The Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region has some of Ontario’s most beautiful hidden gems. Many nature spots in the area are authentic, untouched, and preserve a lot of the province’s greatest examples of natural beauty. Several conservation areas offer opportunities to observe nature, go hiking, spend time on the water, and enjoy amenities at the park.
Fish Point Nature Reserve
Fish Point Nature Reserve is teeming with plant and animal species. Boasting 15% of Ontario’s plant species, an array of shorebirds, and a stunning beach on Lake Eerie, visitors can follow a 3-kilometre forest walkway to Fish Point.
Address: McCormick Rd, Pelee Island
Hillman Marsh Conservation Area
Hillman Marsh Conservation Area is a nature paradise. With 5-kilometres of trails and valuable marshland habitat, this area is the ideal place to observe a unique Shorebird habitat and visit the nature centre in the spring.
Address: 1826 Mersea Rd 2, Leamington
Holiday Beach Conservation Area
Holiday Beach certainly lives up to its name as it is best known for its long sandy beach along Lake Erie, and opportunities for a getaway with campsites, a rental cottage, picnic areas, nature trails, and a boardwalk.
Address: 6952 50 Cr, Amherstburg
Lighthouse Point Provincial Nature Reserve
Named for the lighthouse built in the early 1800s, Lighthouse Point Provincial Nature Reserve has plenty of wildlife trails for hiking and photography. This picturesque area is full of landscapes, including deciduous forests, wetlands, and savannas.
Address: Pelee Island
Dieppe Gardens is located on the banks of the Detroit River, a memorial garden for the soldiers who lost their lives in the 1942 landing at Dieppe. Here, you’ll find a large rose garden and beautiful views of the Detroit skyline.
Address: 78 Riverside Dr W, Windsor
One of Windsor’s main attractions, this park is abundant with plants, where over 10,000 plants, tulips, summer perennials, and other formal gardens bloom. It is also a popular sports park with ball diamonds, sports fields, and more.
Address: 125 Tecumseh Rd E, Windsor
Coventry Gardens/Reaume Park
Coventry Gardens is a place built on civic pride. It is a recreation spot where people enjoy the flowers, patios, and staging areas for events and concerts. It features the Charlie Brooks Memorial Peace Fountain – the only floating fountain in the world.
Address: 4714 Riverside Dr E, Windsor
Seacliff Park is a family-friendly park that overlooks Lake Erie. The barbecue, picnic tables, amphitheatre, and basketball court are just some of the many amenities provided.
Address: 24 Seacliff Dr W, Leamington
Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary
Jack Miner established this bird sanctuary in 1904, making it a part of Essex County’s history and a true gem of Kingsville. You can still feed the waterfowl here, but now you can also visit the museum and Jack Miner house for an extra touch of history. Admission is free and the grounds are open from dawn to dusk.
Address: 332/360 Road 3 West in Kingsville
Assumption Park has tons of history. It is the location of the first Roman Catholic Parish and is home to the Windsor Sculpture Park and the walking and cycling path called the Roy Battagello Riverwalk.
Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve
The Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve is the largest protected remnant of native prairie in Ontario. It is also a significant nature spot because of its silt, clay, and sand that was laid down 10,000 years ago during the Wisconsinan Ice Age.
Address: 5200 Matchette Rd, Windsor
Little River Corridor
The Little River Corridor is a nature path that links the Ganatchio Trail to Tecumseh Road. This picturesque trail is popular with bikers, walkers, bird watchers, and nature lovers. The wildflower meadows and pond provide some sweet scenery on the way.
Address: Little River Corridor (Wyandotte St E/Riverdale Ave), Windsor
Bert Weeks Memorial Gardens
Bert Weeks is a riverfront park that features the Bert Weeks cascading water fountain, formal and naturalized gardens and trails, and stunning views of the water.
Address: Riverside Dr E, Windsor
Devonwood Conservation Area
This special woodland is right in the midst of the urban centre of Windsor. 4.5 kilometres of trails run through a forest of eight species of oak trees that houses owls, bats, and deer.
