Darlington Provincial Park

Location: Bowmanville Ontario
Region: Central
Character: Recreation
Length/Size: 514 acres

Darlington Provincial Park
By Ontario Parks

The legacy of American settlers to Lake Ontario's fertile shore remains - a tiny cemetery and log cabin - at this recreational park east of Oshawa. From the bluff, watch for migrating birds - warblers in spring, waterfowl and raptors in fall - or resident terns and plovers. In winter, skate on McLaughlin Bay or toboggan down the hills.

Darlington has 315 campsites, 135 of which have electrical service. A comfort station is conveniently located within the campground and all sites are close to drinking water taps and toilets. Each site has a fireplace, picnic table and space for one vehicle. A lot for additional vehicles is nearby.

Group Camping - There are two group camping sites, numbers 401 and 402, that accommodate a maximum of 150 people. Water taps, picnic tables, a firepit and vault toilets are found on site. The site are in close proximity to the comfort station. Group camping sites can only be used by organized youth groups consisting of youth under 18, as well as supervising adults. No alcohol is allowed on the sites. Reservations can be made by calling the park directly at (905) 436-2036.

Picnics and Day Use - Three day-use areas are located at the beach and in open fields. There are barbecues and picnic shelters.

Electric Sites - 135
Visitor Centre - Yes
Barrier Free Access - Showers, flush toilets, Visitor Centre
Park Store - The Park Store sells groceries, snacks, ice cream, camping supplies and park souvenirs.
Showers - Yes
Flush Toilets - Yes
Laundromat - Yes
Play Area - Yes
Boat Launch - Yes
Rentals - Canoes, paddleboats, group barbecues

Burk Trail 1.25 km (30 minutes) moderate
This trail moves through fields, meadows and mature forest past a pioneer cemetery to a scenic lookout over Lake Ontario. Watch for the elusive Coopers hawk at the bluff and songbirds in the meadows.

McLaughlin Bay Trail 1.5 km (1 hour) easy
As you hike this trail from McLaughlin Bay, you travel through a marsh ecosystem into the transitional zone between wet and dry land. Plants and animals abound here, especially nesting waterfowl such as the Great Blue Heron. This trail links to the wildlife reserve and Oshawa Second Marsh Trails system at the west boundary of the park.

Robinson Creek Trail 1 km loop (30 minutes) easy
Starting and finishing at the Visitor Centre, this trail follows the intermittent Robinson Creek through a forested ravine full of mature willow, staghorn, sumac and maple trees and a diversity of plant and animal life. Take along the search-for-nature-trivia brochure.

Waterfront Trail 2.6 km (1 hour) easy
This is a small section of a 350-km, multi-use trail that follows the shore of Lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Trenton.

Darlington offers a wide variety of visitor programs that change weekly during the camping and day-use season. They include conducted walks, children's programs and evening campfires!

Spring is the best time to cast your line for lake trout and salmon. During the summer sheltered McLaughlin Bay is a popular place to catch panfish.

Canoes are ideal in the sheltered waters of McLaughlin Bay.

Wildlife Viewing
A variety of wildlife, from squirrels to white-tailed deer live in Darlington. Explore the wetland areas to view waterfowl and other birds, especially during spring and fall migration.

The sheltered waters of McLaughlin Bay are ideal for canoes and paddle boats. The open waters of Lake Ontario are suitable for larger motorboats and sail boats.

A barrier beach separates the warm, shallow waters of Lake Ontario on the west side of the park from the sheltered McLauglin Bay.

Hunting in this park is subject to the Ontario Hunting Regulations. Certain restrictions apply. For more information, contact the park or your local area or district office of the Ministry of Natural Resources.

For more information:
Darlington Provincial Park
1600 Darlington Park Rd.
Bowmanville, Ontario
L1C 3K3