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Photo: Clarington Tourism



Superintendent’s Message On behalf of the staff I would like to personally welcome you to Darlington Provincial Park. This amazing landmass sits on the north shore of Lake Ontario and has many things to offer. Whether here for a camping trip, photography, fishing, swimming, cycling, sunbathing, hiking the trails, birdwatching, enjoying ice-cream from the Park Store, or just relaxing in the outdoors reading a book, please respect the rules while visiting. The Covid-19 pandemic has created times of uncertainty and has altered the means in which we deliver some of our business in Ontario Parks and has increased visitation with so many wanting to get into nature to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. We ask visitors to continue to do their very best with keeping yourself and others safe. Practice safe distancing, wear a mask and wash your hands often. Stop in at the Park Office or speak with a staff member in the park if you have any questions or concerns. We always welcome feedback, comments and compliments and staff strive to address any matters that you have in a timely manner. There is a permit drop box as you

WHAT’S INSIDE Emergency Information................................... 2 Summary of Provincial Park Offences.............. 4 Park Information............................................. 5 Sponsors Of This Guide................................. 8-9 Park Map....................................................... 16

exit the park where you can leave us a note. During your time spent here you will have an abundance of opportunities to take photographs, please feel free to send them to me directly. Your photo may be chosen for use in one of our many information publications such as tabloids, park brochures or social media. Pictures can be sent to my email; curt. morris@ontario.ca. Darlington Provincial Park is a year-round operational park, I encourage you to experience the different seasons. Keep in mind wildlife encounters can happen at any time of the year. Wildlife is a very precious part of the park, please provide them with space. It is always extremely important to keep your campsite clean, keep all food stored appropriately, and always keep your dog leashed in order to not attract any wildlife. Darlington campgrounds have become very popular, therefore; it is important that campers respect the 2:00pm arrival/departure regulations and respect fellow campers. Registered campers like to enjoy their site until 2:00pm, as well arriving campers wish to set up on their site as soon as possible. However, it is very important that our maintenance team can properly inspect and clean campsites to ensure your pleasure and health and safety. Please be patient and respect the arrival policy, we try our best to get you to your campsite as soon as possible once it has been vacated and cleaned. In order to assist with campground traffic congestion - Day use registration does not permit your vehicle to be in the campgrounds. McLaughlin Bay provides an excellent place for those who are not necessarily “beachgoers” to enjoy our waterfront. Take time during your visit to explore this very diverse and fascinating area of the park. Thank you for your interest in Ontario Parks and most specifically Darlington Provincial Park, we hope you enjoy your stay with us. Curt Morris Park Superintendent

Darlington Through The Seasons Although Darlington may have seasonal guidelines for camping (May 7 – October 11, 2021), we have much more to offer the rest of the year!

Spring, Fall & Winter Self-Serve Fee Collection

All vehicles entering the park must be registered. During the spring, fall and winter, park visitors are required to pay applicable day use or camping fees at the self-serve, pay & display meter located behind the Registration Office in the parking lot. Payment may be made by credit card (Visa, Mastercard only), or coins. Tickets may be issued to vehicles that do not comply.


This tends to be the time of year that people would like to skip, but why not make the best of it? Darlington does not offer winter camping, however day use areas do remain open during the winter months. Day use areas are open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. Why not come out, enjoy some fun, get some fresh air and exercise? You can snowshoe, cross country ski, hike, and bird watch. Please note the park does not provide equipment rentals or groomed trails, you must bring your own equipment. Or maybe you would just like to have a leisurely stroll along a trail, or the beach. Enjoy the ice volcanoes that develop along the shoreline, they are spectacular sights! There are still lots of wildlife to be seen during this time of year such as squirrels, deer, rabbits, fox, blue-jays, cardinals, and wild turkeys. You may not always see our winter wildlife residents but if you look closely you may see their tracks in the snow. For the safety of all park visitors, other pets, and wildlife, if you decide to bring along the family pet – remember that dogs are not allowed on the beach and must be leashed at all times. Please note that in Provincial Parks there is a “stoop and scoop” regulation. If you have brought the family pet(s) with you, it is your responsibility to clean up after them.


Ahhh, the sweet smell of spring, the welcome songs of the robin and red-winged blackbird, and the sight of trees budding! These are all sights, sounds, and smells that can be thoroughly enjoyed as you take a stroll through the park on a sunny afternoon. Lakeside and Cliffside campgrounds (sites 1 – 186) are available for reservation and spring camping, starting May 7, 2021. Comfort stations, shower building, and laundromat are open and ready for use, as well as all day use areas!


While summer may be over and the children have gone back to school, there are still lots of warm sunny days left to enjoy. Why not try fall camping? Camping is still available until Thanksgiving weekend.

In order to help us maintain the natural beauty of this landscape for others to enjoy, please clean up all garbage and litter and place in receptacles provided. Washroom facilities and drinking water are not available during this time so please be prepared. Parking is available at both the Registration Office and Main Park Office. Snow will be ploughed on the main roadway. A permit is required for your vehicle while visiting the park. Permits can be purchased at the self-serve, pay & display meter located in the parking lot behind the Registration Office. Payment may be made by visa, mastercard, or coins. Parking tickets will be issued to vehicles that do not have a valid permit. Remember that all park rules & regulations still apply, even during the shoulder seasons. Please refer to Page 4, for a Summary of Provincial Park Offences.



