Backus Grist Mill front of building and flume

Backus… where history meets nature! This picturesque conservation area has a lot to offer history buffs, outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who simply wants to enjoy a day trip; all just minutes north of the lakeside communities of Port Rowan and Long Point.

Fishing, hiking, picnicking and a variety of special events are favourite activities of both campers and day visitors. The mill pond is stocked with rainbow trout, providing a great spot to teach youngsters how to fish. Children ages 16 years and under can take part in the annual Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Derby on Saturday, July 7, 2018.  Registration starts at 8am beside the Mill Pond.  

The park offers 160 campsites spread over five campground areas. Sites range from tenting sites to 98 sites with electrical service and two rustic camping cabins.

The Conservation Education Centre at Backus is an interpretive centre where visitors can learn about the plants, birds and animals common to the Long Point Region watershed. Browse exhibits that highlight the region's rich natural history and water fowling traditions or take part in one of the many guided nature hikes and programs scheduled throughout the year.

Journey through time and see how life may have been lived in 19th Century rural Ontario when you visit one of 15 historic buildings in Backus Heritage Village. Highlights include an octagonal school house, the Backus family Homestead, a local history museum and the 1798 Backhouse Grist Mill National Historic Site. The old red mill is one of the few mills in Norfolk County not destroyed during the War of 1812 and today stands as an example of early milling technology. Step through the doors and learn how stone ground flour was produced more than 200 years ago.    

Be a witness to history! Join Backus Heritage Conservation Area for special events that celebrate the history of Long Point Settlement. Costumed interpreters help bring history to life during summer months and special event days with guided tours and demonstrations. The War of 1812 Re-enactment, in September, is an annual tradition at Backus, featuring a period encampment, military drills, firepower demonstrations and entertainment.

Visitor Information

Park is open May 1 – October 15

Conservation Education Centre & Heritage Village open Saturday, May 19, 2018 to Labour Day Monday, September 3, 2018 11:00 am to 4:30 pm. Other times by reservation.

Address: 1267 Second Concession Rd, Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0

Phone: 519-586-2201 or 1-877-990-9932

Reserve a campsite online

Conservation Area Map

Things to Do

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Fishing Camping    Picnics Hiking Swimming
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  • Parking
  • Picnic Tables
  • Seasonal Campsites
  • Camping Cabins
  • Group Camping
  • Picnic Pavilions
  • Swimming Pool
  • Washrooms/Showers (accessible)
  • Special Events
  • Historic Buildings
  • Nature Centre
  • Church & Barn Rental
  • Firewood, Ice & Bait
  • Meeting & Wedding Venues
  • Education Programs
  • TackleShare Loaner Site