Day Use Vehicle Permits: because of the popularity of this park it is one that may need permits to be purchased in advance in order to guarantee park access. This was started in 2021 and will continue in 2022.
If you’re smart grab the permit before any visit even mid-week. We found this out the hard way at our local Provincial Park.
You can buy the vehicle permit up to 5 days in advance which guarantees you access to the park on that day. If you have an annual or season pass you should still go online and book your permit but there’s no extra charge.
Facebook and Website Links
Phone #: 905-436-2036
Main entrance co-ordinates: 43.8755 -78.777834
Address: 1600 Darlington Park Rd. Bowmanville L1C 3K3
Opening seasons: January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022 / May 6, 2022, to October 11, 2022
Camping & Accommodation
Darlington offers car camping in three different campgrounds; Lakeside, Cliffside and Hilltop. All of the sites in Lakeside Campground offer electrical service as do a number of sites in Cliffside and Hilltop Campgrounds. There are sites to accommodate all types of camping equipment from tents to large RVs and trailers. Barrier-free camping is also available.
Darlington offers two non-electrical group campsites. Each site can accommodate between 10-15 tents, trailers are not permitted. Water taps and vault toilets are on site. Reservations can be made online or by phone.
All the sites in Lakeside Campground are designated as radio-free.
Hiking, Biking & Paddling
Burk Trail 1.25 km (30 minutes) moderate
This trail moves through fields, meadows and mature forest past a pioneer cemetery to a scenic lookout over Lake Ontario. Watch for the elusive Coopers Hawk at the bluff and songbirds in the meadows.
McLaughlin Bay Trail 1.5 km (1 hour) easy
As you hike this trail from McLaughlin Bay, you travel through a marsh ecosystem into the transitional zone between wet and dry land. Plants and animals abound here, especially nesting waterfowl such as the Great Blue Heron. This trail links to the wildlife reserve and Oshawa Second Marsh Trails system at the west boundary of the park.
Robinson Creek Trail 1 km loop (30 minutes) easy
Starting and finishing at the Visitor Centre, this trail follows the intermittent Robinson Creek through a forested ravine full of mature willow, Staghorn sumac, maple trees and a diversity of plants and wildlife.
Waterfront Trail 2.6 km (1 hour) easy
A small section of the 350 km, multi-use trail that follows the shore of Lake Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Trenton and passes through Darlington.
The sheltered waters of McLaughlin Bay are ideal for canoeing, whether you are an experienced paddler or setting out for the first time.