Park Office. .................................................................... 905-436-2036

Emergency & Ambulance.................................................................. 911 Ontario Provincial Police................................................1-888-310-1122 Bowmanville Hospital........................................................ 905-623-3331 Oshawa Hospital................................................................ 905-576-8711

1600 Darlington Park Rd., Bowmanville, ON L1C 3K3 Park Warden...................................................................... 905-435-7578 Reservations..................................................................1-888-ONT-PARK ............................................................... ontarioparks.com/reservations

FUNGI: Forest Jewels! Fungi, under-rated and under-appreciated, can offer a diversity of color, shape and size – they are not all small, brown and boring! Mostly fall rains (but also spring), bring forth the promise of fruiting fungi. Like an apple on a tree, the toadstools that magically appear overnight are usually short-lived (often only a few days). They last just long enough to spread small dusty ‘spores’ (similar to seeds in plants), from the bladelike gills or straw-like tubes under the cap. However, shelf mushrooms (often on trees), can last several years and grow quite large by adding a new tube layer underneath each year. Without the recycling services of fungi, dead wood could pile up and a walk in the woods would become almost impossible! Other mushrooms like to grow with certain trees who give them food for water and nutrients the tree can’t reach. Look for the same species to pop up under the same tree every year. They are partners helping each other, connected by their roots. Some fungi, however, attack and kill trees.

CAMPERS & DAY-VISITORS! Please help us keep parks clean and dispose of all garbage correctly. Garbage can result in human-wildlife conflict and become a hazard to park visitors. We suggest bringing a garbage bag with you to collect your trash and dispose of it at park designated garbage and recycling areas before heading home. We appreciate and encourage park-lovers who are committed to protecting our environment for the future.

Watch for these gems of nature when you visit. These ‘fun guys’ easily hide in fall leaves. Look down, as well as up, for fall color and enjoy your walk in Darlington! For your safety, we recommend that you do not eat wild mushrooms! Please remember to leave only footprints and take only pictures (not mushrooms!).

A single piece of firewood can destroy millions of trees. Bringing firewood when you travel to or from your favourite provincial park may seem harmless but can spread invasive species such as insects, plants and diseases. Many of these species are hidden in the wood and are difficult to detect. Millions of trees have already been infected. Help us reduce the spread by; • Leaving firewood at home • Purchasing kiln-dried firewood where available • Buying local If you move firewood out of an area regulated for a quarantined pest without prior approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) you could face penalties of up to $50,000 and/or prosecution. For more information on firewood movement restrictions and the latest updates about emerald ash borer and other regulated pests, please visit www.inspection.gc.ca or contact the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342.

Hazardous Waste Disposal Please do not place single use (non-refillable) propane cylinders in garbage receptacles. We encourage you to take these home and dispose of them by following local municipal hazardous waste regulations. Single use cylinders may be taken to Orange Drop collection sites. Visit www.makethedrop.ca and search by postal code to find out where to drop-off your cylinders and other household hazardous waste. Safely disposing of your propane cylinders ensures that any remaining gases will be captured and the metal, valves and other elements will be recovered and reused.

Hot Coals

Please do not dump hot coals on the ground or in garbage receptacles. Please leave coals in your fire pit and staff will ensure they are disposed of properly.


E. Baird, M. Bird, K. Bridger, B. Garcia, C. Morris, B. Sprigings, G. Vogg,

Ontario Parks I Darlington

MNR #4415 ISSN 1911-0774 ISBN 978-1-4868-5158-4 (Print. 2021 ed.) © 2021 Government of Ontario Printed in Canada


Summary of Provincial Park Offences

of the occupants of the registered campsite. The Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act and other legislation governing behaviour in provincial parks can be reviewed at provincial park offices and on the e-laws website at www.e-laws.gov.on.ca. These laws are enforced by Provincial Park Wardens who have all the power and the authority of a member of the Ontario Provincial Police within a provincial park. Many of the listed offences could result in eviction from a provincial park. Evicted visitors are prohibited from re-entering any Provincial Park for a period of 72 hours. Fines do not include the victim fine surcharge.

There is one basic rule in Ontario Parks: Have respect and consideration for your fellow visitors and the park environment. The following table lists some of the more common laws enforced in provincial parks. Under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, the registered permit holder is responsible for the conduct of all campsite occupants and could be charged with an offence based on the actions

OFFENCE Alcoholic Beverages • Have liquor in open container other than residence (campsite) • Consume liquor in other than residence • Have open container of liquor in vehicle • Person under 19 years having liquor • Being intoxicated in a public place • Unlawfully have liquor in listed park (during alcohol ban) Rowdyism / Noise •U  se discriminatory, harassing, abusive or insulting language or gestures • Make excessive noise • Disturb other persons • Operate audio device in prohibited area Storing Wildlife Attractants • Unlawfully store wildlife attractants

Refuse • Litter or cause litter • Fail to keep campsite / facility clean • Fail to restore campsite / facility to original condition Vehicles • Unlawfully take motor vehicle into park or possess or operate it • Speeding –more than 20 km/hr • Operate vehicle off roadway • Disobey stop sign


