Emily Provincial Park

Length of stay1 day
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

30 thoughts on “Emily Provincial Park

  1. kagould17 says:

    That is such a beautiful walk after the fresh snow. I love those mushroom drifts on the picnic tables and the play of light and shadow on the treed paths. How could you not get out and walk in winter. So much beauty. Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great weekend. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I must have taken at least 30 pictures of snow covered picnic tables. It’s neat to get a sense of how much snow has actually accumulated. It was such a beautiful day to go for a walk. The sun was shining, it wasn’t windy, and there was lots of fresh snow outside. Hope you had a wonderful weekend as well. Take care.

  2. Lookoom says:

    So much snow! At that moment I had just landed in Paris where the trees were already in bloom, a whole world of difference. Honestly I don’t regret having missed this snowfall, but I’m happy for you that you’re having fun.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. This is a relatively small park, so it was nice to visit during the winter as even walking along the road leading into the campgrounds was scenic. It was such a beautiful day to spend time outdoors.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      That it was. I think I got a bit sunburnt after spending the whole day outside. I tend to forget about wearing sunscreen during the winter months since it’s so cold outside, but a good reminder to just leave some in the car just in case.

  3. Ab says:

    That looks like such a nice snowy walk in the woods!

    Have you tried the Kawartha Lakes brand ice cream? They are fantastic! Makes me think of summer. 😊

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It really was. We didn’t get too many sunny weekends this winter. I haven’t tried the Kawartha Lakes brand ice cream yet. I’ll have to give in whirl next time I’m in the Kawarthas. I actually just booked a site in Kawartha Highlands for the end of April (to avoid the crowds and bugs). It might be a bit too cold for paddling and camping, but certainly not for ice cream. Mmm.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Fresh snow is the best. Especially when the sun is shining the next day and makes it all sparkle and shine. We’ve had mild weather the past couple of weeks and all our snow has now melted.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. The trails may be a bit more challenging with all the snow, but the parks are usually quieter and there are no bugs. We went for a hike at Short Hills PP on Saturday and the trails were so muddy. I much prefer the snow over the mud any day. Now that it’s getting warmer, the trails are also getting busier. Sigh.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It really was a fabulous day to go for a winter hike. There was a fresh layer of snow and the sun was shining, which made the snow sparkle. We’ve had mild weather the past couple of weeks and now all our snow has melted. Glad we took advantage of it while it lasted. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Ha, that’s because I didn’t include any pictures of the town! It is nice how there are a few provincial parks and green spaces close to Peterborough (Ontario), which gives people plenty of good hiking options. Thanks for reading. Take care.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s always great being able to return to a place in a different season for a totally different experience. A trail can look so different when the trees are budding, fully leafed-out, changing colour, falling off or covered in snow. We plan on visiting even more parks during the summer when the weather is nicer. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. The snow has such a way of transforming the landscape into a magical winter wonderland, especially when the sun is shining. I’ve come to appreciate the snow a lot more now that I don’t have to commute to work in it! We’ve had mild weather the past couple of weeks and now all our snow is gone.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks, it’s good to have something to keep us busy these days since we’re still under lockdown. The winter is usually dark and dreary and the days are overcast, so it’s nice to take advantage of those blue skies and sunshine. The sun makes the snow look even more magical and sparkly.

Leave a Reply