Arrowhead Provincial Park Review

Review Date: Review coming July 2015

** I’ve included some PHOTOSPHERES in this review.  PHOTOSPHERES are the pictures with “Nate Meyer – View on Google Maps” in the top left corner.  You can use your mouse, and drag 360 degrees around the picture **

General Information / Location / Address

Arrowhead Provincial Park is located just west of Algonquin, and north of Huntsville.  It’s located right along highway 11.  Such a beautiful area, full of lakes, cottages, and trees!  (But not too far from the big city amenities you might need).

Click here to reserve, or view campsites

Entry / Layout

AR.Overview

The entry to the park is right off Highway 11, just north of Huntsville.  It’s a nice paved road, winding through hills, and around Mayflower lake.  After a km or two, you enter the front gate.  Similar to other parks, you park your vehicle in the parking lot, and enter the office.  Arrowhead lake is devided into 4 campgrounds, as seen above.  Each campground is designed differently, which may be confusing and take a little longer to get familiar with.  There are full bathrooms in each campground, usually at the center of each.  The campgrounds surround the south  and west sides of Arrowhead Lake.  The park is fairly large, but all the amenities, and trails are concentrated together, making it easy to explore everything!

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General Discussion

Arrowhead Provincial Park is in the middle of a fairly thick forest, and huddles tight to Arrowhead Lake.  The main road coming in, and connecting the individual campsites is wide, and paved.  It does travel up and down some large hills, so make sure your truck is in the proper gear.  Depending on which area you are going to, you will cross a beautiful bridge showing you the awesome Arrowhead Lake.  The roads going to each campsite are all gravel, and the base of the campsites are mostly forest floor.

I’ll talk about Roe Campground first, as that’s where I spent the most time.  As the paved road comes in, it splits up into 7 gravel roads, with a turn-around at the end, which ends up near the central washroom.  This is a decent design, as the center of all roads is connected with a trail.  One thing to note, if you have a large trailer, your only turn around would be these loops at the end of each road.  They are fairly large, but just use caution.  I also noticed this area has A LOT of pot holes, and they are deep.  The majority of the campsites here are very private, and spacious.  There is a lot of forest spacing between sites, which really helps with the privacy.  Road 7 has a parking lot at the end, which is right at the beach.  (Again just be cautious of trailer size).  There is a trail at Roe that goes right to the beach, and to the Big Bend.  I would suggest getting a site close to the loops on roads 1 or 6.  As then it’s just a short walk to the beach.  There are poison ivy signs on the majority of the loops.  If you want to be near the full services washrooms, then camp nearer to the loops, as there’s trails that will head to washrooms.  There are also “vault” toilets scattered throughout Roe, but these are not your typical vault toilets.  They have water hookups, which all real toilets to be in them, and a concrete floor. There are no smells, and 500% better then a vault toilet.

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I didn’t even go into East River, so can’t comment on what the sites are like.  I did take a walk to Lumby North and Lumby South.  It’s a neat area, as the canopy of the trees completely covers the sun, and it really seems like you’re camping in a dark, mysterious forest.  I can’t really comment much about this area, but picking a sight closest to the beach is always a good idea!  The below photosphere is a road inside Lumby.

Click on the below picture to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPSPANO_20150702_121720

Arrowhead Lake isn’t huge, but it’s not small either.  It’s surrounded by deep, thick vegetation, but has 3 distinguished beach areas, and 1 dog exercise area.  The beach on the EAST, closest to Roe, has a large sand dune type hill to walk down before getting to the beach.  The beach is large enough to hold a lot of people, and it’s ALL sand.  Water access is also all sand.  Below is a photosphere showing what this beach looks like:

Click on the below picture to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPS2015-07-02(1)

The SOUTH beach is also all sandy, and really long.  There’s a parking lot just above that can hold a lot of cars.  The beach on the EAST side of the lake is a little smaller, but is still a really nice beach.  For a Muskoka lake.. these beaches are fantastic!  The water stays shallow enough for the kids to play, but then get’s deep enough for everything else.
The dog exercise area is out of the way, but accessible by car.  There’s a big enough parking lot for 10-15 cars, but be careful as there are dogs running around in the parking lot.  It has 2 areas of water access, where the dogs can run into the water.  It’s also a suitable spot for pet owners to relax on the beach, while their dogs run around.  I backed my truck right up to the water, and sat on the beach.  It’s also very swimmable here as well.  The floor of the beach isn’t as sandy as the real beaches, but does the trick.  Look below for a PHOTOSPHERE of the dog exercise area:
Click on the below picture to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPS

2015-07-02

Below is a parking lot for one of the beaches.

