Arrowhead Provincial Park
At this year-round park in the heart of Muskoka, hike or bicycle on trails that wind through maple forests and past waterfalls, beaver ponds and homesteaders’ farms. Quiet Arrowhead and Mayflower Lakes and the meandering Little and Big East Rivers, are ideal for paddling, fishing and swimming.Return in the winter to ski on groomed trails, tube down a hill or skate on an outdoor rink.
Features 15km of hiking trails, and two (7.5km total) moderately challenging mountain bike trails. Rentals: canoes, kayaks and mountain bikes during the summer season
Beaver Meadow Trail - 7 km (2 hours) moderate
Arrowhead’s longest trail passes Porcupine Bluffs, the remnant shoreline of a huge ancient lake. The bluffs are easily visible in the spring and fall but are hidden during the leafy summer months. The trail circles a large beaver pond with large rafts of cattails where you might see otter, moose, Great Blue Heron, Tree Swallows and, of course, beavers. Near the end, the trail crosses a field and you can see evidence of the once successful Oke homestead—old fence lines, building foundations and domestic plants such as rhubarb and apple trees.
Big Bend Lookout – easy
This short walk from the parking lot on Roe Campground Road leads to a panoramic view of the meandering Big East River and the surrounding Muskoka terrain.
Homesteaders Trail - 3 km (1 hour) moderate
In the 1870s, homesteaders cleared this area. Take this trail across moderately rugged terrain and see traces of abandoned farm fields now reclaimed by young forest.
Mayflower Lake Trail – 1 km (30 minutes) moderate
Ten thousand years ago, Mayflower Lake was a small bay in a large glacial lake. Today it is a small, deep, spring-fed lake. Its cold, clear waters provide ideal habitat for cold water fish such as Rainbow Trout. This trail has several lengthy climbs and descents over the hills surrounding Mayflower Lake and can be muddy, so wear your hiking boots.
Stubb’s Falls Trail - 2 km (45 minutes) easy
Take this trail in early spring when wildflowers and songbirds will be your reward. At Stubb’s Falls, the Little East River rushes down a rock chute. Stop here for a pleasant respite.
Be aware of weather conditions before going out as well as making sure you wear a personal floatation device at all times.
There are three quiet, clean, sandy beaches with change facilities that back into birch groves. Please note: there are no lifeguards posted at the beaches and pets are not permitted.
Motorized boats (including electric motors) are prohibited on Arrowhead and Mayflower lakes. Canoes are ideal for exploring the shorelines and viewing the wildlife of these lakes.
Mayflower Lake is stocked with Rainbow Trout. Arrowhead Lake is good for Small Mouth Bass. A valid fishing license and outdoors card is required.
Arrowhead has two moderately challenging mountain bike trails – the 4.5 km Arrowhead Lake Trail and the 3 km Lookout Trail.
The main park road and three parking lots are kept open for winter visitors and to host major events including the Annual Muskoka Loppet (http://arrowheadnordic.ca), elementary school races and much more. In the winter, Arrowhead grooms and maintains more than 33 km of cross-country ski trails that are designed for classic skiing or skate skiing. Each trail is rated for difficulty and ranges from beginner to expert. The park offers a variety of hiking/snowshoeing trails as well as a skating rink and skating trail. There are two warm-up shelters and an open fire pit at the top of the tubing hill! (Tubes provided).