Welcome to the John E. Pearce Provincial Park, Ontario. John E. Pearce Provincial Park, situated along the shores of Lake Erie, is steeped in history and rich in natural vegetation. Situated in the Carolinian region of south-western Ontario, this area produces flora and fauna more often seen in the central United States. A walk through the park will reveal meadows of wildflowers that flourish here. Yellow mandarin, stiff gentian, broad beech fern, Appalacian sedge and Gattinger’s panic grass, rare in Ontario can still be found here.
Prior to European settlement the area was inhabited by the Neutral Indian tribe. Their history is chronicled in the Southwold National Historic Site in nearby Iona. The first European to settle in the area was John Talbot, who in 1803 founded the Talbot Settlement. Reminders of the Talbot family‘s influence are evident in the community to this very day. The Talbot Trail dates back to 1810 and part of this route runs through John E. Pearce Provincial Park. Many other reminders of this period in history can still be seen including St. Peter’s Anglican Church, the cemetery where Col. Talbot is buried, the Backus Museum and the many homes that were built between 1825 – 1850.
In 1923, John E Pearce and his wife bought the property that the park is now situated on. Fearing the continuous encroachment of civilization they hoped to protect this natural wonder and turned the property over to the Ontario government in 1955. In 1957 the park was opened and the peaceful beauty of the area was preserved.The closest urban centre to the park is Port Burwell.