Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: 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