5 Reasons to Visit the Beach at Rouge National Urban Park

Rouge National Urban Park is a great spot to enjoy both scenic beach views, and wildlife-packed marshlands. The beach/marshland lies at the border of Scarborough and Pickering, where Lake Ontario feeds into the Rouge River. Rouge Beach is part of Rouge National Urban Park – the first of Canada’s national urban parks.

Here’s why you should make the time to visit Rouge Beach!

1. Proximity and accessibility

Rouge Beach is not somewhere you need to drive an hour out of town to see, and requires no hiking or trekking to access. You can spend a short amount of time here and just enjoy your morning coffee, or you can easily spend an entire day enjoying what Rouge Beach has to offer.

Free parking is available at the corner of Lawrence Avenue East and Rouge Hills Drive. You could also access free parking from the Pickering side on Bella Vista drive, and use the Waterfront trail to cross the pedestrian bridge.

Or if you prefer public transit, Rouge Beach is located just adjacent to Rouge Hill GO Station. Either exit at the train station and walk about 20 minutes down east on Lawrence, or you can take the 54A bus to the Starspray bus loop at the end of Lawrence Avenue East.

2. The sandy beach

Views of Rouge Beach from the Pickering side.

Rouge Beach features a decently large sandy beach for public access. There is a building onsite that serves as a washroom and change room during the warmer seasons. The beach itself is mostly sandy, with a few small pebbles near the shoreline. Take a quick look online before visiting to assess conditions current water quality before planning on swimming.

Sandy beach views of where Lake Ontario meets the Rouge River on its way to the Oak Ridges Moraine.

3. Canoeing and kayaking

Rouge Beach has many water access points to be able to canoe or kayak. You could use the beach front for an access way, or there are some access points at the north marshland side. A popular route is to explore the Rouge River, viewing wetlands and wildlife.

There is plenty of marshland wildlife to come across when you are journeying the Rouge River including beavers, turtles, egrets, herons, and much more!

4. Birding opportunities

Photo taken on my smartphone of a Canadian Goose hanging out in the parking lot in May 2019. When Southern Ontario experiences higher water levels, Rouge Hill is prone to flooding.

If you’re into birding, Rouge Beach is a great option. You can often spot species of blackbirds, swallows, sparrows, chickadees, vultures, hawks, geese, and ducks, just to name a few.

5. Fishing

Popular fishing spot underneath the pedestrian bridge, where Lake Ontario feeds into the Rouge River.

Rouge Beach is also a great option for fishing. You can enjoy fishing at Rouge Beach as long as you have a valid Ontario fishing license. A popular casting spot is underneath the pedestrian bridge, a narrower water channel where the Lake Ontario feeds into the Rouge River and marshland area.

Popular fishing spot underneath the pedestrian bridge.

The Rouge Marsh area offers a spawning place for many fish including rainbow trout, suckers, and carp that can be spotted in the spring. Other species that frequent the area include both smallmouth and largemouth bass, chinook salmon, rainbow trout, northern pike, and carp.

Let us know in the comments if you have visited Rouge Beach, and what your experience was like!

Happy trekking!

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1 comment

  1. Omg the goose in the parking lot!! Nature taking over 😛

    I remember driving by this beach all the time on the GO train. Need to actually go sometime and check it out. My favourite part on the GO line to pass. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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