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
32 thoughts on “Duclos Point Provincial Nature Reserve”
Suspect a little sunshine might have helped.
For sure. Having the sun out always helps, especially on a chilly day. At least the mosquitoes weren’t pestering us!
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
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.
Well, a good strategy to keep the crowds away and the wetlands intact!
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!
It does look rather bleak for April but hopefully the trees will soon be bursting into life and it will get steadily warmer. Thanks for sharing and have a good week. Marion
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.
I hate no trespassing signs, they make you feel so aggressively considered.
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.
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.
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.
No mosquitos – that’s so Canadian! 🙂
Haha, it’s all about appreciating the simple things in life. Like going for a hike in the spring and not getting eaten alive by the bugs. They’ve arrived by the thousands now and I have my bug spray ready. Hiking this weekend should be … interesting.
Good luck with that – they will certainly keep you moving along! We don’t have any yet because it’s been too cold, but when they come out it will be brutal.
Yes, fear is a really good motivator quicken the pace to avoid the mosquitoes! Enjoy the outdoors while you can, even if it’s still chilly outside.
Well, it still looks interesting… but yes, didn’t look like a day for a swim!
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.
You’re right that this one isn’t as interesting as some others, but still a bad day at the lake is better than a good day at the office. Right?
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.
Mud season in autumn and springtime Colorado experiences a similar hiking challenge
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.
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.
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!!
You have to count to it haha. One more off the list!
Exactly! And hey, it could have been worse, we could have visited later in the spring when the mosquitoes and black flies are active!
Thanks for sharing! Although not too human-friendly, the photos you have taken are pretty.
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.
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 🙂
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.
Good for you for exploring all these places, even if as you say “some of these nature reserves are best left for wildlife.”
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!!