The Menzel Centennial Provincial Nature Reserve protects a rare fen, one of the largest wetlands of this type in Southeastern Ontario. The wetlands encompass extensive fens and coniferous swamp forests and altogether occupy a large basin some 7-8km long by 2-3km wide. The provincial park was named after D. Menzel who was instrumental in protecting these wetlands. It is located just north of Prince Edward County and is a non-operating park so there are limited activities and no facilities. It does however offer a single hiking trail that winds through the unique habitats in the park.
We’ve been to Menzel Centennial twice:
There is a single access point to the nature reserve along Roblin Road. There is no official parking lot, but we parked along the shoulder of the road as there were a few other cars here and walked towards the entrance gate.
There is a single trail that runs through Menzel Centennial, the Oivi Nature Trail (4.8km round trip, rated easy), which was named after Menzel’s wife, Oivi. At the trailhead there’s a map of the trail and a commemorative plaque for Oivi indicating that her love for nature will endure here.
The trail leads to Mud Lake and features seven posts to highlight the many habitats in the provincial nature reserve along the way, including an open field, wooded wetlands, central uplands and a fen.
The description of the trail contains a warning that depending on the season, the trail may be flooded and biting insects may be abundant. So come prepared.
Other Activities and Attractions
Besides hiking, there are no other activities or attractions at Menzel Centennial. There are also no washroom facilities or other services. There are a few other provincial parks and conservation areas nearby including:
- Bon Echo Provincial Park
- HR Frink Conservation Area
- Sheffield Conservation Area
- Vanderwater Conservation Area
Since this is a non-operating park, camping is not permitted.