Looking for an easy getaway into nature? Darlington Provincial Park is the perfect place.
It is ideal for winter day use, with abundant opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing, just 45 minutes east of Toronto.
Here are five reasons why you should visit Darlington this winter:
1. It is very convenient
For winter adventurers in the city, having a beautiful, sheltered landscape like Darlington so close is a real bonus. The park is on the doorstep of Toronto, just outside of Oshawa and right off the 401.
On a clear day, you can even see the CN Tower and skyscrapers in the distance along the coast. There’s no excuse to stay home when winter fun is less than an hour away.
2. The panoramic trails
Darlington has many interesting trails to explore.
Hikers and snowshoers will love the Burk Trail, which traverses fields, meadows and mature forests, passes a pioneer cemetery and takes in a scenic overlook over Lake Ontario.
Winter visitors should also visit McLaughlin Bay Trail and Robinson Creek Trail for an extra dose of picturesque winter scenery.
3. Various wildlife sightings.
Darlington is an oasis of nature in the middle of a sea of urbanization. Because of this, the park has become a haven for wildlife and there is certainly no shortage of viewing opportunities.
Calm and observant hikers can spot coyotes, deer, mink, rabbits and more. However, remember that feeding wildlife is prohibited. Please do not throw food, birdseed or garbage at the animals. Observe wildlife from a distance to keep these magical experiences safe for both animals and park visitors.
Plus, with all that wildlife comes clues to its comings and comings, like footprints in the snow or droppings. Winter detectives can find evidence of birds and mammals of all sizes.
4. Bird watching opportunities
Bird watching is popular in Darlington during the winter months. A few years ago, enthusiasts from near and far turned up to see the Northern Tit, a rarity in the area that had flown further south than usual.
Other winter visitors may include northern cardinals, blue jays, cedar-wings, black-capped chickadees and many more.
Check the bird information board at the park’s main office.
5. A coast in transformation
In winter, Darlington’s popular beaches and iconic coastline undergo a transformation. Summer waves freeze into unique ice formations that you must see with your own eyes.
Trust us, you’ll be grateful you brought your camera. Just be sure to enjoy the beauty of winter from dry land. Not all ice is safe to walk on. Venturing onto unsafe ice puts your life (and the lives of lifeguards) at risk.
Come to Darlington
In Darlington, you can snowshoe through the park, set your own cross-country ski routes, or simply enjoy the outdoors in a natural winter setting.
Keep an eye on the Ontario Parks snow report to monitor snow conditions.
To help ensure day-use access, our visitors can now plan their trips in advance by obtaining a daily vehicle permit up to five days in advance.
Reservations can be made online.
For more information, including how seasonal permit holders can take advantage of this opportunity, visit our website.