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Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area

Wheelchair Friendly Parking Information Kiosk Trails Viewing Platform Interpretive Signs
Hiking Wildlife Viewing Nature Studies

Winter Notice: Parking lot and trails at Bowmanville/Westside Marshes CA are not maintained in the winter.

Officially opened in June 2006, the Bowmanville / Westside Marshes Conservation Area is over 80 hectares in size and includes two provincially significant coastal wetlands (Bowmanville Marsh and Westside Marsh) and their surrounding lands. The Westside Marsh, originally owned by St Marys Cement and recently dedicated to the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, has undergone extensive restoration activities over the last several years.

Goldenrods and Asters
Goldenrods and asters

Main Entrance: 180 West Beach Road, Clarington

Google Map: Main Parking Lot ~ Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area


Continuing restoration work within Westside Marsh and the land connecting it to the Bowmanville Marsh will provide more quality wildlife habitat areas, and enhance existing habitat areas that are already important to many wildlife species for both breeding and feeding activities. This Conservation Area provides good habitat for nesting birds and acts as an important stopover point for waterfowl and shorebirds migrating along the north shore of Lake Ontario.

In addition to their importance to wildlife, both Bowmanville Marsh and Westside Marsh provide many other important functions that are typical of the few remaining coastal wetlands found along this northern section of the Lake Ontario shoreline. As result, these two marshes are designated as provincially significant wetlands and are part of a long-term study, the Durham Region Coastal Wetland Monitoring Project.

To help you get a closer look at this important area, the Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area has a 1.5 Km looping trail around the upland area between the two wetlands. This trail is just the right length for little ones and is generally stroller and wheelchair friendly. Two raised viewing mounds give visitors to the area good views into the two wetland areas. Looking for more of a workout? Why not hop onto the Waterfront Trail, which is directly accessible from the Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area parking facility. Remember to bring a camera, because you just never know what you might see!

Click for more information on the Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area Management Plan (June 2006). (PDF - 1.3 MB)


Hiking   HIKING: A short, level and looping trail that is generally stroller and wheelchair friendly makes the Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area a convenient destination for those looking to get close to nature with minimal effort. There is also quick access to the Waterfront Trail from the Conservation Areas main parking facility!

Picnicking   PICNICKING: No formal picnicking facilities are provided at Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation. However, mowed areas directly surrounding the parking area provide a nice spot to lay out your picnic blanket. Here you can enjoy a cool lake breeze with nice views into the adjacent Bowmanville Marsh. Stone benches located along the trail overlooking Westside Marsh also provide a nice venue to enjoy a picnic. No reservations are required. Please refrain from feeding any interested wildlife.

Wildlife Viewing   WILDLIFE VIEWING: Two provincially significant wetlands on the shores of Lake Ontario help make Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area an important place for many different wildlife species. This area is also an important migratory stopover point for thousands of migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. A visit to the Westside Marsh viewing mound gets you within close proximity to the wetland. From here you might see an osprey in action on one of the elevated nesting platforms located within the wetland.

Nature Studies   NATURE STUDIES: Both unique plants and wildlife can be found at Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area as a result of these two provincially significant coastal wetlands. Please apply for a Sensitive Areas Permit if you would like to venture beyond the designated trail system and activity areas.

Season of Operation

This conservation area is open year round. (Parking lot and trails are not maintained in the winter.)

Downloads and Maps

Download the Bowmanville/Westside Marshes C.A. Brochure (PDF - 3.55 MB)
(Includes Trail Map)

Directions to Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area

Directions to Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area

Main Address: 180 West Beach Road, Clarington

Exit Hwy. 401 at Liberty Street exit in Bowmanville, turn east onto Lake Road (south of Hwy. 401), turn right onto Port Darlington Road, turn right (west) onto West Beach Road and travel 0.75 km, turn right into Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area parking facility.

Pay and Display Parking is in effect at a cost of:
Max. - $6/ vehicle/day or $3.00/hour.


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