Clarington's diverse waterfront features some 37 kilometers of wetlands, meadows, forests, bluffs and beaches. Highlights include Darlington Provincial Park, Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, Bowmanville/Westside Marshes Conservation Area and the Samuel Wilmot Nature Area. Thanks to its recognized wildlife habitat programs, Darlington NGS provides a home for 870 species. Both Bowmanville and Westside Marshes have been designated as provincially significant. They are two of the very few remaining wetlands along the north shore of Lake Ontario. Owned and managed by the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, the sites have undergone extensive restoration projects. Looming to the west of the marshes is St. Mary's Cement, a major aggregate operation and employer in Clarington. Managed by committee of volunteers, Samuel Wilmot Nature Area is 77 hectarces of forest, a provincially significant wetland, and Wilmot Creek--great place to go birding, fishing and hiking. There are two lookouts a few kilometres off the main Trail.
Clarington's cycling advocates have developed a number of scenic cycling routes in Clarington and helped bring many improvements to the Waterfront Trail. When they are not busy supporting trails they are leading wonderful cycling tours. Clarington Cycling Club is a club for active seniors interested in cycling and socializing.
Clarington is one of the few spots in the Greater Toronto Area where you can camp at an Ontario Provincial Park - Darlington Provincial Park.
- Much of the Trail is aligned along either the South Service Rd or Lakeshore Rd.
- Parts of Lakeshore Rd do not have shoulders and the speed limit is 80kph so care should be exercised.
- Trail through Darlington Nuclear Generating Station and Samuel Wilmot Nature Area is screened limestone.
- Note: There are a number of CNR and CP rail lines in Clarington, which may pose a hazard for cyclists. PLEASE DISMOUNT AND WALK OVER RAILROAD TRACKS. Our volunteers have informed us that the CNR tracks just east of Darlington Provincial Park, CNR/CPR tracks north of the wooden bridge, east of Bondhead and the CNR/CP tracks on Lakeshore Rd east of Morgans Rd should be crossed with care.
- Note for cyclists: off-road trail through Darlington Nuclear Generating Station has narrow gates at road crossings - may require cyclists to remove bags from bikes at several points
- Stock up on drinks and refreshments because there are very few amenities en route. Restaurants and amenities available at Port Darlington and Port of Newcastle--Check out Bobby C's on Mill Street. Lovely patio and good food. Terrain gets hilly east of Mill Street.
Main Access Points (with parking)
- Darlington Provincial Park - 1600 Darlington Park Rd.
- Darlington Nuclear Information Centre - 1855 Energy Drive, Courtice ON L1E 0E7
- Bowmanville Harbour/Weside Marshes Conservation Area - West Beach Rd., off Darlington Rd.
- Port Darlington East Beach Park, just south of Bobby C's--foot of Port Darlington Rd and East Beach Rd.
- Samuel Wilmot Nature Area - foot of Cobbledick Rd.
- Samuel Wilmot Nature Area - foot of Toronto St.
- Port of Newcastle--Bond Head Parkette - 5 Boulton St., at the foot of Mill St.
Resources, Local Maps and Connecting Trails
Clarington Cycling Map
Clarington has published a map showing 10 new cycling routes, many of which are connected to Waterfront Trail. Suggested routes offer easy one hour to two ride to a full day with challenging elevations. Routes begin and end at municipal facilities that provide free parking and public washrooms! It is available online here:
Darlington Provincial Park Trails, Darlington Nuclear Generating Station and Samuel Wilmot Creek Nature Area have trail systems with scenic lookouts.