By Essex Region Conservation Authority
With 5 kilometres of trails around this precious marshland habitat, Hillman Marsh draws wildlife and people from both near and far. Adjacent to Lake Erie, the main amenities at Hillman Marsh can be accessed from the main entrance. Swimming beaches are accessible North Beach parking lot on Mersea Rd. 2 and from South Beach parking lot located on East Beach Road. The nature centre is open at limited times during the spring with excellent educational displays about flora and fauna typical to the area. This is one of the Conservation Areas used to educate students from across the region about conserving our environment through Conservation Education Field Studies.
With the installation of solar panels at the Nature Centre in 2008 a Renewable Energy Interpretive Education Program was initiated to inform visitors and provide exciting curriculum based hands-on programs for students in the field or in-class.
Nature Centre with Viewing platform
Conservation Area Facts
Witnessing migration activity at the Spring Shore and Songbird Festival in May is one of the highlights of this area.
The diverse habitats of Hillman Marsh attract and support marsh, shore and field birds such as herons, egrets, terns, songbirds and ducks as well as a nesting pair of Bald Eagles. Over one hundred species of birds use Hillman as a migration stopover which draws sandpipers, ducks, warblers and frequently spotted annual rarities such as the Yellow-headed Blackbird, Willet, Marbled Godwit, Eurasian Wigeon, Glossy Ibis and Eastern Kingbird.
Fields near the parking lot often have Meadowlarks and Bobolinks in May. A birding trail bordering 87 acres of land adjacent to the Conservation Area has been developed into a Shorebird Habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl, marsh birds and other wildlife. Dykes have been constructed and a pumping system installed to manage water levels, allowing the habitat to be flooded in the winter and drained in early spring to create mudflats. The habitat can be reached from a variety of trail accesses at the Conservation Area.
At one time, Hillman Marsh and Point Pelee National Park were joined as one marsh.
Main Entrance: Open daily from dawn until dusk. Nature Centre 9:00 a.m.- 3:30 p.m during weekends in May.
From Windsor take Highway #3 to Leamington. Take Oak Street approximately 7 km east of Leamington. The main entrance to Hillman Marsh is located on County Road 37 at the 2nd Concession Road.