Address: 1830 Division Rd, Windsor
Point Pelee National Park of Canada
Point Pelee National Parkmay be the second smallest national park, but it is also the most ecologically diverse. This eco-adventure includes marvelling at the migratory birds, Monarch butterflies, and enjoying the sandy beaches.
Address: 1118 Point Pelee Dr, Leamington
Cedar Creek Conservation Area
This stunning piece of the Essex region has Carolinian woodlands, tributaries, creeks, and abundant wildlife such as herons, eagles, turtles, and other splendid flora. A visit here is ideal if you’re looking for a great paddling experience.
Address: 874 Arner Townline, Essex
Take a hike along one of the most beautiful forest boardwalk trails in the region. While exploring this 19 hectare Carolinian woodland, you’ll see Tulip-tree, Sassafras, Black Gum, Sycamore and Flowering Dogwood trees, as well as wildflowers such as Trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, May Apple, Spring Beauty and Columbine, to mention just a few.
Address: Talbot Rd, Leamington
This outdoor recreation area is 100-hectares of ponds, grasslands, forests, and other natural features sat on Snyder’s Flats Road. Many fish species come from the ponds and the nearby Grand River, and the forest was planted as an act of restoration.
Address: 1494 Snyders Flats Rd, Bloomingdale
Tallgrass Prairie Heritage Park
Tallgrass Prairie Heritage Park is full of rare flora and fauna, with Pronghorn Clubtail dragonflies by the ponds and Red-bellied Snakes and rare butterflies among the prairie wildflowers. It contains the largest pond system in the Ojibway Complex.
Address: Matchette Rd, Windsor
Sadler’s Pond Nature Park
This down-to-earth nature park has a 1-kilometre walking path, two ponds, a dock, picnic tables, and a pavilion for events and public use. It is a quaint place to get a breath of fresh air and get away from the city.
Address: 182 Forest Ave, Essex
This 175-acre park is home to the highest hill in Essex County. There is a visitor centre here as well as winding biking and cycling trails that run up and down the hills of the area. You’ll also find a dog park and a naturalized concert centre.
Address: 4200 Malden Rd, Windsor
John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area
This old-time conservation area has history that leads back to the 1800s. Visitors can explore the Classical Revival home, the steam engine-powered sawmill, and the working smoke house, ice house, and barn, as well as the lakeshore boardwalk.
Address: 915 Essex County Rd 50, Essex
Optimist Memorial Park
Optimist Memorial Park comprises of 50 acres of parkland with a magnificent array of trees, including mature oak, walnut, wild cherry, elm, wild crab apple, and more. There are plenty of amenities, including a cricket pitch, dog park, walking trails, and picnic tables.
Address: 1075 Ypres Ave, Windsor
East Riverside Park
This naturalized park is located right by Blue Heron Lake, and includes cycling and walking trails. The scenery here is stunning within the city limits, and visitors can discover turtles, bugs, birds, ducks, and a lot of flora.
Address: 11825 Norbert St, Windsor
Maidstone Conservation Area
This accessible wilderness area has well-managed trails and boardwalks that run through a classic Carolinian Forest and past an Indian Signal Tree. Enjoy the Puce River and the oak-hickory woodland, and indulge in a picnic in nature.
Address: Lakeshore Rd 209, Maidstone
Tremblay Beach Conservation Area
Located on the shore of beautiful Lake St. Clair, Tremblay Beach Conservation Area is one of only two marshes remaining on Essex County’s Lake St. Clair Shoreline. Climb the viewing tower to enjoy a bird’s eye perspective of the abundant and interesting wildlife in the marsh. Though the sandy bottom lake is not suitable for swimming, visit the area for a quiet walk by the water.
Address: 10065 St Clair Rd, Pointe aux Roches
Serenity Lavender Farm
Serenity Lavender Farm boasts more varieties of lavender than any other lavender farm in Ontario. Spend a day among this fragrant flower and taste some of the incredible creations baked and brewed with its essence. You’ll feel at once enchanted and relaxed by this summertime blossom.
Address: 130 County Road 50 East, Colchester