Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: August 2021
Port Burwell is located along the shore of Lake Erie and is reputed to be one of the best locations in southern Ontario to see the spring and fall migration of Monarch butterflies, blue jays, dragonflies, hawks, vultures and eagles. It also features a nice sandy beach where the water is warm and shallow and two hiking trails that weave through the different habitats of the park.
We arrived in Port Burwell in the late afternoon and decided to get down to business right away by hiking the two trails in the park. Both are relatively short, so we figured it wouldn’t take us long.
We first hiked along the Ravine Creek Trail (1km, rated easy), which is located in the campground by the amphitheater. The trail leads through a ravine and forest. It is signed with 12 numbered posts that correspond to a brochure at the trailhead that contains information on the local geology, flora and fauna in the park.
The trail connects with the other trail in the park at marker #12. The Beach Trail (1.5km) traverses a 20 metre bluff and is reputed to provide a nice view of Lake Erie. We didn’t see much of a nice view of the lake, but perhaps it’s more scenic in the spring and winter when there are no leaves on the trees.
The trail ends at the road, which provides access to the beach. We instead turned around and walked back the way we came as we planned to just drive to the beach area afterwards. The trail meets back up with the Ravine Trail, which we followed to complete the loop.
We then drove to the Park Store. While they didn’t have any park crests, we did pick up some ice cream instead as a consolation prize. This time we shared. We went with the Bordeaux Cherry.
We walked down to the beach and sat on the sand to eat our ice cream. Afterwards I dipped my toes in the water. I would have loved to go swimming here, but we were getting hungry and still needed to drive to Turkey Point Provincial Park and set up our tent.
Before heading out, we checked out the two lighthouses in the area, starting with the Port Burwell Entrance Lighthouse, which is located at the end of the pier at Port Burwell East Beach.
The Port Burwell Lighthouse is also located near the pier at the mouth of Big Otter Creek. It is Canada’s oldest wooden lighthouse on the shore of Lake Erie and one of the oldest surviving lights in Canada. It was built in 1840 and was operational until 1962. It was used to help navigate the commercial shipping of local timber on Lake Erie.
We hopped back in the car and drove to Turkey Point, our final destination for the night.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here