Waterworld: Paddling the Minesing Wetlands

Free Spirit Tours takes a group into the Minesing Wetlands, April, 2015. Photo by Tim Sproll.


The Minesing Wetlands west of Barrie, Ontario host a huge array of habitats. This globally significant 15,000+ acre sanctuary of bogs, fens, swamps and marshes supports vast networks of delicate flora and fauna, some endangered.

Free Spirit Tours regularly takes paddlers into the heart of this generous swath of aquatic biosphere. And spring is a particularly good time to view wildlife.


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Photo by Tim Sproll.
Photo by Tim Sproll.


A large section of the Wetlands support a Carolinian forest biome usually found much further south. And in another section, cool groundwater-fed coniferous swamps and fens thrive – an ecosystem more typical of Ontario’s north.


Photo by Tim Sproll
Photo by Tim Sproll.

Many hundreds of bird species have been recorded here, including Ring-necked Duck, Northern Shoveller, Northern Pintail, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Sandhill Crane, Great Egret, Bald Eagle, and Cerulean Warbler (Threatened).

The Wetlands host myriad mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and flora which you can read more about here.

Find out even more:

Nature Conservancy of Canada

Free Spirit Tours

The Friends of Minesing Wetlands

Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority


Photo by Tim Sproll.