Earl Rowe Provincial Park is an Ontario Provincial Park located near Alliston, Ontario. It features an artificial lake called the Earl Rowe Lake created by damming the Boyne River. Camping facilities include car camping, group campsites, radio free sites and RV. The activities that you can do include canoeing, fishing and swimming.

Duration: 1 night

It was early fall season, getting a bit chilly at night and we were looking for a one night stay which was about an hours drive. We picked Earl Rowe Provincial Park.

How to get there?

Earl Rowe Provincial Park is about an hours drive from Toronto. Driving north from Toronto on highway 400, take an exit and go west on highway 89 into the town of Alliston and then turn into Concession Road 7.

Though it was still early in the fall season, the leaves were already beginning to show their colour. It was time for nature to put on the most spectacular show of the year.

Earl Rowe Provincial Park is a fairly large park with a lake, large playgrounds and the park itself is spread out on both sides of Concession Road 7, about which we were blissfully unaware.

We had booked our site in the Salmon Run campground.

So we reached the park, promptly got our permit at the park office and confidently drove into the park, without picking up a map, which we normally always do. We got to the roundabout, turned into the road which leads to the dam, drove further and stopped at the park store. Feeling lost, we went back to the park office, tried to find any road that we might have missed but still we could not find a sign anywhere for the Salmon Run campground. We grabbed a phone, opened up the site map of the park on the Ontario Parks website and realized that our campsite was on the other side of the road and to get there we had to in fact exit the park.

Lesson learned – If you are new to a park, always remember to pick a map.

Staying at the Earl Rowe Provincial Park

The park has two campgrounds, Westside and Riverside.

Westside Campground - This campground is on the side where the Earl Rowe Lake is. It has the below camping areas:

Trillium Woods
Boyne Meadow
Fleacher Field

Riverside Campground - This campground is on the other side of Concession Road 7. To get here, you will need to exit the park after getting the permit, take a left to go north and find the entrance on the right after driving a short distance. It has the below camping areas:

Salmon Run
Rabbit Loop
Blue Heron (Radio Ban) - This is the only radio free camping area

Group Camping is on the Riverside campground and it has a separate entrance from Concession Road 7.

So we exited the park and drove north and found the entrance to the River Side Campgrounds. You will get a special kind of access card with a bar code at the park office that you can then scan to get access to that campground.

We drove about a bit and finally found the Salmon Run campground and our camp site.

The campsite was close to the river but it did not have any river access.

After freshening up, it was time to explore the park. There is a short trail called the Riverside Campground Trail that goes under a bridge and leads you to the other side of the park where the lake is. No motor vehicles are allowed on this trail.

Upon reaching the other side, we decided to explore the many trails of the park.

Trails in Earl Rowe Provincial Park

Fletcher's Pond Trail - 1.5 kms, Difficulty Level: EASY
Little Trail - 0.5kms, Difficulty Level: EASY
Lookout Trail - 4 kms, Difficulty Level: MODERATE
Rainbow Run Trail - 11 kms, Difficulty Level: MODERATE
Resource Trail - 1.5 kms, Difficulty Level: EASY
Riverside Campground Trail - This one connects both sides of the park, Difficulty Level: EASY

The Rainbow Run Trail is the longest trail in the park, about 11 kms and can take about 3-4 hours to complete. Most of the other, shorter trails such as Little Trail, Fletcher’s Pond Trail and Resource Trail seem to merge into the Rainbow Run Trail at various points .

So we were going to do the Rainbow Run Trail first and started near the dam.

Heading towards the Fish Ladder, the two trails, Rainbow Run and Little Trail merge. The Little Trail actually starts near the Fish Ladder and ends in about half a km.

Being close to the end of camping season and with that nip in the air, the park as a whole was quite empty and so was the trail. The trail itself is not difficult at all but it surely is a long one. All in all, it was quite and peaceful and we enjoyed it. It took us about three hours to complete it.

At this point, the Rainbow Run Trail and Resource Trail merge.

You will pass by a large playing field which is also close to the park store.

Moving further you will pass the Westside Campground.

We reached the spot where the Lookout Trail begins. We decided to skip this one at this time and continued on the Rainbow Run Trail.

Finally, we finished off the Rainbow Run Trail right right where we started, close to the dam. We got back to our camp site via the Riverside Campground Trail.

We started a fire, had dinner and as soon as it got dark, we decided to hit the sack.

Our body was still a bit sore the next morning. After breakfast, we were back on our feet to checkout the Lookout Trail.

We followed the Rainbow Run Trail, but this time going in the other direction as that would be closer.

We pass the beach on the Earl Rowe Lake which is quite large. There are kayak and canoe rentals available.

We continued on the Rainbow Trail, till we reached this sign where the Lookout Trail starts.

There is a bit of an elevation here and a steep climb. After getting to the top, we were greeted though with some nice, panoramic views of the town and surrounding areas. It was well worth the effort.

We spent sometime soaking in the views and returned back to our site.

We packed up and hit the road soon after hoping to return again and staying for a longer duration.

For additional information, visit the links below:

Want to start camping? Checkout this post -