Bird Watching

Snowdon Park

The lakes, wetlands and forest that make the Haliburton Highlands such a lovely place to live and visit are also an attraction to other inhabitants; birds! Over 250 species either nest in, or travel through our little corner of paradise.

The wide variety of habitats – wetlands, fields, forest, granite outcrops – attract birds of all shapes, sizes, and colours. From the largest waterfowl in the world – the Trumpeter Swan – to one of the smallest songbirds – the Ruby-throated Hummingbird – the range is truly amazing.

Some, such as Black-capped Chickadees and Pileated Woodpeckers are year-round residents, braving the cold of winter as well as the comfort of other seasons. Others – the brightly coloured wood warblers for example – travel every year from South America to take advantage of our uncrowded forest and abundance of flying insects.

Where can you experience this abundance of bird life?

Spend some quiet time on a dock and you are likely to see Great Blue Herons, Common Loons, and other waterfowl. Find a marsh with a decent overlook – the Haliburton County Rail Trail has several – and you can watch Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Tree Swallows, Eastern Kingbirds and probably hear the “waterpump” call of the American Bittern.

We have assembled a collection of “hot spots” that will give you a better chance of finding what you are looking for.

Another great way to find out which birds are seen where is to join eBird. This online portal is a great place to report birds that you see in your backyard and on your travels. It also has detailed resources on every bird seen in the Haliburton Highlands, how common they are, and where they are being seen.

A great way to learn more about birds is to join a guided walk.

Get out there and start exploring!

Plan your Trip

This itinerary takes you to many of our Parks and Wetlands while suggesting some places to make sure you won’t go hungry…

Up River Trading Co.

Get your favorite birista hot beverage and tasty treat for the start of your day at Up River Trading

Snowdon Park

Head over to Snowdon Park, a 450-acre property owned and maintained by the Township of Minden Hills with stewardship support from Haliburton Highlands Field Naturalists.

Dominion Hotel & Pub

Located in downtown Minden, the historic Dominion Hotel is a great stop to have a lunch and depending when you’re there they are one of the leaders in live entertainment in the Highlands.

Natures Place - Minden Hills Cultural Centre

Nature’s Place is part of the Minden Hills Cultural Centre. Once there you will be in a nature interpretive centre, with a mandate to educate, inspire and expand our understanding of our place in nature. Be sure to visit the Minden boardwalk while you are there.

QEII Wildlands Provincial Park

Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park is a non operational, 33,505 hectare park that contains more than 100 habitat types and is a vast biological engine renowned for its rock barrens, and beaver fens. Do the short Fire Tower Loop. Click here for map.

Heather Lodge

As you get near the end of your day, check in at Heather Lodge and relax at the upscale adults-only lodging on the shores of Twelve Mile Lake.  Diner can be served on their lakeview patio, and you will not be disappointed with their FEAST ON® certified Kitchen

Up River Trading Co.

Snowdon Park

Dominion Hotel & Pub

Natures Place - Minden Cultural Centre

QEII Wildlands Provincial Park

Heather Lodge

A second day of adventure while exploring the natural beauty of the Haliburton Highlands…

Frost Centre

A number of stacked loops totaling 11km meander through the forest adjacent to St. Nora Lake.

Self-guided hikes begin at the Algonquin Highlands Trails Office where guide books can be obtained.

The Moose n Paddle

Pizza On Earth is a family-owned and run wood-fired pizzeria in Dorset, Ontario, and make wood-fired, gourmet, thin-crust pizzas prepared with quality ingredients.

Dorset Tower Trail

The Dorset Tower is both a great attraction and a historical landmark. It was built in 1967 on the site of the original fire tower where rangers once kept an eye out for potentially disastrous forest fires.

The trail begins behind the Dorset Heritage Museum and winds its way through a beautiful mixed forest. The incline is fairly steep in places so sturdy shoes and a reasonable level of fitness are recommended.

Dorset Scenic Tower Trail Map

SS Bigwin & Marine Museum

If you still have time in the day check out the historic SS Bigwin which offers regularly scheduled public cruises on the Lake of Bays during the summer season

At the Marine Museum next to the SS Bigwin dock in Dorset, ON, you will find several historical collections from the marine history on Lake of Bays. There are artifacts and photographs on display from the legendary Bigwin Inn.

Boshkung Brewing Co.

Be sure to finish your day at Haliburton Highlands Brewing, a small batch brewery, focused on cottage living and great tasting beer.

Located in the Hamlet of Carnarvon, relax in their taproom and bottle shop.




Frost Centre Hiking Trails

Pizza on Earth

Dorset Tower Trail

SS Bigwin

Haliburton Highlands Brewing