Waubaushene Beaches Nature Reserve contains an important sequence of historic shorelines marking the progress of the retreating ancient Lake Algonquin. At least four post-glacial lakes left their mark on the landscape, resulting from the retreat of the Wisconsinan glacier in the north and the erosion of river outlets to the south and east. These historic shorelines mark the drop of the terrain some 35 metres to the present level of Georgian Bay.
The oldest, highest and most prominent Lake Algonquin shoreline (about 12,000 years old) may be seen outside the park near Coldwater. The oldest shoreline found in the park is a Cedar Point Lake Stage terrace and beach at 214 metres above sea level. This is followed by an unnamed lake stage at 212 metres, a Lake Payette bluff and beach at 205 metres and the Lake Nipissing shorecliff, beach, and offshore sand bars at 194 metres above sea level.
The prominent Lake Nipissing shoreline was formed about 7000 years ago when drainage shifted from the Ottawa River in the east, southward through the St. Clair River into Lake Erie. An even younger Lake Waubaushene Stage beach at 188 metres above sea level stretches from the northwest corner of the park into the village of Waubaushene.
The park is in a region of diverse forest types and other biotic communities. Pasture and abandoned agricultural lands are found above the Lake Nipissing bluff. Below this prominent bluff, sucessional woodlands, thickets and meadows dominate. A nearly continuous band of cedar woodlands occupies a seepage zone at the base of the bluff.
Park Facilities and Activities
The nature reserve is managed to protect its significant landforms. There are no visitor facilities. Anyone wishing to conduct research must obtain an approved research application.
Location: Adjacent to the village of Waubaushene,
19 kilometres west of Midland on Highway 12.
For more information:
Awenda Provincial Park
P.O. Box 973
Last Modified: January 5, 2004
Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008