$100.00 $100.00 $175.00 $100.00 $50.00 $100.00




EXPLANATION If you are 19 years of age or older, you are permitted to possess or consume alcoholic beverages on a registered campsite only. Many parks enforce a complete alcohol ban on Victoria Day and for the preceding ten days. An alcohol ban is also in effect at Sibbald Point Provincial Park on Labour Day and for the preceding five days. During these time frames, possession of alcohol is prohibited everywhere within parks imposing the alcohol ban. Provincial Parks are established to provide a setting for peaceful and natural experiences. Rowdy behaviour which includes excessive noise, or obscene language or gestures, is not permitted. You cannot disturb any other person or interfere with their enjoyment of the park any time of the day or night. Operation of an audio device (such as a radio, stereo, TV, etc.) in a radio free area is prohibited. Do not maintain or store potential wildlife attractants, including food or beverages, food preparation or storage equipment, cooking devices or utensils, garbage or recycling products, scented products or any other item that is likely to attract wildlife.


Deposit all garbage and litter in the containers provided to discourage wildlife from becoming pests. Campsites and/or facilities must be clean at all times to eliminate potential hazards to parks visitors and wildlife.

$125.00 $100.00 $125.00 $85.00

Off-Road vehicles are not permitted in Provincial Parks because of the environmental damage they cause. Licenced motor vehicles may be operated on roads only. All provisions of the Highway Traffic Act apply on all park roads. Each vehicle in the park must have a valid permit. Bicycles are only allowed on park roads and on designated bike trails.

(plus 3 demerit points)

Parking • Park vehicle in area not designated • Fail to display permit on parked vehicle

Pets • Permit domestic animal to be without leash • Permit domestic animal to make excessive noise •P  ermit domestic animal to be in designated swimming area or on a beach • Permit domestic animal to disturb people • Permit domestic animal to be in a posted prohibited area Environmental Protection • Damage/deface/remove crown property • Disturb/harm/remove natural object • Disturb/cut/remove/harm plant or tree • Kill plant or tree • Disturb/kill/remove/harm/harass animal Camping Permit • F ail to vacate and remove property from campsite on permit expiry • Unlawfully occupy campsite • Camp over time limit

Camping Equipment/Persons • Place more than 3 pieces of shelter equipment on campsite •P  lace more than one tent-trailer, house trailer or self-propelled camping unit on campsite • E xcessive number of persons occupying campground campsite/interior campsite



$125.00 $125.00 $125.00 $150.00 $150.00

$75.00 $125.00 $75.00


All vehicles must park in a designated area and display a valid park permit. You must prominently display your valid park permit on your dashboard. For health and safety reasons, your pet must be under control and on a leash not exceeding 2 meters at all times. You must ensure your pet does not damage or interfere with campsite vegetation or wildlife. You must ensure your pet does not interfere with others enjoyment of the park. Pets are not permitted in the swimming area, on the beach or in a posted prohibited area at any time. To maintain the park as a natural setting, the removal of natural objects is prohibited. All vegetation, wildlife and natural features are protected in provincial parks. This includes the cutting of any live growth and the damage of any natural or other object. You may not take any fallen or dead wood from a provincial park for the purpose of a campfire or other such intent. You are required to vacate and remove all property from your campground campsite or interior campsite by 2:00 p.m. on the date your permit expires so that others may have access to it. The maximum length of stay in a Provincial Park campground is 23 consecutive nights and 16 consecutive nights on an interior campsite, to ensure park visitors have an equal opportunity to enjoy our campsites and limit environmental impact. Without a limit on the amount of camping gear allowed, campsites would quickly deteriorate, becoming larger, eventually destroying the surrounding vegetation. The maximum number of campers allowed per campground campsite is six persons and the maximum number of campers allowed on an interior campsite is nine persons.


Fireplaces are designated by park staff for safety reasons. Restricting fires to these locations greatly reduces the risk of forest fires. At any time during a fire ban no person is permitted to have a fire unless otherwise stated by the Park Superintendent.

Fireworks • Possess fireworks • Ignite fireworks

$100.00 $150.00

Possession or use of fireworks is prohibited in Provincial Parks at all times. They constitute a fire hazard and disturb visitors who wish to enjoy the park in a peaceful manner.

Hours of Closing • Enter park after closing hours • Remain in park after closing


Only registered campers are allowed in a provincial park during the posted hours of closing (10 p.m. to 8 a.m.).

Campfires • Start fire other than in fireplace or designated place • Start fire where notice of fire hazard is posted

Fines are subject to change. This is not a complete listing of offences; please refer to the specific legislation. 4

Ontario Parks I Darlington

For Your Information Main Office

The Main Office is open Monday – Friday – 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Please feel free to drop in and speak with staff if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

Registration Office

• Spring & Fall: Hours as Posted • Summer (End of June – Labour Day): Open daily 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Hours subject to change.

Campfires and Firewood

Firewood can be purchased at the Park Store, Registration Office or Main Office. Please do not cut trees or use dead limbs or driftwood ... they are all part of the wonderful ecosystem of the park! Firewood bags are not recyclable, please place in garbage containers.


Please approach any staff member or proceed to the Registration Office in the event of an injury, lost person, or any other emergency. Please remember to note your campsite number and location. The location of the park is 1600 Darlington Park Road, Bowmanville. With more people carrying cellular phones, calls for emergency services are often made before park staff are contacted. PLEASE notify park staff if you call 911 or any other emergency number. We will assist emergency vehicles by providing an escort directly to your location and opening any control gates necessary to speed up access.

