Beaver River Wetland Conservation Area
Welcome to Beaver River Wetlands Conservation Area. A 500-hectare wilderness oasis located between Uxbridge and Cannington/Manilla. Featuring one of the largest intact wetland complexes in the
Lake Simcoe Watershed, come experience nature along 34 km of fully accessible, smooth limestone, winter-groomed trail.
Trail Closure Notice
Beaver River Wetland Trail will be closed between 5th and 6th Concessions near Sunderland from Monday November 20 to Friday November 24, 2023. During construction, a culvert will be replaced and 500m of the trail surface will be graded and smoothed. The trail will reopen by Saturday, November 25. Please obey all trail markers, exercise additional caution around all roadways, and stay clear of the work area.
Come to get Active
A fantastic trail for all levels of walkers and hikers, from novices to experts. Cyclists and cross-country skiers enjoy the long straightaways. Come on wheelchair, horseback or snowmobile. Open year around, sunrise to sunset.
Come for the Wildlife
Excellent for wildlife viewing. Highlights include migrant birds who stop here in the spring + fall, frogs and turtles bask on the water and snakes sun themselves on the gravel trail. Mammals, like our national Beaver, use the long, linear stretch as a safe corridor.
Come for the Serenity
Immerse yourself in nature’s calm and tranquility. The largest of our Conservation Areas, this pristine area is as it was eons ago. Come breath in the fresh air, see the cattails sway and feel the sun shine through the blue open skies.
Located between Uxbridge and Cannington, the Beaver River Wetland Conservation Area is Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority's largest landholding, at more than 1300 hectares. The area consists of two parts – a historic abandoned CN rail line which provides for a recreational trail through the conservation area, and an extensive provincially significant wetland.
The Beaver River Wetland is one of the most ecologically significant natural areas in the Lake Simcoe watershed
. Because of its role in replenishing and storing water, filtering pollution, mitigating the effects of climate change and providing critical habitat to animals, the area has been evaluated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as both a Provincially Significant Wetland and an Environmentally Sensitive Area. A conservative dollar estimate of the ecological goods and services this area provides, (in other words the work of nature to control and filter water and air, regulate climate, pollinate crops and more), is in excess of 5.5 million dollars a year.
Beaver River Wetland Trail
The Beaver River Wetland Trail is one of the best ways to access and savor the smells, sights and sounds of the pristine and largely undeveloped Beaver River wetland. The all-season trail is built upon the flat, wide bed of the historic Toronto and Nipissing Railway (T&NR) dating back to the late 1800's when it supplied the Toronto Distillery District with wood and wheat, but the line was abandoned in the early 1990's and is now nearly 40km in length, connecting Uxbridge, Cannington and Manilla in a Y-like configuration. Blackwater is home to the hub at the centre of the trail enjoyed by hikers and cycling enthusiasts in the summer and snowmobilers in the winter enjoying this unique Conservation Area. The trail section from Blackwater north to Cannington is owned and managed by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.
What makes this trail great is the abundant wildlife you can see as you travel along the trail - in the summer you might see a great blue heron, red-winged blackbirds, muskrats and beavers in the wetland. In the winter, the quiet calm soothes the spirit and mind as you watch the snow drift through the wetland.
View the Beaver River Wetland Conservation Area Managment Plan here!