Darlington Provincial Park, Courtice
Categories: Nature & Parks
Darlington Provincial Park is a part of the Ontario Provincial Parks system. It is located just south of Highway 401 near the town of Courtice, between the cities of Bowmanville and Oshawa. A small park, the topography is dominated by gentle hills, a terminal moraine deposited by glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. The park borders on the northern shore of Lake Ontario also encloses McLaughlin Bay. The Bay is shallow, and at some point in the 1990s was completely closed off from the lake by the action of the waves. The property bordering the park to the west is the home of General Motors Corporation's Canadian headquarters. Kintigh Generating Station can be seen from this provincial park even though it is on the other side of the lake.Park wildlifeDarlington Provincial Park is home to several varieties of plants and animals. The flora of the park consists mostly of second-generation regrowth, as the park was reforested in the 1960s after being cleared for farmland. Invasive plant species are a serious problem in the park, especially the aggressive purple loosestrife growing in the marshy areas bordering McLaughlin Bay. Animal species present in the park range from the white-tailed deer to squirrels and other small animals. Other animals such as coyotes and grey wolves have been rumored to be wandering around the park. Fish and amphibian life are also present in the park, especially in and around McLaughlin Bay. The park is known for migrating Monarch Butterflies. It offers an annual Monarch tagging and educational program.Arrange to visit Darlington Provincial Park and other attractions in Courtice using our Courtice vacation route planner.
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Though it is marked with a lone sign off of the busy 401 highway, Darlington provincial park is a beautiful little spot. It has a little bit of history (with log cabin and pioneer cemetery) and lots o... read more »
peaceful atmosphere it is a long drive from mississauga good beach areatwo family sheds so that u can cook good children playground with rain shower one can do fishing also altogether it is nice exper... read more »
Conveniently located near Go station. Easy access to Toronto. Large private sites.. Friendly staff. I found the trains to be comforting at night.. There are a lot.. Pick cliffside campground for most ... read more »
Beautiful beach area, larger than normal camping lots, cleaner than usual facilities and large areas for walking - has some secluded lots. Great fishing areas, caught some bass and quite a few catfish. Nature walk areas are fantastic. Star removed for: train that runs close - it's very loud and comes late at night. I could hear the sounds of the highway from my lot - and most importantly the area is still affected by Toronto's light pollution. Do not recommend for a 'connect to nature' experience, do recommend for fun trips.
Julie l Hobson
Darlington Provincial Park was surprisingly lovely given our proximity to the 401 and major cities. What we liked: Large sites, easy to move about with truck and trailer; the radio free zone, which made listening to the cacophony of bird songs most enjoyable! A bit more challenging: Expect to hear lots of freight train whistles! Also, plan on having a good 75' - 100' of electric cord. We noticed the electrical post for many sites in the Lakeside section were a long distance from where you would be setting up your trailer. Loved the easy access to the beach, and the walking trails. Terrific programs for kids, although not for us. We would definitely go back.
We were lucky enough to get an electric site on a Friday afternoon of a long weekend. Obviously a good omen because this is a great location! The beach is one of the best we've seen. Our site was big enough for our 32' motorhome with room to spare. There isn't a lot of privacy between the sites but given that they are large sites it wasn't an issue. We stayed in the Lakeside campground. We will go back in the fall when more of the lake view sites will be empty.
We had a nice stay at Darlington Park. However, light sleepers beware! Trains go by every half hour, 24/7! The toilets and showers are not exactly clean (mopping not done in corners, dust and mold build up on the fans in the showers, missing/broken hooks...) and situated very far from most campsites. Our campsite was nice and large but not very private. The beach is very nice but the water not so much but hey, this is Lake Ontario. Behave yourself because the personnel is very strict and rounds are frequent: one of our family members got a ticket at the beach for not having her camp permit on her dashboard despite having registered her car upon arrival.
It's a great place to do camping. Especially for people who are not hardcore campers. Lots of activities at the campsite from learn to fish to study about moths. Staff is friendly. Clean washrooms. Nice big sites to put in 2 or more tents. Saw a group of more than 15 folks near site staying comfortably. With lots of food. :-) Railway line near by is an issue as you can hear trains almost all night. Lake water was ok. Beach is not that great. It is very step and stony in the water so have to be careful. We had to get waist deep to find sand. Overall awesome experience. Btw if there don't forget to go to park store for tons of great cheap ice cream
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