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Darlington

Darlington Provincial Park - main photo of the park

What you'll like:

  • Family camping experience close to home
  • Great day-use and picnic facilities
  • Group picnic and camping opportunities
  • Nature trails
  • A long sandy beach on Lake Ontario
  • Interpretive programs and special events

Learn to Camp Program Available

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Camping Experiences

By the Numbers

  • Total Campsites - 315
  • Electrical Campsites - 135
  • Group Campsites - 2

Camping

Darlington has over 300 campsites, one-third of which have electrical service. Comfort stations are conveniently located within the campgrounds and all sites are close to drinking water taps and toilets. Each site has a fireplace, picnic table and parking for one vehicle. Parking for additional vehicles is available nearby.


 

Car Camping

Darlington offers car camping in three different campgrounds; Lakeside, Cliffside and Hilltop. All of the sites in Lakeside Campground offer electrical service as do a number of sites in Cliffside and Hilltop Campgrounds. There are sites to accommodate all types of camping equipment from tents to large RVs and trailers. Barrier-free camping is also available.

 

Radio-Free Camping

All the sites in Lakeside Campground are designated as radio-free.

Highlights of Things to Do

Spend the day relaxing on the beach and cool off with a swim in the lake. Take a hike on one of our trails and watch for the many species of wildlife and birds that call Darlington home. Go for a paddle or cast a line in McLaughlin Bay. Be sure to take in one of our many exciting and informative natural heritage education programs or special events.


Just the Facts

 
Hiking
Take only pictures, leave only footprints: don't bring any plants, animals or other natural objects with you. Park regulations prohibit this. For more information on Leave No Trace practices, visit www.leavenotrace.ca.

Burk Trail 1.25 km (30 minutes) moderate
This trail moves through fields, meadows and mature forest past a pioneer cemetery to a scenic lookout over Lake Ontario. Watch for the elusive Coopers Hawk at the bluff and songbirds in the meadows.



McLaughlin Bay Trail 1.5 km (1 hour) easy
As you hike this trail from McLaughlin Bay, you travel through a marsh ecosystem into the transitional zone between wet and dry land. Plants and animals abound here, especially nesting waterfowl such as the Great Blue Heron. This trail links to the wildlife reserve and Oshawa Second Marsh Trails system at the west boundary of the park.

Robinson Creek Trail 1 km loop (30 minutes) easy

Starting and finishing at the Visitor Centre, this trail follows the intermittent Robinson Creek through a forested ravine full of mature willow, Staghorn sumac, maple trees and a diversity of plants and wildlife.



Waterfront Trail 2.6 km (1 hour) easy
A small section of the 350 km, multi-use trail that follows the shore of Lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Trenton and passes through Darlington.

 
Canoeing

The sheltered waters of McLaughlin Bay are ideal for canoeing, whether you are an experienced paddler or setting out for the first time.

 
Swimming

Darlington offers a beautiful stretch of sandy beach, perfect for swimming, on the shores of Lake Ontario. Please remember that there are no lifeguards on duty at the beach so children should be supervised. Pets are also not allowed on the beach.

 
Boating

The sheltered waters of McLaughlin Bay are ideal for canoes and paddle boats. The open waters of Lake Ontario are suitable for larger motorboats and sailboats.

 
Fishing

Fishing is a popular activity for the whole family in Darlington’s McLaughlin Bay. You can even borrow fishing rods and tackle at the park store through the TackleShare program.

 
Natural Heritage Education

Daily, during the summer months, there are many opportunities for the whole family to learn about the natural ecology and cultural history of Darlington and the surrounding area. Many programs are offered including children’s activities, evening films, campfires and sing-alongs, as well as guided hikes. Many special event weekends also take place throughout the season.

 
Birding

Birding is a popular activity at Darlington. Many species of migratory birds can be seen in the park in the spring and fall. Check out the bird sightings board at the main park office to find out what has been spotted lately.

 
Winter Activities

Although closed for camping, the park remains open for day-use during the winter months. Parking and self-serve permits are available at the main park office. Vehicle permits are required year round.

 
Hunting

There is a controlled waterfowl hunt at Darlington which operates from mid-September to mid-December each year. Hunting is from designated blinds on McLaughlin Bay and takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays only. Contact the park for more information, (905)436-2036.

Amenities

Enjoy a family barbeque by the lake. Stop in at the Visitor Centre to check out the exhibits and have your questions answered by our friendly staff. Be sure to visit the park store for all your camping essentials or treat yourself to an ice cream cone. Comfort stations, showers and laundry facilities are also available to visitors. Whether you are camping or just here for the day, Darlington has many amenities to make your trip enjoyable.

Just the Facts

 
Comfort Station(s)

Comfort stations are centrally located in Lakeside, Cliffside and Hilltop Campgrounds. The Lakeside Campground comfort station is equipped with showers. Showers are also available at the Hilltop A shower building, conveniently located between Hilltop and Cliffside Campgrounds. There is also a comfort station at day use Area #2, close to the beach.

 
Flush Toilets

Flush toilets are found in each comfort station.

 
Barrier Free Access

Darlington offers barrier-free campsites as well as barrier-free access to comfort stations, the park store and the Visitor Centre.

 
Day Use Area

Darlington has four large day-use areas equipped with picnic tables, barbecues, water taps and washroom facilities.  Three of the day-use areas have picnic shelters which are available for rent.

 
Laundry

Laundry facilities are available at the Hilltop A shower building.

 
Rentals

PFDs are available for loan at the main gate and fishing gear is available through the Tackleshare program at the park store.

Picnic shelters and BBQs in the day use areas are also available for rent; contact the park for details, (905) 436-2036.

 
Park Store

Visit the park store for firewood, ice, camping supplies, groceries and treats. We have a wide variety of items for campers and day-users alike. Our scooped ice cream is always a big hit.

 
Picnic Shelter

Day-use Areas 1, 2 and 3 are equipped with large picnic shelters which are available for rent. Contact the park for more information or to make a reservation at (905) 436-2036.

 
Visitor Centre

The Log Cabin Visitor Centre is located in day-use Area #2 and is open daily throughout the summer. Stop in to check out the many artefacts, exhibits and live specimens, or to chat with one of our friendly park naturalists and learn about the natural and cultural history of Darlington.

Park Location

Campground Maps (online)

Online Map

Park Maps (pdf)

Park Overview - pdf

Fire Ban

None

There is no fire ban at this time.

Boil Water

No

There is no boil water advisory at this time.

Beach Posting

No

There is no beach posting at this time.

Darlington Provincial Park

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