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Petrel Point Nature Reserve

A Great Lakes Coastal Meadow Marsh that supports a unique community of carnivorous plants, orchids and a ‘garden of wildflowers’.

Petrel Point Nature Reserve © Smera Sukumar


“A garden of wildflowers” – this phrase recurs again and again in descriptions of the 38-hectare (95-acre) Petrel Point Nature Reserve. The wonderful sprinklings of pink, mauve, red, blue and yellow that fill the wetland through the seasons can only inspire a passion for nature.

The reserve is a spectacular example of Great Lakes Coastal Meadow Marsh, a globally rare habitat. Slight changes in elevation in the wetland separate distinct communities of plants, many of them rare.

Yellow lady's-slipper orchids © Linda Read

Plants and Animals

Petrel Point Nature Reserve is home to many unusual wildflowers due to its basic (high pH) groundwater. A dense white cedar swamp surrounds the reserve’s meadow marshes.

The meadow marshes support a diverse community of carnivorous plants, including horned bladderworts, sundews and pitcher plants. Orchid lovers will find showy lady’s-slippers, rose pogonia, grass-pink, small purple-fringed orchids and broad-leaved twayblade scattered throughout the reserve.

Colin Bain (left) Kirsten Dahl (right), Petrel Point Nature Reserve © Patti Henderson


Due to the delicacy of the plant life at Petrel Point, visitors must explore from the walkways provided. The boardwalk has been upgraded to improve safety and accessibility for better outdoor recreation experiences and better protect its sensitive ecological features. There is also a system of well-marked trails, including newly installed interpretive signs. Wheelchair accessible parking is available along the south side of the road.

View a trail map of Petrel Point Nature Reserve here.

We do not charge a fee for entrance and there are no operating hours on any of our nature reserves. Properties are monitored by volunteer stewards. We rely on visitors to be safe, minimize their impact on nature and be respectful of others. For more information about visiting the reserves, please read our Permitted Activities Policy.

We welcome donations to support this nature reserve and our system of 26 nature reserves.

Blue-eyed grass, Petrel Point Nature Reserve © Kirsten Dahl

“Known as a garden of wildflowers, especially orchids, this 33-hectare nature reserve is located north of Owen Sound. It is a spectacular example of Great Lakes coastal meadow marsh, a globally rare habitat.”

– Nature Reserves Staff

Orchids, Petrel Point Nature Reserve © Emma Horrigan


From Highway 6 turn west at the town of Mar on Red Bay Road. Drive along Red Bay Road to its end at Huron road. Drive north on Huron Road roughly three kilometres, then turn left (west) on Petrel Point Road. Petrel Point Road divides the northern and southern halves of the reserve. Please park only on the north side of the road or use the wheelchair accessible parking spot on the south side of the road.

View Petrel Point Nature Reserve in a larger map.

There are a number of other interesting areas nearby, including the Oliphant Fen, Reid Point Conservation Area, Walker Woods Conservation Area and Sauble Falls Provincial Park. Ontario Nature helped raise funds to purchase the Reid Point and Walker Woods properties.

Pitcher plants © Lily Vuong

Accessible boardwalk © Gabriella Zagorski

Petrel Point Nature Reserve