Port Franks Lake Huron's hidden treasure
The hidden village of Port Franks seems to be worlds away from the bustle of everyday life and yet it is so accessible to visitors. Port Franks has abundant accommodations, shops, marina facilities, restaurants and some of the most beautiful, wooded campgrounds in Lambton County. These resorts are perfect for families since they maintain quiet surroundings, recreation facilities and organized activities for children. Tennis courts, a skateboard park and washrooms are located at the community centre at 9996 Port Franks Rd.
The Ausable River Cut flows into Lake Huron at Port Franks, creating a sheltered harbour for boats that can navigate upstream for a considerable distance. Wind and water have deposited sandbars such that the river has re-channeled its mouth several times over the years, forming an intriguing series of sloughs. The wide expanse of sugary sand along the shore is a beautiful area for sun tanning and beachcombing.
The undulating, forested dunes are the highest on Lake Huron, and they are beautiful places to explore. Children enjoy playing on the steep sand slopes such as the dune located directly behind MacPherson’s Restaurant on Port Franks Rd. There is fishing for perch, bass and pike in the ponds along Outer Drive.
Several nature reserves protect exquisite oak forests and savannah meadows with habitat for rare species that only live in the microclimate along the lake. On hot summer days the scent of juniper and pine among the dunes is intoxicating and the buzzing of cicadas creates a magical atmosphere. The Karner Blue Sanctuary has several walking trails at 9904 Nipigon St. Thedford Conservation Area has nature trails located along the Ausable River Cut on Hwy 21. A series of interconnected trails can be accessed from the community centre: The Tulip Trail, High Ridge Trail and Savannah Trail intersect between the community centre and Outer Drive. The Ridge Trail links Outer Drive to its other access at 9901 Port Franks Rd. The Forested Dunes Nature Reserve is located at Huron St. off Riverside Drive.