Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: February 2021
Situated near Peterborough in the heart of the Kawarthas, Emily Provincial Park is a relatively small park that offers great recreational opportunities to connect with nature. It is located along the Pigeon River and contains two sandy beaches. The Pigeon River leads to the Trent Severn Waterway, which links Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay, providing great opportunities for swimming, fishing, boating and canoeing.
Emily is technically not open during the winter months and there are no facilities or services available. However, the road leading into the park and parking lot near the Park Office are regularly plowed in the winter. We arrived at the park shortly before 11a.m and were surprised to see a few other cars in the parking lot.
We walked along the main road and followed the signs that led to the campground area. There was an abundance of snow and it looked like they received a fresh layer overnight. The sun was shining and there was no wind. It was the perfect day to go for a winter walk.
We followed the road down to the beach area and walked along the snowy shores. The river was frozen and there were footprints and snowmobile tracks that led to the other side of the river.
There is a single trail in the park, the Marsh Trail. The trailhead is located near the boat launch. There were no signs to indicate where the path officially started, but we followed along what we thought was the trail and eventually came across a few blue markers with the hiker symbol. The path loops through the forest near the edge of the Pigeon River. Apparently the park installed five new interpretive signs along the trail that tell the story of the forest in the park, but I guess they were removed during the winter as we couldn’t find them.
The trail loops back with the road. We followed this through the outer edge of the Lookout Campground to Hill Campground and back to the parking lot by the Park Office.
We wrapped up our walk through the park just before noon and continued the drive up to the cabin. While Emily doesn’t have the most extensive trail system, it was nice to visit during the winter when the park was quiet and we could walk along the roads through the campground to extend our hike.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here