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Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area

Top: Panorama of the quarry lake at Wainfleet Wetlands. Bottom left: Rehabilitation award from the Aggregate Producers Association of Ontario for efforts to increase diversity. Bottom middle: View from the edge of the Wainfleet Wetlands Conseration Area. Bottom right: Wildflowers at the edge of the quarry lake. Photos: [Krystal McLeish].



Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area is a naturalized site of a former clay and limestone quarry. Today, the site is home to large quarry ponds, woodlots and meadows full of local wildlife. This site is an especially popular birding area and even offers the chance to see fossils from the shallow warm sea that covered this area 450-300 million years ago. It is connected to the Station Road Naturalization Site by a 6.75km stretch of the all-purpose recreation Gord Harry Trail.


Where there was once only a bland commercial quarry is now the site of thriving biodiversity. The quarries and clay pits have been naturalized for the native species of fish, birds, waterfowl, turtles, snakes and plants. The Wainfleet Wetlands is also home to woodlots and meadows and attracts rock-loving plant species. This site attracts over 50 species of birds, including yellow warblers, great blue herons, egrets, gulls, terns and sandpipers. Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area is an award winner for efforts to increase wetlands development and habitat cover for improved diversity.


The naturalization process of this site began after the clay and limestone quarry closed and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority purchased the land in 1978. The quarry was in use from the late 19th century until the 1960s. Naturalization typically follows three main ideas after removing barriers to repopulation and growth: what to restore, will it be similar to its native state, and community involvement. The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority focused on increasing the wetland development and habitat cover in the area. This approach created an ideal wildlife habitat and attracted a diverse array of local flora and fauna as can be seen today. The Wainfleet community and its visitors use the Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation area as a nature escape and a rest stop on the Gord Harry Trail which runs east-west through the Township of Wainfleet and along the Lake Erie shoreline.


Wainfleet Wetlands does not offer any of its own trails or facilities, but it is a wonderful spot to enjoy the sun reflecting off of the water and become immersed in the natural habitat of Wainfleet. The exposed limestone quarry walls offer glimpses of the Paleozoic Sea in the form of fossils. It is a perfect stop for a rest on a trip along the Gord Harry Trail or a family outing to visit the fossilized former residents of the Wainfleet area.

Please remember: do not remove any fossils from this site.



Photo Gallery


TripClip Audio File

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Click to play or download Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area TripClip (mp3 format)


This destination is also part of the TripClip tour 'Touring Niagara's Naturalization Sites.' 


Hours of Operation

Dawn till Dusk



From Toronto:
1. Take the Queen Elizabeth Way West
2. Merge onto ON-403 W (20.8 km)
3. Slight left onto Queen Elizabeth Way (signs for Niagara/East Hamilton/Fort Erie) (43.0 km)
4. Take exit 57 for Victoria Avenue/County Road 24 toward Vineland (350 m)
5. Merge onto Marina Blvd (210 m)
6. Turn left onto Victoria Ave (signs for County Road 24 S/Victoria Avenue S/Vineland/North Service Road) (22.9 km)
7. Continue onto Vineland Townline Rd/Regional Road 24 (4.4 km)
8. Continue onto ON-3 E (6.1 km)
9. Turn left to stay on ON-3 E (signs for Port Colborne) (5.0 km)
10. Turn right onto Quarrie Rd (1.2km)
Destination will be on the right

Lat. 42.8809, Lon. -79.3052 Quarrie Rd

From Fort Erie/Buffalo:

1. Take ON-420 West (1.9 km)
3. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Queen Elizabeth Way/Fort Erie and merge onto Queen Elizabeth Way (7.7 km)
4. Take exit 21 for Regional Road 47 toward Welland/Chippawa/Lyons Creek Road (550 m)
5. Turn right onto Biggar Rd/Regional Road 47 (450 m)
6. Take the 2nd left onto Montrose Rd/Regional Road 98 (2.7 km)
7. Slight right onto Schisler Rd/Regional Road 27. Continue to follow Regional Road 27 (7.2 km)
8. Turn left onto ON-140 S (signs for Port Colborne) (10.7 km)
9. Turn right onto Main St E/ON-3 W (signs for Port Colborne). Continue to follow ON-3 W (6.2 km)
10. Turn left onto Quarrie Rd (1.2km)
Destination will be on the right

Lat. 42.8809, Lon. -79.3052 Quarrie Rd



Park Rules:
Pets must remain on leash
No horseback riding permitted
No motorized vehicles
Do not disturb or remove any rock soil or fossils


Further Information


Hourdequin, M., & Havlick, D. G. (2011). Ecological Restoration in Context: Ethics and the Naturalization of Former Military Lands. Ethics, Policy & Environment, 14(1), 69-89.


Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA). (2012). Wainfleet wetlands. Retrieved from http://www.npca.ca/conservation-areas/wainfleet-wetlands/


Richardson, D. M., Pysek, P., Rejmanek, M., Barbour, M., Panetta, D., & West, C. J. (2000). Naturalization and invasion of alien plants: Concepts and definitions. Diversity and Distributions, 6(2), 93-107. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1472-4642.2000.00083.x/abstract


Township of Wainfleet. (2012). Wainfleet wetlands. Retrieved from http://wainfleet.ca/pages/index.php/wainfleet-wetlands

Ownership & Management

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority


Free daytime parking


L0S 1V0 Municipality Wainfleet



GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 42.8809
Longitude -79.3052
UTM easting 638408.3923223914
UTM northing 4748982.262609511


Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
250 Thorold Road West
Welland , Ontario
L3C 3W2
Tel 905-788-3135
Fax  905-788-1121
Email info@npca.ca
Website www.npca.ca

Trail linkages 

Gord Harry Conservation Trail

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