Lost Children

Every year we have children that wander away from their campsites. It is important to be prepared for this because children naturally love to explore. If your child is lost, report it to park staff immediately. We will need as much information from you as possible, including the following: • Campsite number • Age and name of child • Clothing last seen wearing • Last known location • Relevant illnesses or injuries It is important that one person remains on your campsite in case the child returns there.

Washrooms and Showers

In addition to the vault toilets, there are four comfort stations in the park. Three are located in the campgrounds and one in Day Use Area #2. All comfort stations have flush toilets, and electrical outlets. Showers are centrally located in the Hilltop and Lakeside Campgrounds. Check the map on the back cover of this tabloid for exact locations.

Drinking Water

Taps for drinking water are located throughout the campgrounds and day use areas. You will find one a short distance from your campsite. Check the map for locations of water taps. Darlington is connected to the Region of Durham municipal water system and as such incur high costs for water consumption. Please do your best to help us conserve water by using only what is needed and ensure faucets are not left running. Do not wash vehicles at the trailer sanitation station. PLEASE DO NOT WASH YOUR DISHES OR YOUR PET AT DRINKING WATER TAPS!

Ontario Parks I Darlington


Several garbage disposal sites are located throughout the campgrounds and day use areas. Garbage bags for your site are available at the Registration Office. We encourage you to recycle while at Darlington. Glass, aluminum and plastic may be deposited in the bins located beside the garbage bins.

Trailer Waste

Trailer sewage may be dumped at the sanitation station located at the entrance road to the campground portion of the park. You can also refill your trailer with fresh water at this location. Have consideration for the park environment and your fellow campers by ensuring that gray water is disposed of at the trailer dumping station. Check the map on the back cover for the exact location of the sanitation station.


Commercial washers and dryers are located in the Hilltop shower building. Cost is $2.00 per cycle. If volume is a concern, just ask our staff to direct you to laundry facilities outside the park.

Prevent Drowning

Lake Ontario is powerful and unforgiving to those who do not take safety precautions. There are no lifeguards on the beach. Parents are responsible for their children and should not let children in or near the water without proper adult supervision.

Additional Vehicle Parking

Parking for one vehicle is included with the purchase of a campsite permit. Purchase of an additional vehicle permit allows a second vehicle to be parked within the campgrounds. Most campsites are large enough to accommodate parking of two vehicles. Vehicles must be parked on campsite driveways. Two vehicles maximum are allowed to park on campsite. Parking lots are available within the campgrounds for all other additional vehicles (additional vehicle permit still required). Permit must be displayed on vehicle dashboard at all times while in the park.


For the safety of your pet and consideration for other park users, your pet(s) must be leashed at all times. Pets are not allowed on the beach. We receive numerous complaints about dogs running loose. Also, many are found on the beach or left behind on campsites where they may bark and disturb others. Your neighbors and your pet will appreciate your consideration. Please note that in Provincial Parks there is a “stoop and scoop” regulation. If you have brought the family pet(s) with you, it is your responsibility to clean up after them.

Audio Free Area

Darlington Provincial Park visitors are able to enjoy a radio free zone. LAKESIDE campground consisting of campsites 1-102, is the park’s AUDIO FREE campground. Please respect your fellow campers and be considerate of these rules: * No operation of radios or other devices that amplify sound. The use of this equipment with personal headphones is permitted. * Lakeside is designated audio free at all times.


Darlington’s Plovers During the past few seasons Piping Plovers have made Darlington’s beach their home. It has been over 80 years since Piping Plovers have successfully nested along the Canadian shoreline of Lake Ontario in Durham Region! The Piping Plover is listed as an endangered species both federally and provincially. These small birds arrived in mid-May and made their nests on the western end of our beach. Park staff along with volunteers fenced off areas of the beach to minimize human disturbance to the nests and placed small cages over the nests for protection from predators. The plover nests had successful hatches. The young birds were spotted many times along the shoreline until they fledged from the beach in late August. Do your part to help in the recovery of this endangered species and stay away from the nesting area.

Take A Hike? Getting tired of sitting around your campsite – Why not take a hike on one of our nature trails? Robinson Creek Trail: This 1 km trail meanders along the banks of the Robinson Creek and is full of many different plants, trees and animals. Take a peek in the water and see how many different aquatic critters you can see swimming around. There are many photo opportunities along this trail, especially as you walk over the bridge, which marks the halfway point of the trail.

The Burk Trail: This 2.5 km trail is a perfect blend of natural & cultural heritage. Stop at the lookout for a spectacular view of Lake Ontario. Then swing by the Pioneer Cemetery to visit the Burk family plot. The Burks were United Empire Loyalists who immigrated to Ontario from New York. They are believed to be the first pioneers to settle on the land that is now the park! McLaughlin Bay Trail: This trail is about 2 km long and takes about an hour to walk. This is the easiest trail in the park as it is mostly flat grassy ground. The trail is bright & open and is surrounded on either side by grassy fields, wildflowers and tall shady trees. If you want to keep going this trail connects to Second Marsh trails at the western boundary.

