Southwestern Ontario, surrounded by two of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie, is a region of Canada known for its early European settlements and its history in the fur trade industry. Aside from its historical roots, this area of Ontario is also known for its agriculture, dairy and farming, and its growing wine production. The fertile land, surrounded by not only the Great Lakes, but also numerous smaller lakes and rivers, is green, fertile, and beautiful.
Port Burwell, located along the shores of Lake Erie, is a small community that supports some of the best beaches in the region. Port Burwell Provincial Park is home to one of the most popular beaches. The beach at Port Burwell is large, clean, and has plenty of soft sand for people to enjoy. The beach is one of a handful of beaches in Canada that is Blue Flag certified. Having the distinction of a Blue Flag means the water is some of the cleanest in the region. Blue Flag beaches meet water quality, water safety, and environmental criteria that exceed the standard quality of beach and water quality.
RVers and campers that stay at Port Burwell Provincial Park have the opportunity to sleep in thickly-wooded campsites with campgrounds offering the most sought-after amenities. Additionally, staying close to the lake means that the sounds of the shore and the recreational opportunities are unprecedented. Whether you stay for a day or a week, your trip to Port Burwell Provincial Park will be fun, scenic, and relaxing.
Port Burwell Provincial Park is located 1.8 miles (2.9 km) outside of Port Burwell, Ontario. From Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the park is located 126 miles (203 km) northeast.
Port Burwell is also located close to a few major cities in the United States. From Buffalo, New York, the drive is 115 miles (185km) southwest and from Detroit, Michigan, it is 141 miles (226 km) northeast. If you are traveling to Canada from the United States, please be aware that all passengers in your RV will need a passport to cross international borders. Also, understand the regulations on bringing a pet into Canada if you plan on bringing your dog with you.
There are two entrances, one for the day use area and one for the campgrounds. The campground gatehouse entrance is before the access point to the day use area.
Guests visiting the park must pay a daily vehicle permit fee as well as an overnight camping fee for more than one vehicle. Prices vary depending on the residency and ages of the guests. Fees are payable upon entry.
The Iroquois Campground, located at the north end of the camping area, is a pet-friendly facility offering a mixture of unserviced and 15/30 amp electrical serviced sites. Campers may choose sites offering full sun or partial shade, and many of the spaces are large enough to accommodate RVs and trailers over 32 feet in length. Every space in this campground has a picnic table and a fire ring. The Iroquois Campground has a small hiking path that leads to the Leander Campground, making it easy for campers to move throughout the park on foot. Campers staying in the Iroquois Campground have access to water faucets, trash and recycle bins, a comfort station with showers, and a laundry facility. Generators are permitted as long as you adhere to the park’s rule of keeping excessive noise to a minimum.
The Leander Campground is located between the Alzora and the Iroquois campgrounds. Most of the sites in this campground provide partial to full shade with a handful of spaces allowing more sun. The wooded campsites, built on natural surfaces, are large, with many spaces accommodating RVs and trailers over 32 feet in length. Depending on what type of amenities you need, there are sites with no electricity and sites with 15/30 amp electrical hookups. All of the spaces are pet-friendly and have a fire ring and a picnic table. The Leander Campground has water faucets, vault toilets, comfort stations, showers, a laundry facility, trash and recycle bins, and it is located close to a playground and ball field. Generators are permitted as long as you adhere to the park’s rule of keeping excessive noise to a minimum.
The Alzora Campground is the southernmost campground at Port Burwell that isn’t classified as a group campground. The sites in Alzora have a mix of full sun and shaded spaces surrounded by a wooded landscape. Each space has a fire ring and a picnic table, and many of the sites offer 15/30 amp electrical hookups. The sites are built on natural surfaces with spaces accommodating both small and large rigs, with some sites are large enough to fit RVs over 32 feet in length. The campground is pet-friendly, and it has comfort stations, showers, a laundry facility, recycling and trash bins, water faucets, a dump and fill station, and it is close to the gatehouse. Generators are permitted as long as you adhere to the park’s rule of keeping excessive noise to a minimum.
When you visit Port Burwell, don’t forget to bring your hiking gear with you because you will want to get outside and see the park on foot. Two easy trails generally take hikers under an hour to complete. The Beach Trail runs along the beach and has a bit of an incline leading up to the overlook. The overlook platform gives hikers a panoramic view of Lake Erie. The Ravine Creek Trail is an interpretive trail where hikers use a self-guided brochure to learn about the geology of the area while hiking. If you like being outside during your stays at provincial parks, why not give both hikes a try?
Lake Erie and its surrounding wetland landscape create the ideal living conditions for birds. The area is an active bird site, especially during the shoulder seasons, because Port Burwell is in the migration path for vultures, eagles, and hawks. The park publishes a bird checklist that includes 232 species of birds that either migrate or live inside the park so that birdwatchers can search for the commonly spotted birds within the park’s boundaries. When you pick up a birding checklist, ask a member of the park staff about the birds recently spotted as well as where the best bird viewing spot is within the park.
During the winter, people tend to hunker down and stay inside where it is warm. Instead of holing up, why not bundle up? Port Burwell doesn’t shut down entirely during the offseason; it just slows down. The buildings and the gates close for the winter, but outdoor fanatics who like to cross country ski, snowshoe, or go for winter hikes are permitted to park outside of the gates and walk into the park. If you decide to visit during the winter, don’t forget to bring everything you need to have an adventure!
The facilities and activities at Port Burwell help to make guests feel comfortable during their stay. The day use area has a picnic shelter with barbecues and proximity to restrooms. If you’ve forgotten something, don’t worry, the two park stores might have what you need, and if your picnic isn’t complete without a swim, head to the beach and take a dip in Lake Erie. The park is beautiful, and there isn’t a better way to spend the day than being outside unless your best day gets even better with your dog. Make your dog’s day by bringing your pooch to the dog beach, and spend time lakeside with your furry best friend.
For some people, paddling is both exercise and relaxing. If you have a canoe or a kayak, bring your boat and explore the waterways of Lake Erie differently than you can by walking around the park. There isn’t a designated boat launch at the park, but there is one close by. Port Burwell rent personal flotation devices for a small fee if you decide to head into the water. If you don’t have a boat, there are boat rental shops located in the town of Port Burwell.
During the peak months of the summer, Port Burwell puts together programs meant to educate and entertain the entire family. When you visit Port Burwell, the kids will want to have fun, and the drop-in Discovery Programs are the perfect way to give the kids what they want. The programs educate the participants about nature and animals, and the hands-on activities help make learning a little more fun. After the activities are over, there are opportunities for kids to take the Discovery Ranger Pledge and earn a Discovery Ranger badge. The events are posted throughout the park, so make sure you read about what events are happening during your stay.