Archive for June, 2007

Silver Birches, Ipperwash (June 30, 2007)

June 30, 2007

Silver Birches Family Campground is a privately owned campground near Ipperwash Ontario. It is beautifully set in a Carolinian forest that extends up towards Ipperwash Beach. We could tell on arrival that there was something different about this campground, which I think can best be described as a comfortable “homey” feeling. The air under the forest canopy was gentle and warm, which was particularly nice at night. And the other campers were very nice and friendly.

We booked over the phone without having seen the sites, and there were a couple of surprises once we showed up. Our site was located at a four-way intersection in the middle of the campground, which at first was a concern, but did not turn out to be as noisy or busy as we first expected. Parking the trailer was a bigger issue, as I had to back the Airstream in between two trees that left about a foot clearance on either side. A lot of real slow maneuvering, and setting cues to help with distance estimation, and I managed to get it properly situated. A couple of minutes to get the power, water and sewer hooked up and we were in business.

One issue with camping in forests, as we learned earlier this year, is that it is not uncommon for the campfire smoke from all the fires to collect closer to ground level, which can make for a very smoky environment later in the evening. Fortunately for us, there were some strong winds over the weekend that blew a lot of the smoke away.

We took a short drive on the first day and went to the cottages that the rest of the family were renting for the weekend, right on Ipperwash beach. Andrea and Richard rented a one bedroom cottage

The kids immediately jumped out of the truck and ran for the beach with their cousins. It was partly cloudy, with strong winds and low 30s C temperature, perfect for the beach. We all set up some umbrellas and chairs and played with the kids in the surf.

The kids had a great time building sand castles on the perfect sand of Ipperwash beach. The water was a little cold for me, but the kids thought it was the best beach ever. Amy went out with the boys and they all frolicked in the surf for a while. It was perfect weather too, partly cloudy with moderate winds and waves.

Erin, Scott, Jacob and Melissa drove up from London and joined us on the beach for dinner and a rather large fire. The wind was quite strong, and the kids busied themselves with the sand castles as the adults watched the sunset.

The next day we took a drive up to Grand Bend and had lunch along with a tour of the beach. It was very busy, but we managed to find parking in the lot near Ken and Helen’s cottage. We had lunch at Coco’s, and walked the strip and the beach. It got quite windy, so we returned back to our site.

After we returned, we were joined by Ken and Francine, who also had a nice visit with Fred and Dale at the cottage. We then went over to our campsite, where we hosted a steak BBQ for everyone, and played charades. The kids call the game “Guess What I Am”, which I suppose is the whole point.

The kids had a chance to play at the campground play area, which is quite large and in good shape. Pipi Ken gave Patrick a ride on the swings.

This was one of our favourite trips this year, and also one of the nicest campgrounds we stayed at.

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