Darlington’s Pioneers On October 2, 1794, the Burks, Trulls and Conants arrived on the shores of Lake Ontario to claim their land grants that were offered by Lieutenant-Governor, John Graves Simcoe. Roger Conant was the first of the three pioneer families to claim the lots which now compose the park; However, Conant did not actually build his home within the park boundaries – his home was built to the east, on Lot 29 – near the base of the present day Courtice Road. John Trull originally drew land from Conant and built his home on Lot 26. John Burk settled furthest east on Lot 13. In 1819, Roger Conant sold some of his land which is now Darlington Park to Samual Burk, John Burk’s son. We believe that Samual Burk and his family were the first European settlers to live on the present park land. The evidence lies in the pioneer cemetery found in the park along


the Burk Trail. In the cemetery is a gravestone marking the names of Samual Burk, his wife Mary, their son Peter & his wife Barbara, and three other children, Sylvester, Harvy and Sarah. Please take a few moments and travel back in time as you visit the cemetery. We do ask that you respect and “DON’T DISTURB” our resident ghosts by remaining outside the barrier as you visit. Darlington’s Pioneer Cabin was built by William Hodgson in 1832 north of Whitby for a family of twelve. This cabin was moved to the park and rebuilt in 1967 as a centennial project to commemorate the early pioneers. Compared to the original Loyalist cabins, Hodgson’s two-story home was probably envied, just as we admire estate mansions today! The cabin is located in Day Use Area #2. Take a wander by and check it out.

Ontario Parks I Darlington

Park Store We’ve Got What You Need!

The store is located at the intersection of the Campground and Day Use roads, and offers a variety of merchandise including ice, camping products, toys & souvenir items, coffee and snacks, and of course ICE CREAM treats! As well as hardwood and kindling for those evening campfires and smore making!

STORE HOURS Spring – May – end of June OPEN - Friday, Saturday, Sunday Summer – End of June – Labor Day OPEN Daily CHECK POSTED HOURS FOR TIMES!

WATER SAFETY: IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY 1. There are no lifeguards on our beaches. Water safety is your responsibility at all times. 2. Take the steps to be safe around water. Learning how to swim and water survival techniques help keep us all safe. 3. Always supervise children and non-swimmers by watching them when they are in or around the water. 4. Ensure children and non-swimmers wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) in or around the water. 5. Swim only in designated swimming areas. When the water is rough, or conditions are not clear – STAY OUT! Never swim alone. You should always swim with a buddy. 6. Using a floatie? Offshore winds often blow inflatables out into dangerous waters. Ensure inflatable rafts or toys are used in shallow water areas only and pay attention to changing wind conditions. 7. Be responsible. Avoid substance use when involved in water-related recreational activities. 8. Protect your neck. Never dive into shallow or murky water. 9. If you suspect a drowning or any other type of water emergency, call 911 and contact the park office immediately. ­

The Ontario Parks Turtle Protec�on Project Did you know all eight of Ontario’s turtle species are now at risk? Proceeds from your purchase of this collec�on will help fund our Turtle Protec�on Project. For more informa�on on this project, please visit OntarioParks.com/donate

Ontario Parks I Darlington


SPONSORS OF THIS GUIDE This publication is made possible with the participation of local businesses and organizations. Show your appreciation by giving them your support.

Experience Clarington’s unique attractions, great shopping, rural markets and delicious food. Stay safe as you support local businesses.

Chronicle Brewing Co.

Historic Downtown Bowmanville

Clarington Farmers Market

Village of Newcastle

Discover Clarington

www.claringtontourism.net 905-623-3379 ext. 2252

"We can get you to the gate!" Need a pick-me-up? On Demand can get you to the main gate of Darlington Provincial Park. Take some time to explore all Durham Region has to offer!

On Demand To learn more or to book a trip with On Demand, call 1-866-247-0055.

Pay when you board using exact cash fare or by using



You can also use the Transit App and the DRT On Demand App

Ontario Parks I Darlington

SPONSORS OF THIS GUIDE This publication is made possible with the participation of local businesses and organizations. Show your appreciation by giving them your support.

Jungle Cat World Zoo Guided Feeding Tour 1:30 daily

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Behind the Scenes Program Private Session to meet some of our most precious Creatures

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Ticks and Lyme Disease Do ticks and Lyme disease make you wary of going outdoors this summer? By being aware of ticks and understanding the role they play in spreading Lyme disease you are taking the first step to protect yourself and your loved ones. There are many different species of ticks and not all of them carry Lyme disease. The most common tick you may encounter is the American Dog Tick, which does not carry Lyme disease. The only tick that carries Lyme disease in Ontario is the Black-legged (or Deer) Tick (Ixodes scapularis). Both ticks can be found in wooded areas or tall grass habitats. In Ontario, Black-legged Ticks are more commonly found in rural areas along the north shores of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. Black-legged Ticks are known to feed on migratory birds and as a result, they can be transported throughout the province. Therefore, while the potential is low, it is possible for people to encounter Black-legged Ticks, or to be infected with Lyme disease from the bite of an infected Black-legged Tick, almost anywhere in the province. Ticks feed slowly, and an infected tick must feed on a person for at least 24 hours in order to infect them with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Because of this delay, prompt detection and removal of ticks is one of the key methods of preventing Lyme disease. If you become infected from a tick bite, symptoms usually begin within 1 - 2 weeks, but can take as long as one month to begin. The “classic” symptom is a bulls-eye rash that can develop anywhere on the body; however, this rash may not occur in all cases. Early symptoms of Lyme disease can include flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches, stiff neck, jaw pain, and sore muscles. If untreated, problems with the heart, nervous system, and joints can occur months or years later. Lyme disease is easily treated in the early stages so seek medical attention if you feel unwell. When you are out in tick habitat you can better protect yourself by taking a few precautions: 1.  Wear long sleeves and tuck your pants into your socks. 2.  Wear light coloured clothing so you can detect ticks before they attach. 3.  Use insect repellent containing “Deet” (please follow manufacturer’s directions). Apply it to your skin and outer clothing. 4.  Conduct a tick check. Look on your clothes, body and pets. Pay close attention to your groin, scalp and armpits. 5. If you find a tick on your body, remove it and place it in a container. Contact your local health unit or your doctor if you have questions. Additionally, you may contact your family doctor for questions on Lyme disease.

