Port Burwell Provincial Park

Location: Port Burwell, Ontario
Region: Southwestern
Character: Recreation
Length/Size: 231 hectares

Port Burwell Provincial Park
By Ontario Parks

This park in Canada's "Deep South" is one of the best for witnessing spring migrations of songbirds and fall migrations of raptors, monarch butterflies, blue jays and dragonflies. Steep bluffs shelter stands of oak and maple. Between bluffs and warm water's edge are ribbons of dunes, beach savanna and meadow.

Port Burwell has a total of 232 campsites located in 3 campgrounds. 123 of these sites have electrical hook ups. Situated on Lake Erie close to major urban centers of Southwestern Ontario, this park allows an easily accessible escape to rural tranquillity in the center of Canada's "Deep South". Port Burwell offers the ultimate vacation or day-use experience.

The warmer weather of this area allows exceptional spring and fall camping. The campgrounds are located a shot distance away from the lake in a mature forest and campsites are well-planned, easily accessible, large, private and many are grass covered. Centrally located is a creative playground and a wonderful recreation area which features an amphitheater, children's playground, volleyball/badminton courts, horseshoe pits, ball diamond, Frisbee golf, and a basketball foul shooting court.

Electric Sites - 123 electrical sites

Group Camping
There are two group camping areas, one accommodates 20-80 people, the other, 30-100 people. Water taps and flush toilets are nearby. The sites are located in close proximity to the beach and comfort stations. For reservations, call the park directly at (519) 874-4691.

Ravine Creek Trail 1km (45 minutes) easy
This interpretive trail which features a self-guiding brochure travels through a ravine and woodlot. Eleven stops explain local geology, flora and fauna.

Beach Trail 2km return (1 hour) easy
This trail leads from the campground to the beach. A look out point provides an excellent view of Lake Erie and the beach below. The trail traverses a 20m bluff.

Park staff provide interpretive and recreational programs during peak season (July 1st to Labour Day) centering their activities around the all weather modern amphitheater. The programs include semi-weekly children's crafts, amphitheater programs such as slide shows and nature theme movies, campfires and skits, and conducted hikes.

Fishing - Perch, Catfish, Smelt, Pickerel (Walleye)

Angling is excellent in this part of Lake Erie but a boat is recommended. There are limited fishing opportunities along Big Otter Creek as it enters the lake.

Otter Creek- 25km- 16hr, no portages, Easy. This creek is located just outside the park and has its headwaters north of Tillsonburg. It is a very slow moving meandering stream that is easily accessed along highway 19 (Plank Road) or various concession road crossings. In many areas it carves its way through very scenic gullies.

Wildlife Viewing
Port Burwell is one of the best locations along the Lake Erie shoreline to see spring and fall migration. Perhaps the most thrilling aspect is the fall migration of hawks, vultures, and eagles. You can also witness monarch butterflies, blue jays and dragonflies on their spectacular migration. More than 85 species of migratory birds have been spotted here in the spring and our bird check list includes 232 species. Lake Erie presents a barrier to these seasonal movements so the flow of migrants concentrates at and moves along the shoreline in both the spring and fall. The park is an undiscovered birder's paradise. It is located centrally between the renowned birding areas of Long Point, Rondeau and Point Pelee so the quantity and quality of birding is excellent.

Boat launching and docking facilities are located near the park with access to Lake Erie made through the Big Otter Creek. It immediately opens into an unprotected section of Lake Erie so boaters should be cautious. The often choppy waters of Lake Erie are excellent for experienced wind surfers.
No dedicated cycling trails. The campgrounds are actually located on a plateau and all campground roads are hard surfaced making it an excellent place to utilize bicycles. Roads are busy so caution is always advised.

Winter Activities
Although gated in winter, take the opportunity to cross-country ski or hike in this quiet rural area of Southwestern Ontario.

Playground, baseball diamond, basketball foul-shooting court, horseshoe pits, badminton frisbee golf and volleyball courts. The park is surrounded by a unique agricultural area specializing in fruit (black cherries, peaches, apples, strawberries, raspberries etc.) tobacco, vegetables, corn, soybean, ginseng and viticulture (the science of growing grapes). Remnants of old tobacco plantations, orchards and grand architecture offer memories of previous prosperity. The area still features a very active commercial fishery. Nearby attractions include the Villages of Port Stanley, Sparta, theme museums in Vienna, Port Burwell, Aylmer, Tillsonburg and St. Thomas and John E. Pearce Provincial Park. Seasonal attractions such as Spring Orchards in blossom or fall colour are excellent.

For more information:
Port Burwell Provincial Park
Box 9, 9 Wilson Lane
Port Burwell, Ontario
N0J 1T0