Hidden Gem: McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve


Tucked away in the shadow of General Motors Canada Corporate Headquarters lies one of Oshawa’s little-known nature sanctuaries – theMcLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve.  

Located on the shore of Lake Ontario in south-east Oshawa, this 25-year-old green space is sandwiched between Second March Wildlife Area to the west, and Darlington Provincial Park to the east.

Once a dairy farm, the 108 acres that currently make up McLaughlin Bay are owned an operated by GM of Canada, and the reserve currently hosts 400 varieties of plants, trees, shrubs and wildflowers, plus lots of birds.

We’re no bird experts, but during our visits we spotted a blue heron, king fisher and woodpecker, as well as sparrows and chickadees, and a beaver dam.  But we were scratching our heads over the lack of other visitors:  The sky was blue, the temperatures mild, the trails were clean and well maintained, and parking is abundant and free, yet we only encountered a handful of others enjoying the tranquility.  The McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve is certainly popular with the wildlife, but where are the people?

Trails range from 300 m to 1.7 km, and are generally flat and easily walkable.  Some trails are hard surfaced, some are gravel, others are mowed grass or boardwalk, so check the trail guide before you head out and pick the path that suits your needs.  Birdwatchers and photographers (and anyone else who likes a good view), can use the two platforms for panoramic views of the reserve.

The McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve is open seven days a week, year-round, and is free for everyone to use. In winter, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are permitted.  Click here for directions.

Have you visited the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve?  Share your story in the comments!





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