Rattray Marsh Conservation Area-Mississauga

Rattray Marsh Conservation Area is a gem of Mississauga, Ontario and it should be on the list of places you visit when you’re in town. The area is home to diverse wildlife. One can explore Rattray Marsh with their family or friends as they offer day-use areas for fishing, canoeing and birdwatching.

Rattray Marsh Conservation Area is a Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) park of 94-acre total protected cobble beach, wetland and associated field and woodland. It’s the last natural ‘shingle-bar’ (baymouth bar coastal) marsh along Lake Ontario near Toronto. The marsh is linked to The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail which spans 325 km across Lake Ontario, from Trenton to Hamilton. The trail, which provides walking and cycling routes through natural parks and scenic streetscapes, will stretch 650 km from Gananoque to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Critically important and sensitive wetlands like the Rattray Marsh Conservation Area offer an inviting natural space for those seeking to further their knowledge of local birdlife or simply enjoy a leisurely walk. Wetlands are conserved in their natural state by those who understand the wetlands’ importance to organisms, plant life and wildlife, and the role they play in maintaining ecological integrity. They also serve as a symbol of our connection with nature.

Rattray Marsh Conservation Area is the last of its kind between St. Catharines and Oshawa with a unique shingle bar wetland. Over time, the waves of Lake Ontario deposit sediments and cobblestones across the mouth of the wetland. This natural dam eventually stops water from flowing into Lake Ontario because it extends for a longer distance than any other part of the Rattray Marsh Conservation Area in Mississauga, ON. After the water in Rattray Marsh reaches a specific level, the dam is broken and all of the water flows out down into Lake Ontario.

The Rattray Marsh Conservation Area, a 33-hectare lakefront sanctuary in Mississauga, Ontario Canada. Surrounded on three sides by urban development, this area is home to an unbelievable 428 species of plants and 227 types of birds. Birdwatchers flock to Rattray Marsh Conservation Area throughout the year to view migrating and breeding species, including American bittern, green heron, wood duck, common yellowthroat, black tern, Virginia rail, ruffed grouse, marsh wren, yellow warbler, sora, killdeer and more. The white-tailed deer, beaver, red fox and rabbit living in the marsh were too scared to come out of their warm beds.

Most people access Rattray from the east via Jack Darling Park, which has a large parking lot. Most people take this route because there is a boardwalk going across the wetland that provides excellent viewing of different types of flora and fauna. As hiking trails go, Rattray Marsh is one of the easier places to hike. The wide paths are well maintained and quite friendly to people using wheelchairs or strollers.

When visiting Rattray Marsh Conservation Area in Mississauga, you will likely come across other fitness walkers, dog walkers and joggers who are all friendly and eager to say hi. The best time to visit is during the spring and summer. This area becomes quite busy with cyclists, joggers and walkers in the warmer months of the year. In fall and winter, you might be one of a few people on these trails.

The trails are well maintained and wide enough to accommodate most people. The signage is excellent as well, providing a wealth of information about the surrounding flora and fauna. Mississauga’s Environmental Advisory Committee has recognized Rattray Marsh Conservation Area for its conservation efforts in preserving an important wetland area that provides habitat for many species.

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