An 800-hectare area of dunes has been set aside as a natural environment and nature reserve zone under Ontario Parks - and for good reason! The ancient dunes in Wasaga Beach Provincial Park are extremely fragile. The vegetation cover in these areas is very thin and even the slightest disturbance will expose the sand dunes to erosion. The trampling of many feet and the use of all-terrain vehicles can cause blowouts (disturbed areas where plants are not able to grow back). For this reason, motorized vehicles, fires, and hunting are not allowed in the dunes area.
Approximately 700 different types of plants can be found in the park and four of these are classified as rare in Canada. Many plants are especially adapted to life in the desert-like conditions of the dunes. A walk in this area of the park may reward you with an opportunity to see moccasin flower orchids or the British soldier lichen. Poison ivy is also abundant throughout the park and care should be taken while exploring the park.
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