Duclos Point Provincial Nature Reserve

Length of stay1 day
April 2021

Duclos Point Provincial Nature Reserve is nestled along the southern shore of Lake Simcoe. It is a swamp that is home to rare plants and interesting birds. It is also a non-operating park so there are limited (or no) activities and facilities, and camping is not permitted.

Duclos Point can be accessed from Highway 48. When we initially plugged the nature reserve into our GPS, it took us to the north eastern edge of the park near Holmes Point Park, however the area here was entirely swamp with no clear access point. There were also signs that indicated no trespassing. Perhaps this was foreshadowing for what was to come. We parked at Holmes Point Park though and walked down to the water. There’s a small sandy beach here and a few picnic tables scattered across the grass. During the summer this looks like it would be a nice place to visit for a picnic and a swim. Today it was quite blustery outside so we didn’t linger long.

Duclos Point technically doesn’t have a parking lot, another good indication that there isn’t much here for visitors. We parked at the entrance gate, which can accommodate a couple of cars.

While Google Maps said we had arrived at Duclos Point Provincial Nature Reserve, the park sign said otherwise, it read Morning Glory. Perhaps another trick to keep us humans away? Duclos Point apparently comprises a portion of a provincially significant wetland complex locally known as Morning Glory Swamp. From the park sign, it doesn’t look like there are any activities permitted in the nature reserve.

There is a 1km unopened access road that runs through the park. I read in advance that this road is often flooded and therefore impassable, so our expectations were pretty low. We hiked a few hundred metres along the path, which was in pretty rough shape. The further we hiked down the path, the narrower and more overgrown with vegetation it became.

We reached a point where it looked like the swamp had started to reclaim the trail. This was a pretty good excuse for us to turn around and walk back the way that we came.

We didn’t spend long at Duclos Point. We weren’t complaining too much as it was overcast, cold and blustery outside. Some nature reserves are better left to the wildlife than us humans.


My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

32 thoughts on “Duclos Point Provincial Nature Reserve

  1. kagould17 says:

    Like other parts of Canada, a bit bleak in early spring. Looks like a fair bit of tree blow down out your way too. We could not believe the damage caused in our forests here from the same snow squall that ripped off my roof shingles. It looks like our government is about to orphan a bunch of parks and land use areas here (or privatize them). I’m sure they will get to it after the Covid fiasco. Have a great week. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The weather was less than ideal, but I’m glad we forced ourselves to get outside. Duclos Point wasn’t our main destination, but rather we made a detour here since it was along the way to another park and we couldn’t resist crossing two provincial park off the list from our challenge. That’s such a shame that your government is no longer going to protect certain parks. The pandemic has clearly demonstrated how important they have been and I’m sure they’ve all been getting a lot of use, even some of the smaller ones. Hopefully the Nature Conservancy of Canada can step in or maybe members of the public to try to prevent the area from being turned into yet another new subdivision.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Haha, that’s for sure!! No wonder we didn’t encounter anyone else at Duclos Point. It still counts as a visit though and we can cross this off the list from our provincial park challenge!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Even though it was a cold and miserable day, I’m glad we forced ourselves to get out of our apartment, go for a drive and explore a couple of new provincial parks along the way. Spring is now in full swing over here and it’s made such a huge difference on the trails. There’s lots of wildflowers and new growth. The only downside is that the bugs are now starting to come out. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your week.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Definitely. They also seemed completely unnecessary here as the whole area is a swamp. There is literally nowhere to trespass into unless you want to wade through stagnant looking water and mud. Hard pass.

  2. Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

    Definitely looks like it was a cold day (with rain in the near future). I agree with Ken who said that sun might have helped, but even so, it didn’t look very welcoming. Yes, better to reserve it for the wildlife and plants.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It was definitely not the best weather for spending time outdoors, that’s for sure. But hey, at least we didn’t have to deal with the mosquitoes!! This nature reserve was along the way to another provincial park we planned to visit so we decided to just check it out to cross it off our list. Even though we didn’t spend too much time here, it still counts as us visiting! It’s probably a good thing to have some of these nature reserves that are better left to the plants and wildlife.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We actually saw a few kite surfers down at the beach who were gearing up in their wet suits. I love that some people find such creative ways to get outdoors even when the weather is less than ideal. It would have been neat to stay for a bit to watch them, but it was pretty chilly outside and we weren’t dressed properly.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      So true. Being outside in nature in the cold always beats being indoors while at work! And hey, this still counts as visiting a new park, so we were able to cross another one off our parks challenge list.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Hiking in the shoulder season is always hit or miss with the mud. But hey, at least we visited early enough in the spring that we didn’t have to deal with any pesky bugs!! I’d love to visit Colorado someday. It looks like there are some great hiking trails there.

  3. Ab says:

    Looks pretty dismal, I have to say and I think the gray weather didn’t help! But the sight of the water is always a welcome one! Thanks for checking it out and reporting back.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Yah, I wouldn’t recommend visiting this nature reserve! The fact that it doesn’t have a parking area is a pretty good sign that there is nothing here for visitors. We’re still counting this as part of our park challenge though!!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. We stopped at this nature reserve since it was on the way to another park that we were visiting. I couldn’t find much information about it online, so was curious to see what it was like in person. While there isn’t much here for visitors, it’s always great to have areas like this to better protect and preserve the plants and wildlife.

  4. ourcrossings says:

    Spring in Ireland is very bleak and without any liveliness, but we still make a conscious effort to go to the woods for a walk. Cheers and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. It’s always great to get some fresh air and to get a sense of what hiking is like throughout all the various seasons. At least the bugs weren’t out at this point. I’d take overcast over the mosquitoes any day! Enjoy the rest of your week. Stay well.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Not all provincial parks are built the same and offer similar activities or facilities. It’s great to see that some parks are more focused on protection than recreation. We’re still counting this as a park that we visited as part of our challenge though!!

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