Port Burwell Provincial Park is a favorite spot for families, dog lovers and beach lovers.
With 2.5 km of sandy beach, a dog-friendly beach and exercise area, and numerous recreational facilities, this park has become a popular weekend destination.
Unfortunately, the growing popularity of Port Burwell has meant that our park can get very busy and often reaches capacity on hot summer days.
Parking lots closest to the beach fill up quickly and late arrivals may have to walk further to reach their preferred location.
As our park fills up during the summer, our roads can be busy during the day. Be sure to drive carefully and follow the posted speed limit of 20 km/h on all roads in the park.
If you’re planning a day trip to Port Burwell, here’s what you need to know to plan a frustration-free visit:
1. Where is the park located?
Port Burwell has two entrances. The address of our camp and camp office is 15 Libbye Avenue. The address of our day use entrance is 1C Chatham Street.
2. When is the best/worst time to visit?
Our park is busiest on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Once our parking lots reach capacity, our doors are closed for safety reasons.
This usually happens mid-morning. If you must visit us on a weekend, Plan to arrive early.
After significant rainfall, our parking lots can flood. We are working to resolve the issue, but parking near the beach may be limited.
If you are bringing small children or are unable to walk longer distances, we strongly recommend that you check our social media channels for updated information before your visit. You may want to visit a different beach, such as Port Bruce Provincial Park to the west or Port Burwell Municipal Beach to the east.
3. How do I reserve my daily vehicle permit?
Port Burwell has a limited amount of space for visitors during the busy summer season.
To help ensure day-use access, our visitors will now be able to plan their trip in advance and obtain a daily vehicle permit in advance.
Advance daily vehicle permits are available at 7:00 am, five days prior to arrival date.
Reservations can be made:
- by phone: 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)
For more information, including how seasonal permit holders can take advantage of this opportunity, visit our website.
4. Where can I park?
All vehicles must be parked in designated parking spaces.
Parking on roadsides or in meadows and picnic areas is not permitted and could result in your vehicle being ticketed or towed.
5. How much does the visit cost?
Day use fees are $18.00 per vehicle.
You can also use your seasonal permit. Please note that purchasing an annual or seasonal permit does not give you priority access to the provincial park beach areas. If we reach capacity and close our doors, you will not be able to enter.
6. What are the park hours?
From May 12 to September 4, day use is open from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm daily, from September 5 to October 9, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily .
The park office is available during regular business hours when campgrounds are operational.
For operating dates, check our park website.
7. Is the park accessible?
Day use facilities are accessible and there are also partial boardwalks available at P1, P2, P3, P4 and P5 for visitors looking to access the beach.
A beach wheelchair is available for loan (with deposit) at the door for day use.
Park staff are in the process of making access point P1 accessible. Check out our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter) for updates!
8. The beach is full! Is there anything else to do in the park?
If the beach areas are full when you arrive, there are plenty of other activities to fill your day!
The park features a large recreational picnic field, soccer games, volleyball and badminton nets, horseshoe pits, a basketball foul court, and a large playground.
There are also many opportunities to observe wildlife. There is a 3km walking route and Port Burwell is a birdwatcher’s paradise with over 232 documented bird species.
9. Can I take my dog to the beach?
Absolutely! Dogs are allowed within our designated dog beach and on the off-leash dog beach, which is located east of P1.
All pet owners must enter through this designated access point, as dogs are not permitted on the beach anywhere outside of this designated area (service dogs are exempt).
Dogs are allowed on all grassy picnic areas and on park trails.
Remember, dogs must always be on a leash (no longer than 2m) when in provincial parks unless in a designated off-leash area. You should pick up your pet’s waste and dispose of it properly in a trash receptacle.
10. Can I bring my boat?
Port Burwell Provincial Park does not offer a boat launch, but there are private boat launches located nearby.
11. Is the beach safe for swimming?
Any beach advisories will be posted on our Alerts page.
Our beaches do not have lifeguards. Everyone is responsible for their individual safety on the water. Children and people who do not know how to swim should always be supervised.
Beach visitors should be aware of weather conditions, including sea breezes and storms. The shallow waters and strong winds of Lake Erie can create dangerous rip currents and rough water conditions should be avoided. Sea breezes can blow inflatables into deep water and inflatables should only be used in shallow water, in calm conditions.
We also offer a PFD loan program at our day use door. PFDs can be borrowed during your visit and are available in infant, child, youth, and adult sizes. Ask a member of staff at the checkpoint upon arrival for more information.
12. Why can’t I access the dock?
There is a rock pier that is located just outside the Port Burwell Provincial Park boundary. It is owned by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and is currently prohibited.
Obey all posted signs.
13. Does the park have ticks/poison ivy?
Tick Safety: Ticks are common throughout Ontario, including Port Burwell. To protect yourself from Lyme disease, follow these safety tips.
Poison Ivy: Poison ivy is prevalent in the park, especially along park trails, parking lot edges, and buffer zones.
Poison ivy is an important coastal stabilizer that helps protect our beaches, as well as being a food source for wildlife. Avoid it by using authorized trails through the park and keeping a close eye on children and pets.
14. How can I help protect and preserve the park for future users?
Obey park signs and regulations. These exist to protect you and the park’s ecosystems.
Use established pathways when walking between the parking lot and the beach. The dune vegetation holds it in place and helps keep our sand on the beach. These plants are sensitive to trampling by both tires and feet.
Take your garbage back to your house. We often have visitors leaving more rubbish than our bins can handle on a busy weekend, especially when they leave their tents, chairs and barbecues behind.
Help us maintain park ecosystems and reduce plastic waste by bringing reusable food storage containers, limiting the amount of toys and equipment you bring, keeping track of your belongings while you’re at the beach, and taking trash home.
15. Can I bring a barbecue or make a bonfire?
Yes, barbecues are allowed. We recommend using units low and off the ground. Always use them on a stable surface like a picnic table and keep hot surfaces away from flammable materials like grass.
Campfires are only permitted in designated campfire pits. Campfires are not allowed on the beach.
16. Can I bring alcohol to the beach? Can I smoke/vape on the beach?
It is not allowed to have open alcohol and/or consume alcohol anywhere on the beach or within the provincial park, except in the campsite itself.
Remember that the provincial park is a public beach. Day-use visitors caught with open alcohol and/or consuming alcohol will face a fine from park rangers or OPP.
All provincial beaches are designated smoke-free, meaning no smoking or vaping is permitted on the beach. Smoking or vaping is also not permitted within 20m of a public building or playground.
Smoking/vaping is permitted on grass picnic areas. We request that all cigarette butts be disposed of in a trash can or container. Cigarette butts are the largest item of litter on Ontario beaches and pose a significant health risk to park visitors and the ecosystem.
17. Where can I eat?
There are many dining options in the local area. Your daily vehicle permit allows you to exit and re-enter the park, if the park has not reached capacity.