Blacklegged tick with a penny for scale. These Black-legged Ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are found on a wide range of hosts including mammals, birds and reptiles. Black-legged Ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are known to transmit Lyme disease Borrelia burgdorferi, to humans and animals during feeding, when they insert their mouth parts into the skin of a host, and slowly take in the nutrient-rich host blood.

Found a Tick? DO • • • • •

Use fine point tweezers Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible Gently pull the tick straight out Disinfect the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water Save tick (alive if possible) in a jar, with a piece of damp paper towel for identification and potential testing. You can take the tick to your family doctor for testing. • Watch for symptoms and seek medical attention if you feel unwell or if you cannot safely remove the tick


• Grasp around bloated belly and squeeze the tick • Use a match, heat or chemicals • Twist the tick when pulling it out

By following these simple suggestions you can have a safe and enjoyable time exploring Darlington Provincial Park. For more information please consult the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/ diseases/lyme-disease.html You can also visit: www.ontario.ca/lyme


Ontario Parks I Darlington


Raccoons Are Not Picky Eaters Make sure anything with a scent: • food • condiments • toiletries • empty cans & bottles

• • • •

barbeques coolers eating utensils garbage

is stored securely in your vehicle with all of the windows up, when you are not on your site during the day, after dark or when you go to bed for the evening. Any scent of food and you will likely have a visit from raccoons. Cooler lids, plastic containers and bar fridges are all easy puzzles for raccoons to figure out how to open. Never leave garbage unattended and dispose of all waste products in the central waste collection for your campground prior to going to bed. Pet food should be put away after your pet has eaten and never leave it unattended. Failure to keep a clean campsite could result in fines being imposed under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act.

Do your part to keep wildlife wild. Keep your campsite clean and animal proof.

Coyotes are often seen in the park or on adjacent farmlands surrounding the park boundaries, but we are unaware of any problems being caused to park visitors obeying leash rules. Coyotes that have been spotted and photographed at the park are large in size but in most cases keep their distance from people and pets. Most coyote sightings are in the early morning or evening, although mid afternoon presence has been noted on some occasions. Coyotes like other wild animals sometimes come into conflict with humans. There have been cases when coyotes in the park have encountered pets and park visitors and have disappeared immediately, although in other cases the coyotes have tried to lure the pets in their direction. For this reason it is extremely important that all park visitors obey the Provincial Parks and Conservations Reserves Act leash laws which regulate leashes to no more than two meters in length. These laws are strictly enforced within the park boundaries at all times.

Keep All Pets On Leashes

• Cats and small dogs may be seen as prey by coyotes, while larger dogs may be injured in a confrontation. To avoid these situations consider the following suggestions: • W  alk your dog on a leash at all times. Keep your dog close to you at all times. • Coyotes are attracted to, and can mate with, domestic dogs that have not been spayed or neutered.

Do Not Approach Or Feed Coyotes

• Coyotes are usually wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible; however they are wild animals and should not be approached. • People should not feed coyotes! Feeding these animals makes them less fearful of humans and habituates them to foods provided by humans.

If You Encounter A Coyote

• Never attempt to tame or lure the coyote • D  o not turn your back or run from a coyote. Back away from the coyote while remaining calm.

Get to Know Darlington! How many people are believed to be buried in the cemetery?________________________________________________________________ What are their names?_______________________________________________________________________________________________ What year was the log cabin built? By whom? When was the cabin moved to Darlington?__________________________________________ Name five types of trees that you can find in Darlington.____________________________________________________________________ Name five types of plants or flowers you can find in Darlington.______________________________________________________________ How much does a bag of firewood cost?_________________________________________________________________________________ What are the names of the three campgrounds? How many campsites are there?________________________________________________ Where can you go fishing? What type of fish might you catch?________________________________________________________________ How long is the beach?_______________________________________________________________________________________________ What is the name of the endangered species that has nested along Darlington’s shoreline for the past few seasons? ____________________ Why is it important to protect this species?_______________________________________________________________________________ How many people do you think visit Darlington each season?________________________________________________________________ Ontario Parks I Darlington


