Throughout the area, self-guided walks are supported by a maintained trail system, way-finding signs, viewing platforms and interpretive signs beautifully illustrated by wildlife artist Judie Shore.

Please note that there are no washroom facilities or telephones available on site. The nearest public washrooms are located in Lakeview Park and Darlington Provincial Park.

Where to Park

To access the Waterfront Trail on the east side of the Marsh, park on Colonel Sam Drive.  There is no parking available at the Farewell Street entrance to the trail. To access trails into the adjacent McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, park along Colonel Sam Drive to access the Marshland Trail or continue to the end of Colonel Sam Drive, pass through the round-about, and turn right on Townline Road South to a gravel parking lot.  

Things To Know Before You Come

Our goal is to keep you safe while you are enjoying your hike in the natural landscape. To avoid ticks, European Fire Ant bites, inadvertent exposure to invasive species hazardous to humans (Wild Parsnip), and exposure to extreme weather, we advise visitors to the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve to:

·       stay on the trails

·       wear light coloured clothing so you can spot ticks faster,

·       wear closed-toe footwear,

·       wear long sleeve shirts and long pants,

·       tuck tops into pants and pants tucked into socks,

·       hat and sunglasses, to limit exposure to the sun

·       apply a repellant with DEET (20% – 30%) on clothes and exposed skin.

·       bring a water bottle

·       sunscreen

·       mobile phone


Trails of Oshawa Second Marsh

A system of trails surround the Marsh and provide access through diverse habitats where you will find panoramic views of the wetland and its inhabitants. See maps below.

Second Marsh

McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve

Map of Mclaughlin Bay Trails
Mclaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve trails

Waterfront Trail (Ed Kroll Memorial Walkway)

A 1.25km section of the Waterfront Trail runs along the south side of Colonel Sam Drive and along the west side of Second Marsh, connecting to Farewell Street to the west. The trail is paved, wheelchair accessible and ideal for walking or cycling. 

Along the trail you will encounter:

·       Scott’s Pond, named after Oshawa’s premier naturalist, George A. Scott. Also in the vicinity is a snake hibernaculum, explained through an illustrated, interpretative sign. 

·       Scattergood’s Pond with a viewing platform.

·        Ducks Unlimited Canada accessible viewing mound ideal for bird watching and taking in the beauty of the Marsh.

Raised Viewing Deck/Harmony Pond

On the north side of Colonel Sam Drive opposite the SECOND MARSH WILDLIFE AREA road sign, is a raised viewing platform. It overlooks the junction of Harmony and Farewell Creeks and delivers a panoramic view of Harmony Pond. This is a prime spring and autumn habitat for waterfowl, waders and shorebirds.

McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve

On the east side of the Marsh, you will find nine grassed trails totaling 6.5 kms. See above map for details.