The lakeside communities of Port Elgin, Southampton and Saugeen Township that make up Saugeen Shores invite you to ‘explore the shores’ of Lake Huron.
Choose from a dozen beaches in the area to bask the sun, play in the sand or splash in the water. Beyond the beach, enjoy great hiking, cycling and birdwatching, as well as boating and fishing. Visit local towns for restaurants, cafes, boutiques and art galleries. Learn more about the area’s history at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre and the Pioneer Cemetery in Southampton. In Port Elgin, catch one of the three famous cycling trails and don’t miss the award-winning annual Port Elgin Pumpkinfest.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Saugeen Shores, scroll down or visit their tourism website.
Where is Saugeen Shores?
Set along Lake Huron, at the base of the Bruce Peninsula, Saugeen Shores is approximately 2.5 hours drive from London, Kitchener and Barrie, and just under 3 hours from Toronto.
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Things to Do in Saugeen Shores
Saugeen Shores’ main attraction is its sandy lakefront. You’ll find 12 beaches lining its shores. Some of the favourites include those in the Southampton community, such as the sandy Main Beach and Dune System. Near Port Elgin is the more secluded and quiet Eidt's Grove and Shipley Beach. Others include rockier varieties like Pioneer Park Beach, North Shore Park Beach (dog-friendly) and South Street Beach (a favourite spot to watch the sunset).
All the area’s designated beaches are great for swimming, and many offer opportunities to fish, canoe or kayak. Saugeen Shores’ central communities of Southampton and Port Elgin offer marinas, boat rentals and fish-cleaning stations. Much of the lakefront is calm enough to boat, but you can also explore the Saugeen River Canoe Route.
When you’re ready to explore beyond the shores, you can hike or cycle along some of the town’s famous trails. The paved Southampton Boardwalk is perfect for a light stroll while enjoying views of Lake Huron, Chantry Island and the Imperial Lighthouse. The 30 km Saugeen Rail Trail is another family-friendly route that stretches from Southampton to Port Elgin. It’s an excellent option for walking, running, cycling and even cross-country skiing.
Just south of Port Elgin is MacGregor Point Provincial Park, a popular lakeside nature park featuring a main beach, several trails, campgrounds, a children’s playground and a pet area. It’s a prime spot for birdwatching, as are the shores and marshes of Miramichi Bay. Stroll along the North Shore Trail for the best views. Other outdoor activities include visiting the area’s lighthouses or playing a round of golf.
Other attractions to enjoy including cinemas, children’s play areas, the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, live music venues and seasonal events in the town’s neighbourhoods. In the fall, check out the award-winning Port Elgin Pumpkinfest. In the summer months, there’s a weekly car show and farmers’ markets.
Saugeen Shores Neighbourhoods & Districts
Saugeen Shores has two prominent neighbourhoods: Southampton to the north and Port Elgin along the central lakeside. Both sit near the shore of Lake Huron and offer countless activities. In the southeast corner of the town is the small district of Turners, which is home to a beautiful conservation area.
This is the central hub of Saugeen Shores and where you’ll find the famous Southampton Beach. You can choose between a few campgrounds and other accommodations like hotels and cabin rentals for overnight stays. The neighbourhood sits at the Saugeen River’s mouth, so several parks and the Southampton Range Lighthouse are easily accessible. Learn a bit about the area’s history by visiting the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre and the Pioneer Cemetery.
Along the central shoreline is Port Elgin, a slightly smaller community than Southampton. The beaches are a bit quieter, but the town still buzzes with activity, offering several restaurants, shops and accommodations. The Bruce Trail and the Saugeen Rail Trail intersect in Port Elgin, and you’ll find a few campgrounds and parks to enjoy. The most significant natural attraction is MacGregor Point Provincial Park.
A much smaller and more rural neighbourhood is Turners, which sits near the Saugeen River. Here you’ll find Saugeen Bluffs Conservation Area, a beautiful nature reserve that offers hiking, horseback riding, fishing, boating and camping.
Things to Know About Visiting Saugeen Shores
There is so much to offer in Saugeen Shores, start your visit with some local favourites and follow the inspiration from there.
Favourite local beach
With 12 beaches, opportunities to sunbathe, watch the sunset or simply stroll along the sand are limitless.