Whether you’re looking to do some shopping, enjoy a meal or have a night out, Downtown Port Elgin is a great place to do all of the above.
North Shore Park
The North Shore Park sits between the harbour and Shore Road. This park is surrounded by lush trees, with glimpses of Lake Huron peeking about. This park is great for families as it has a playground and splash pad. There is also a beautiful trail that runs parallel to the lake with spots to stop for a picnic.
Ride the Saugeen Shores Trolley
The Saugeen Shores Trolley, or SS Trolley is a tourist trolley that runs between Port Elgin and Southampton during the summer months. The trolley travels along the scenic shore between both towns stopping at points of interest. For just a couple dollars, you can take a ride on the SS Trolley and see the beauty of both towns and Lake Huron.
Day Trips From Port Elgin
Given its central location, Port Elgin makes a great base for day trips in Bruce County. In the area you will find great places for hiking, lighthouses, waterfalls and more beaches. As you head up the Bruce Peninsula, you will be met by towering cliffs and turquoise waters. While you’re in Port Elgin, make sure to have a look at some other great places nearby. Click the links below to learn more about each day trip from Port Elgin.
- Southampton – 10 minute drive
- Chantry Island – 10 minute drive + boat ride
- Sauble Beach – 20 minute drive
- Kincardine – 30 minute drive
- Wiarton – 40 minute drive
- Owen Sound Waterfalls – 45 minute drive
- City of Owen Sound – 45 minute drive
- Meaford – 1 hour drive
- Thornbury – 1 hour 10 minute drive
- Lion’s Head – 1 hour drive
- Goderich – 1 hour drive
- Bayfield – 1 hour 20 minute drive
- Collingwood – 1 hour 30 minute drive
- Flowerpot Island– 1 hour 30 minute drive + ferry
- Tobermory – 1 hour 30 minute hour drive
- Grand Bend – 1 hour 35 minute drive
*All driving times are approximate
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4 thoughts on “10+ Things to do in Port Elgin, Ontario”
Another great post with lovely photos!
Thanks Marren! Would love for you to come visit!!
I head up every summer for beach time at the cottage! There are lots of great beaches in Southampton too. I worked at the Offshore Bakery when I was a teen. Love it up there.
There are so many great places to explore in the area!! The bakery is definitely a highlight as well!! Hope you enjoy your visit this summer!