Wildwood Conservation Area
Rediscover nature at Wildwood Conservation Area.
Located southwest of Stratford and a short drive from the town of St. Marys, Wildwood Conservation Area offers plenty of outdoor activities. Whether you prefer lounging on the beach, hiking through the woods or paddling on the water, nature awaits at Wildwood.
For more information about the available activities, campground, rental fees and events, visit the Wildwood Conservation Area website.
More about Wildwood Conservation Area
Named after a post office that was once located on the property, Wildwood Conservation Area encompasses 1416 hectare of vibrant natural landscape and features over 30 km of trails and over 400 campsites. Every year, an estimated 150,000 people visit this charming area.
One of the main recreational activities at Wildwood is hiking. The shortest trail is 1.2 km, and the longest is the 25 km Lake Trail, which winds around the reservoir and provides stunning vistas, especially during sunrise and sunset. As always, abide by trail etiquette of "take only pictures, leave only footprints, and use only marked trails”.
The trails wind through a variety of terrain from flat and rugged, to steep hills, exposed roots and rocky outcrops. Additionally, all of the trails at Wildwood are multi-purpose, so used by both hikers and cyclists. Those who choose to bike the trails must wear a helmet. On odd days of the month (1, 3, 5…), cyclists should ride counterclockwise on the trails starting from the grassy area leading to the pool by the campground. But on even days (2, 4, 6…), cyclists should ride clockwise from the same starting point. Bikes are available to rent for three-hour periods for just $25.
Hikers and cyclists will need to purchase a pass at the park’s gatehouse before using the trails. Funds from the trail pass helps with the improvement and maintenance of the trails, as well as general conservation.
Birdwatching is abundant at Wildwood, so keep a keen eye out while hiking through the woods. Various species of birds that have been spotted include red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, eastern meadowlark, northern flicker, black-throated blue warbler and the little blue heron.
When you're ready to get on the water, take your pick of paddle sports, from canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Equipment rentals are available at various rates: a four-hour canoe rental is $35, a four-hour kayak rental is $25, and a two-hour paddle board rental is $20. Wildwood Conservation Area also features a boat launch and visitors can set out on the reservoir using motorized boats or sailboats.
The Thames River and Wildwood Reservoir are home to a plethora of fish including yellow perch, northern pike, carp, bullhead, white suckers and a variety of bass species. Visitors can fish from the shore or from a boat. Canadian citizens ages 18 to 64 must have a valid fishing licence to cast their lines. The Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations site provides more information about fishing licences, seasons and restrictions.
The waterfront beach invites for a day of lounging and swimming in the water and visitors can also rent the beach pavilions for picnics and parties. If you're camping, reserve your campsite well in advance to be guaranteed a spot. The campground features a large playground, modern washrooms, laundry facilities and a pool open during the summer. Campsites are limited to six people, including children and infants. Firewood should be purchased locally or onsite. Wildwood Conservation Area is a pet friendly park, just be sure to keep pets on a leash at all times.