How Exercise and Nature Affect our Mental Health! Our bodies were designed to move! With the continuing urbanization within our communities, there has been a substantial increase in sedentary behavior. From the beginning, our brains were designed to live off the land and use nature as a survival tool. Because we are living easier, more simplistic lives, we are not getting the same amount of stimulation mentally, nor physically that our bodies desire. This lack of stimulation can be detrimental to our general health. We need to keep moving! Sedentary lifestyles are simply self-destructive. It is estimated that only 2 out of 10 Canadian adults are meeting daily exercise requirements and alarmingly, only 1 out of 10 children are meeting these standards. The physical activity requirements are not demanding; they consist of a 30-minute walk, 5 days a week. Sedentary behaviors have directly contributed to many chronic health conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mental health instabilities. The consequences of inactivity are concerning. In addition to the immense amount of physiological and psychological benefits of exercise alone, scientists and physical activity experts have determined that exercising in green spaces have higher contributions to overall wellbeing. Engaging in physical activities at Provincial Parks improves mental health by reducing stress, increasing confidence and enhancing mood. Outdoor exercise has many physical benefits that are magnified in comparison to urban settings. These benefits include lower blood pressure, increased immunity and reduced risk of chronic illnesses. You are probably wondering; how does this work? Exercise and nature work together by releasing the neurotransmitter serotonin within the brain. Simply put, neurotransmitters are chemical messengers within the body with the purpose of transmitting signals from nerve cells, to target cells. Serotonin is known as the body’s natural mood stabilizer. People with increased serotonin levels are less likely to develop clinical depression, are less anxious, are more focused and reported to be more emotionally stable. With these findings, we can conclude that people who exercise outdoors are generally happier, more content people. Exercise has the ability to reprogram the brain. Physical activity strengthens the neurological connections within our brain and

promotes the growth of new neurons, therefore, increasing brain function and capacity. This image shows that those who choose to exercise have better neurological connections which improves stress management and the ability to control your emotions and make decisions. With all the health benefits associated with exercise why are Canadians becoming less active? While exercise may be intimidating for many people, what we are stressing is that exercise does not have to be vigorous in order to be beneficial. Light to moderate activity levels have shown to be just as effective in preventing chronic illnesses and improving mental health. And what better place to start engaging your mind and body than a beautiful Provincial Park. Parks provide an abundance of natural beauty that can easily be enjoyed by every generation. From walking through canopied forests, to swimming in fresh water lakes, to hiking through nature trails, every Provincial Park offers its own splendor for all to enjoy. It is almost effortless to exercise both your mind and body just by stepping outside and enjoying all the natural beauty it provides.  Without realizing it, the fresh air and the landscape will make substantial contributions to both physical and mental wellbeing. Exercise is the best medicine around. Why not set aside 30 minutes a day to participate in physical activity, you will most likely see a change in yourself – you may feel much healthier and happier. Adding some form of physical activity into your day will provide lasting health benefits. Ontario Parks are great resources that provide serenity and relaxation amid a stressful world. Darlington is located just outside the GTA and is a perfect place to come and destress from the busy city life. While visiting this beautiful place, take a hike and let the serenity of nature ease your mind and body. Day use areas are open year round for walking, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, etc. Vehicle permit required at all times. Rachel Gibson Staff Member – Darlington Provincial Park

Campfire Safety • Build fire in designated fire pit only • Place wood well away from fire pit • Have tinder, kindling and various sizes of wood ready before you light the fire • Place a fire starter or small bundle of tinder in the centre of the fire pit • Place a few pieces of kindling in a teepee style over the fire starter • Light the fire starter, add larger pieces of wood once the fire is established

• Extinguish the fire completely when you leave the campsite or retire for the evening • Pour 2-3 buckets of water in the fire – a little at a time – be careful of smoke and steam! Stir coals between adding water to ensure that all hot spots are extinguished.

• Flames should never reach more than 1 foot off the ground • Never leave a fire unattended! 12

Ontario Parks I Darlington


Know what kind of wildlife has been seen in your park. Share what you’ve seen with others. DownloaD the app to your mobile device or use your computer. More than 80,000 sightings in our parks Over 5,000 species


iNaturalist Canada is run by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Royal Ontario Museum, and iNaturalist.org at the California Academy of Sciences.

CONSERVE OUR FORESTS There are many reasons why it is prohibited to pick up wood and cut or break off tree branches in the park to use on your campsite. Here are just a few: 1. Dead wood may be home to all kinds of birds, small animals, insects and plants. Over time the dead wood will decompose into nutrient rich soil which helps renew our ecosystem and continues to make homes for different creatures, plants and eventually, new trees! 2. The growth and life cycle of a tree is measured over many decades. If campers and visitors were permitted to cut down trees, break off branches and otherwise take from the forest, there would be very little to no forest left for visitors to enjoy in a very short time. Conservation is one of the most important reasons we operate Provincial Parks. 3. Live wood or branches that visitors break off for roasting sticks is very damaging and can kill a tree. If the tree does survive the initial damage, the scar that is left can become an opening for water, insects, fungus and bacteria to get in and subsequently kill the tree. 4. It is against the law to destroy or deface anything on park property. This includes all plants and animals that live and grow in the park. If you are still not sure, please ask a park staff member. Unfortunately, we also see many trees damaged by nails, imbedded beer caps, carvings, strips of bark removed, axe and hatchet marks, ropes and wires wrapped around branches and trunks, and sometimes even burn marks. These are all very destructive and can kill the trees. Please leave the trees as they are and they will be there for everyone to enjoy for many years to come.