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The below is the Dog Beach, and the picture below that is the parking lot.  There is an additional water access spot to the right.

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 I noticed the Park Officers drive by twice starting around 5pm.  So it’s patrolled, but not overly.

The park store is located right after the office, and it has the traditional park store stuff in it.  Not much candy, but does have chips, pop, and ice cream sandwhiches.  I didn’t buy any firewood here, but there is lots of it!
Make sure you take a walk down to the CENTER of the park.  This is where the road bridge is, and the foot bridge.  It really is beautiful.  There is ample parking here, and two beaches on either side.  You can rent water craft here as well.  It’s just a beautiful spot to sit and relax.  You’ll also see people fishing off the rocks under both bridges.  I didn’t notice any playgrounds for kids, but maybe I just missed it.
Just inside the park, is a road to the Park Amphitheater.  We didn’t see any services here, but check the Park calendar, and go check it out.  Here’s a Amphitheater PHOTOSPHERE:
Click on the below picture to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPS
2015-07-03

 

The Trailer dumping station is located at the entrance to East River.  There is two spots for dumping, and two spots for filling fresh water.  Lots of room here for trailers.  PHOTOSPHERE:

Click on the below picture to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPS2015-07-04(1) 2015-07-04

Best Campsites

I can only speak for Roe campground here.  I don’t have specific site numbers, but all sites are fairly private.  Best is to get one closest to the EAST beach area.  The trail to the beach is on Road 1, at the end (loop).

Hiking / Biking

Here is the link to the hiking and biking trails at the park

Arrowhead Lake Trail – This trail is 4.5km long, and goes around Arrowhead Lake.  We hiked it started at Roe campground.  It was a great trail that gave good views of the lake.  We thought we’d find a private swim spot on the trail, but there is not.  This trail is great for biking, or hiking.  There are some steep spots where you might need to walk your bike up or down.  The trail is wide enough for 4 bikes wide.  This trail can be caught from any parking lot, or right from Roe or Lumby campsites. Below are some pics of the trail:

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Big Bend Lookout – This isn’t really a hiking trail, but more of a path to a scenic lookout of a huge sand dune bend in the river.  There is a nice board walk to view from.  Worth the look!  It has a parking lot for 5-6 cars.  Here’s my PHOTOSPHERE of the lookout:

Click on the below picture to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPSPANO_20150703_082617

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Mayflower Lake Trail – This is a 1km trail that winds along beside Mayflower Lake.  It’s a more rugged trail, and is only a pathway wide.  There are some steep area’s, but really nothing too hard.  I recommended it!  Here’s a PHOTOSPHERE of a spot I found on the trail:
Click on the below picture to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPS2015-07-04


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Beaver Meadow Trail – This trail was closed when I was visiting the park.
Stubb’s Falls Trail – This trail starts at the center of the park (near the 2 bridges), and winds along south of the river to Stubb’s Falls.  It’s a beautiful area, with a great scenic water fall.  The trail then continues north of the river, back to the starting point.  The SOUTH part of the trail is smooth, and wide, and really easy to bike. You can even use a stroller on it. The north part of the trail is a little narrower, and rockier / rootier. There are some some elevation changes and mud holes.  It’s worth the hike, but if you have a bike, or stroller, stick to the south part of the trail.  If you don’t want to take the trail at all, there is a parking lot in East River that’s very close to the falls. As well, be careful on the stairs down to the falls. They are steep, and metal.
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Pro’s
-Beautiful lake, with awesome lake beaches
-LOT’S of trails to keep you busy and in shape!
-A great waterfall to view
-It’s in a great area, close to a big city if need be
-Awesome “vault” toilets

Con’s

-Pot holes!

Surrounding Area Activities

Conclusion

This was a great park!  There are a lot of activities, and trails here.  The beach areas are fantastic.  The dog beach is a great area also.

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