How to plan your trip to Bronte Creek

Bronte Creek Provincial Park is a popular summer destination for weekend visits.

With 11 group picnic shelters and thousands of picnic tables spread throughout the day-use area, the park is well-equipped to host its 5,000 visitors each weekend during the summer.

Conveniently located on the boarders of Oakville and Burlington just north of the QEW/403, the park is within a 30 minute drive for residents of Toronto, Mississauga, Milton, Hamilton, and Grimsby!

Here’s our guide to making your trip to Bronte Creek a breeze!

Planning a trip to Bronte Creek Provincial Park? Check out our top tips for a fun and frustration-free visit:

  1. What’s new in 2023?
  2. Do I need a reservation?
  3. What is included when I rent a picnic shelter?
  4. What entrance should I use?
  5. When is the best/worst time to visit?
  6. What are the park hours/fees?
  7. What is there to do in the park?
  8. Can I bring a barbecue?
  9. Can I bring my dog?
  10. Can I have a bouncy castle at my group picnic?
  11. Can I have alcohol?
  12. Can I smoke/vape?
  13. Can I fish?
  14. What about ticks/Poison Ivy?
  15. What should I pack?
  16. What should I NOT bring?
  17. Can I play music, have a band or DJ?
  18. Where can I get lunch?
  19. How can I find my group?
  20. How do I book a picnic shelter?

1. What’s new in 2023?

To guarantee access for day use, visitors will now be able to plan their trip ahead of time and obtain a daily vehicle permit in advance.

Advance daily vehicle permits are available at 7:00 a.m., five days in advance of your arrival date. Reservations can be made:

  • Online (here’s a walkthrough of how to book, including how to use your seasonal permit).
  • By phone: 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

2. Do I need a reservation for the day?

Each guest vehicle must obtain a valid park permit.

Visitors can purchase a permit online ahead of their visit, or when arriving at the park.

Parking spaces can fill up quickly during the summer months and popular events throughout the year. To guarantee a seamless visit, we recommend booking in advance.

A blue and white Ontario Parks sign on the side of a road displaying visitor information for Bronte Creek Provincial Park

If you wish to use a picnic shelter, reservations are required.

The daily rental charge is $150/200 plus a $150 damage deposit.

Picnic shelters can now be reserved online via the Ontario Parks reservation site.

Small groups planning to use a few picnic tables do not need reservations. Tables are on a first come first serve basis. The park cannot reserve or set aside table(s) for you. 

3. What is included when I rent a picnic shelter?

A charcoal barbecue (60 x 120 cm or 2’ x 4’) is included in rental fee.

Please remember to bring charcoal, lighter fluid, and a barbecue cleaning tool. It is also advisable to bring table cloths and tin foil for the grill as facilities are exposed to elements and wildlife.

A cement picnic shelter with two pyramid-shaped roofs on top. The shelter is set back in a grassy field.

Picnic shelters come equipped with a maximum of 12 regular sized (or equivalent) picnic tables. If you require more, you many gather tables from close by that are not being used, or bring your own folding tables.

Park staff will not move the tables for you.

To help direct your guests to your shelter, organizers are permitted to place free standing markers or flags, which must be removed before you leave.

You are responsible for carrying all your supplies from the nearest parking lot to your shelter!

Staff recommend wagons and carts to transport supplies to shelters.

4. What entrance should I use?

Day users need to arrive at the day use only entrance off Burloak Drive.

Group picnic shelters are located around parking lot A, D, and F.

Smaller groups will find picnic tables spread throughout the day use area, by each parking lot and close to facilities like the Nature Centre and Spruce Lane Farm.

Currently, there are no group picnic areas in the campground area.

5. When is the best/worst time to visit?

Bronte Creek is busiest on Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

vehicle line up

If you plan to visit on a weekend, plan to arrive early or later in the afternoon.

Weekdays are the best time to visit.

6. What are the park hours/fees?

From mid-June to early fall, Bronte Creek Provincial Park is open from 8:00 am to 10:00 p.m.

For year-round operating dates please check out the park’s web page.

The park office located in the day-use only area (Burloak Drive) is open Monday- Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed on statutory holidays).

A daily vehicle permit or seasonal permit is required to enter the park.

Seasonal vehicle permits can be ordered online via the Park Store

7. What is there to do in the park?

Park guests can enjoy 13 km of marked, multi-use trails or take in a staff-led program at the Nature Centre or Spruce Lane Farm.

Visiting with children 10 years and younger? The Children’s Farm and Playbarn are a must!

An Ontario Parks staff person wearing their beige and black uniform standing outside the Nature Centre, a red brick building.

Feeling sporty? The park has an 18-hole disc golf course, a baseball diamond, and basketball courts (bring you own equipment).

Explore the park with our self-use tours: Pocket Sights app or Adventure Lab.

Don’t forget to check out the events and programs calendar!

Park visitors are welcome to run their own games and activities.