Poison Ivy

Avoid the Itch! Leaflets Three- Leave It Be! Berries White- Take Flight! Many camping trips have been ruined by these leaflets three! Poison Ivy is quite common in some areas of the park, especially in open areas along the edges of campsites. The best way to avoid the itchy allergic reaction (caused by oils on the plant) is to learn to identify the plant, and stay way from it. It is not necessary to come into contact with Poison Ivy to develop the rash. The oil is easily transferred from your boots, clothing, camping gear and your pet’s fur. Poison Ivy is a three-leafed plant (shrub, bush or vine). It’s three leaflets are usually drooping and somewhat shiny, the middle leaflet has a longer stem than the other two leaflets, and this plant has a woody stem at it’s base. In the spring the new leaves are reddish green in color. In late summer the plant produces a small cluster of white berries. In late August or in the fall the leaves turn an orangey color before they drop off. If you think you have been in contact with Poison Ivy, wash with soap and water as soon as possible. Provincial Parks are set aside for protection. Since Poison Ivy shares habitat with many other plant species (some of which are rare in Ontario) we do not control it beyond the edges of trails or the most used areas of campsites. Unsure of what this plant looks like? Stop by the Main Office and ask Park Staff.

Can you name the very first Provincial Park? Bonus point if you know what year it opened?___________________________________ In 1954 there were only 7 Provincial Parks – can you name them?________________________________________________________

Park Puzzlers

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ What is the largest Provincial Park in area?__________________________________________________________________________ Which provincial park has a disc golf course?_________________________________________________________________________ True or False – You can find whales in Ontario Provincial Parks?__________________________________________________________ Which park is home to the Mazinaw Rock rising more than 100 meters above the water and has many Aboriginal pictographs?_______ What is the name of most southern provincial park, which has the same latitude as northern California?_________________________ Which park has the world’s largest fresh- water sand dune system?______________________________________________________ What is the name of Ontario’s official flower? Please look but don’t touch!_________________________________________________ Ontario Parks I Darlington


Visitor Etiquette Please consider your fellow visitors and the environment during your stay!

Campsite Boundaries:

Campsites are designed to accommodate a limited number of people and camping equipment. Please respect the campsite boundaries that are set by keeping all equipment and vehicles within these limits. Please refrain from trampling surrounding vegetation, in order to maintain and help further the restoration of buffers between campsites.

Trespassing on Campsites:

A campsite is your home away from home. We want people to feel that way and expect people to treat each other this way. When in the park please respect other people’s privacy and don’t cut across occupied campsites.

Excessive Noise:

One of the most common concerns is the amount of noise made by other campers. Barking dogs, generators, loud voices, and radios top the list. It is an offence under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act to make excessive noise at any time. Please be considerate and keep the noise level to a minimum.

Speeding on Park Roads:

Using outside water taps for personal hygiene or washing dishes:

Drinking water taps are tested regularly to ensure there is a safe supply of water. Unfortunately, if people use these taps to do dishes, wash their hands or pets, or brush their teeth, the individual tap may become contaminated. It is important for all park visitors’ safety to use these taps for water only. A considerate visitor will go to the tap, get a quantity of water in a pail or bucket and take it back to their campsite for use.

Leaving Garbage Behind:

Littering on the beach, trails, and roads spoils the natural beauty of the park. Please place all litter in receptacles provided. In addition, leaving your campsite a mess when you leave ruins the next campers visit. When you are ready to leave your campsite, take a look at the site. Would you enjoy arriving at the site in the condition it is in? If your answer is yes, thank you for ensuring the next persons visit is enjoyable. If your answer is no, then please take an extra few minutes and clean up! Vandalism and carving on trees or picnic tables spoils the beauty of the park and is also illegal! Park wardens help control these activities by giving warnings, laying charges, and/or evicting visitors from the park as necessary. It would be much more enjoyable if all visitors would remember one of the parks most important rules – have consideration for the park and your fellow visitors!

Park roads are heavily used by children, pedestrians, and cyclists. Many of the park roads are narrow and do not allow room to pull off to avoid hitting someone or something. It is important to keep your speed down when driving in the park. The posted speed limit on the main park roads is 40 km/hr, but the speed limit on the campground roads is only 20 km/hr. Please be extra cautious when driving your vehicle within the park. Don’t forget to watch for little critters that may dart out in front of you!

Photo: Byron Garcia 14

Photo: Craig Kearnan Ontario Parks I Darlington

Kid’s Corner

For answers, visit the Registration Office, Main Office, or Park Store.

Know Your Babies? Draw a line to match the babies to their parents!





























Discovery Program Drop by the Registration Office to pick up your FREE Discovery Activity Book and Craft Kits.

Word Search Circle all the words - then go out in the park and see how many of these things you can find!

P I C N I C A C B E A C R T R E E K N A T U R E O P B A Y Q S C A M P F X K O Y A B H C U Y Z A I A J N O I K M X S K T I P L I T T N E H S W I G R N O O C I K R M O N B M S P R I G A M E N G S C E T R A B D A R L I Ontario Parks I Darlington














Fish Hut


Hot Coals/ Ash Disposal


Main Office

Log Cabin



R Garbage & Recycling Station

$$ Self Serve/Pay & Display Meter


Profile for Willow Publishing

Darlington Provincial Park 2021 Information Guide  

Darlington Provincial Park 2021 Information Guide

Darlington Provincial Park 2021 Information Guide  

Darlington Provincial Park 2021 Information Guide

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