Situated on the northern shore of Lake Erie and close to the 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, with a gorgeous sandy beach and the shallow, warm waters of Lake Erie providing excellent swimming opportunities.
The warmer weather of this area allows for exceptional spring and fall camping. The park’s three campgrounds are located a short 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 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.
There are two group camping areas; one accommodates 20-80 people, the other 30-100 people. Water taps and flush toilets are located nearby. The sites are located in close proximity to the beach and comfort stations. For reservations, call the park directly at (519) 874-4691.
There isn’t a better place to picnic or swim on a warm summer day than the beach at Port Burwell Provincial Park. The Natural Heritage Education programs are a fun way to learn about your natural environment. 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. Spring, summer or fall you can explore the trails that showcase the distinctive range of habitats, from the steep bluffs that shelter stands of oak and maple, to the ribbons of dunes, beach, savanna and meadow.
Ravine Creek Trail 1 km, 45 minutes, easy
This interpretive trail, which features a self-guided brochure, travels through a ravine and woodlot. Eleven stops along the way explain local geology, flora and fauna.
Beach Trail 2 km return, 1 hour, easy
The trail leads from the campground to the beach. A lookout point provides an excellent view of Lake Erie and the beach below. The trail traverses a 20 m bluff.
Otter Creek 25 km, 16 hours, no portages, easy
Otter 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.
The beach is one of the high points for most park visitors. The water is shallow, sandy and due to our southerly latitude, very warm.
Washroom and change facilities are available.
Please note: there are no lifeguards posted at the beach.
Boat launching and docking facilities are located near the park with access to Lake Erie available 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.
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. Perch, catfish, smelt and pickerel (walleye) are just a few species found in the lake.
No dedicated cycling trails. The campgrounds are located on a plateau and all campground roads are hard surfaced making it an excellent place to ride bicycles. Roads are busy, so caution is always advised and helmets should be worn.
Park staff provide interpretive and recreational programs during the summer season (July 1st to Labour Day), with activities taking place around the all-weather modern amphitheatre. Programs include semi-weekly children’s crafts, slide shows, nature theme movies, campfires, skits, and conducted hikes.
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.
Although gated in the winter you can walk in and take the opportunity to cross-country ski or hike in this quiet rural area of Southwestern Ontario.
Port Burwell Provincial Park offers modern camping facilities in three campgrounds with the luxuries of three newly upgraded comfort stations equipped with flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities.
A highlight for any visitor to Port Burwell Provincial Park includes a trip to the beautiful beach, where the warm waters of Lake Erie can be enjoyed along a 2.5 km stretch of golden sand. The beach is family friendly, very clean and well maintained. This park is an excellent place for family reunions or group picnics.
Comfort stations are located in all three campgrounds.
Each of the three park campgrounds has a comfort station with flush toilets.
A barrier-free laundromat, showers and flush toilets are provided. An ATV wheelchair is available for loan. It is not motorized, but works in most dry beach conditions.
Large picnic grounds in the day-use area offer many amenities including a picnic shelter, flush toilets, barbecues, shaded areas and easy access to the beach. The upgraded facilities are well maintained and this park is an excellent place for family reunions or group picnics, offering an amazing beach and the warm, shallow water of Lake Erie to swim in.
Laundry facilities are located at Alzora and Iroquois Campground Comfort Stations.
Trailer storage is available for rent. For more information call the park at (519) 874-4691.
An ATV wheelchair is available for loan. It is non-motorized, but works in most dry beach conditions.
Extension cords are available to rent at the Campground Office.
For a $25 refundable deposit, visitors can borrow a properly fitted Personal Floatation Device (PFD). Staff can provide additional information and can outfit visitors with a PFD at the Day-Use Gate.
A park store is located at both day-use and campground entrances. Basic camping supplies and souvenirs are available.
A picnic shelter may be reserved and is located in the day-use area in close proximity to the beach and water. A great facility in which to enjoy the day with a large group of family and friends.
Park staff provides interpretive and recreational programs during the summer season (July 1st to Labour Day)
The dog beach is located east of the Day-use parking lot #1. Please note: Dogs must remain on leash at all times.
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