People playing volleyball on a grass court.

The park boasts many large recreational fields great for a pick-up game of soccer, bocce, cricket, or space enough for volleyball if you bring your own equipment.

The outdoor pool remains closed for the 2023 season.

8. Can I bring a barbecue?

Yes, day visitors are permitted to bring a portable charcoal or propane barbecue.

Please dispose of used charcoal in the designated cement disposal areas or be prepared to take cold ashes home.

Note: if the park is under a fire ban, charcoal barbecues are not permitted, however propane barbecues are. Learn more about what equipment is allowed during a fire ban.

9. Can I bring my dog?

Yes! Just make sure to follow all dog-related rules, including keeping Fido on a leash no longer than 2 m.

dog on leash

Don’t forget to pick up after your pup and dispose of waste properly.

Bronte Creek offers a marked and designated leash-free trail, which your dog is sure to love.

10. Can I have a bouncy castle/ice cream truck/pony rides?

Inflatables are permitted at Bronte Creek. Groups wishing to have party rental equipment can do so for the picnic shelter area they have rented. Inflatables must be fully on the grassy area.

All delivery vehicles must have a valid park permit.

Other attractions such as ice cream trucks or pony rides are not permitted.

Please confirm with park staff of any plans for special attractions/services at: 905-827-6911. 

11. Can I have alcohol?


Having open alcohol and/or consuming alcohol is not permitted anywhere in the day use area.

Day use visitors with alcohol and/or consuming alcohol will face eviction (no refund) and a fine from park wardens or OPP.

12. Can I smoke/vape?

Smoking/vaping is not permitted within 20 m of a public building or playground.

Smoking/vaping is permitted in grassy picnic areas.

Cigarette butts are the number one litter item in Ontario Parks and pose a considerable health risk to park visitors and the ecosystem.

We ask that all cigarette butts be disposed of in a receptacle or garbage bin.

13. Can I fish?

person holding fish

Yes, if you have a valid Outdoors Card and follow Ontario Fishing Regulations.

You can access the creek easily by following Half Moon Valley Trail accessed from parking lot F.

It’s a 1.5 km walk from the parking lot to the creek edge.

Once there, you may fish (in season) for Rainbow Trout, Splake, Steelhead, and Pacific Salmon. 

14. What about ticks, Poison Ivy, or other wildlife?

Tick safety: Ticks are common throughout Ontario, including at Bronte Creek Provincial Park. To protect yourself, follow these safety tips.

Poison Ivy: Poison Ivy is prevalent in the park, especially along the side of park trails and parking lots. Want to know how to avoid Poison Ivy? Check out our blog!

Green poison ivy leaves

Yellow Jackets and wasps are common visitors at any outdoor picnic.

Raccoons, squirrels, and chipmunks are also present in the park. Please refrain from feeding wildlife.

Be sure to clean up any spills and dispose of garbage in appropriate containers. This will keep wildlife and visitors safe.

15. What should I pack?

  • sunscreen
  • hat
  • water
  • picnic blanket or tablecloth
  • snacks
  • bug spray (containing DEET)
  • reusable lunch items
  • charcoal, lighter fluid, and barbecue tools
  • tin foil
  • cooler and ice
  • garbage bags

picnic lunch

Forgot something? Visit the Park Store for your day use essentials!

16. What should I NOT bring?

Alcohol. Consumption of alcohol is not permitted in our day use area and violators will be fined.

Please try to limit the amount of food packaging and other disposable items you bring with you.

Litter and waste disposal in non-designated areas is unacceptable and fines are in place.

Drone use is not permitted.

17. Can I play music, have a band, or DJ?

For everyone’s enjoyment, please keep noise levels to a minimum.

Sound systems, bands, and disc jockeys are prohibited.

Excessive noise will not be tolerated at any time and will result in a fine and/or eviction.

18. Where can I get lunch?

The park offers chicken fingers, fries, and ice cream at the Park Store located near Parking Lot D.

Chips and chocolate bars can be purchased along with park souvenirs.

19. How can I find my group?

Organizers can place free-standing signs or flags (not blocking park signs) along visitor road; however, it is your responsibility to remove signs and flags before you leave.

Please make use of the park map to let your guests know what shelter you have reserved. Paper copies are available upon entry to park.


Picnic shelters have signs visible to park visitors identifying which the shelter name and the picnicking group that has it reserved for that day.

Cell coverage is good throughout the park.

20. How do I reserve a picnic shelter?

Hosting a family reunion, company picnic or community group outing?

Bronte Creek offers 11 picnic shelters that can be reserved.

There is an additional fee + damage deposit and reservations must be made online. Reservations can be made five months before your picnic.

screen cap of reservation service

Each vehicle entering the park must obtain and display a valid park permit.

Park permits can be purchased and distributed by picnic organizers weeks before the day of the picnic. Please contact the park at 905-827-6911 to make arrangements.