Earl Rowe Provincial Park was our first day out in May 2020, when the government started reopening Ontario back to normal during coronavirus quarantine. We have been so tired of staying home that this short trip became a big event and an exciting adventure.

Earl Rowe Ontario Provincial Park

The day was beautiful. The drive from Toronto to Alliston on Hwy 400 and then Road 89 was nice and easy.

The park is very big. It feels like a backcountry wilderness: you can even get lost there. Lots of good picnic spots too.

We think that late spring is the best time of the year to visit Earl Rowe: emerald green grass and leaves, blue waters, wild flowers, not too many people, and lots of sunshine. Stunning scenery gave us a great aesthetic pleasure. But you know what was the most enjoyable? The air. It was like an aromatherapy session in a huge natural SPA salon. An amazing mix of aromatic essential oils from many different plants made us feel relaxed and happy.

Spending a few hours outdoor in Earl Rowe Provincial Park improved our mind, spirit, emotional health and even promoted good sleep.

Pros and cons of Earl Rowe Provincial Park

We’ve never been to this park in the summer time, so we can give you a kind of a short overview of what other people say:


  • large park with great biking and hiking trails including one paved trail for accessibility
  • lots of large and private campsites and nice hot showers available
  • large outdoor swimming pool open from July 1 to Labour Day with food vendors outside
  • 2 beautiful sandy beaches with volleyball nets and canoe rentals
  • general store within the park that sells ice cream, groceries and other little camping basics like bug spray etc.
  • the staff is nice and friendly
  • closer to the GTA area than most other provincial parks


  • CAN NOT swim in the lake – 2 feet of mud
  • geese have taken over the lakes and the water; it’s too contaminated sometimes
  • 50:50 chance to purchase wet wood

Quick facts about Earl Rowe Provincial Park

The park’s original land base was donated to the Province of Ontario in the late 1950’s for a provincial park by the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (from 1963 to 1968), the Honourable Earl Rowe.

Camping: Earl Rowe has electrical and non-electrical campsites and comfort stations with showers, water taps, and laundry facilities. Group campsites are ranging in size from 25 to 100 people.

The 11km-long Rainbow Run trail is a loop that encompasses the entire trail system around Earl Rowe. This shared-use trail allows for walking or biking to the pool, park store, Resource Centre or your favourite fishing spot. A portion of this trail includes a moderate incline to a lookout platform. Biking is not recommended on this portion of the trail.

Earl Rowe Ontario ParkThe park is noted for its recreational opportunities and aesthetic qualities more so than for its earth/life science and cultural resources.

Earl Rowe Ontario ParkThe park contains evidence that it once supported at least two pre-Archaic settlements (3,000 to 5,000 B.C.).

During the 1800’s, the land within the park’s boundary had a railroad through it, a mill and mill pond, and a tiny community called Meadowbrook, which contained a school, a blacksmith’s shop, workers’ houses and a few homesteads. The Meadowbrook school (circa 1899) located in the southwest corner of the park is the only structure that has survived intact from this era.

Fishing is allowed in the river below the dam and in the lake. The Boyne River is recognized as a major cold-water fish river containing a significant migration of rainbow trout and salmon. Tackle Share rods and reels are available for rent at the Resource Centre at no charge. You can visit the Gatehouse or Resource Centre for a map of the best fishing spots!

Earl Rowe Ontario ParkWe enjoyed the time in the park very much and want you to enjoy it too.

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