Member Group Detail

Friends of Misery Bay Nature Reserve

Town: Manitoulin Island

Ontario Nature Region: Northern - West

Misery Bay Provincial Nature Reserve is a 860-hectare provincial park located on Manitoulin Island about 35 kilometres west of Gore Bay. The area was designated a nature reserve in 1989 to protect the wealth of species and natural communities found here, including many that are rare. The reserve, for example, protects a huge and exceptionally diverse wetland complex containing elements of bog, fen, and marsh vegetation surrounded by a rich cedar swamp. Protected also are areas of rare limestone pavement or alvar, a large unbroken area of mixed woodland, old beach ridges left by glacial lakes, as well as 15 kilometres of unspoiled Lake Huron shoreline.

The Friends of Misery Bay have a mandate to aid the protection of this special place through research, outreach and education. We are involved in a number of projects, including construction of a new park access point and interpretive centre; expanding hiking and skiing trails and boardwalks and hosting monthly public nature events, such as 'The Miniature World of Mosses.' People planning the visit the area should be advised that there are no visitor facilities available as yet and are reminded to bring items for back-country travel (water bottle, compass, bug repellant, etc.) with them. The park is open for day use only.

The Friends of Misery Bay operate a state of the art visitor facility in the Park. The interpretative centre is housed in a 'green' building, which is off the grid and solar-powered. The floor of the building is made from 450 million year old limestone tiles, with numerous fossils (e.g., nautiloids, colonial coral, petosky stone) evident to visitors. The centre has many educational resources available to visitors, including several displays on alvars, fossils, and local flora and fauna, an ever-expanding library and hands-on exhibits (e.g., how to use a GPS). A lovely system of hiking trails radiate out from the centre into the Park.

The interpretative centre is run by a park attendant and a group of regular volunteers and is open seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm during the summer. Entry is free, and the Friends operate the centre on the donations of visitors, on sales, and on memberships. The Friends offer a nature hike every Tuesday starting from the interpretative centre at 10:30 am. We look forward to welcoming you to our special corner of the world!

Visit the Friends of Misery Bay Nature Reserve website for more information.

For more information please contact Ontario Nature at 1-800-440-2366 or info@ontarionature.org.

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