Shirleys Bay is located at the western edge of the National Capital Region. The natural wetland features along the shore, as well as the inland wetlands, provide many benefits, including improved water quality and thriving wildlife habitats.

The boat launch is popular for water-based recreational activities. Within the conservation area, there are seven kilometres of hiking trails and two recreational paths: the Watts Creek Pathway and the Greenbelt Pathway West.

Things to do at Shirleys Bay

Shirleys Bay is great for outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, boating, cycling, birdwatching and picnicking. During the winter, the bay area offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.

Wetlands and birdwatching

Shirleys Bay is part of a series of wetlands and uplands, and is one of the Ottawa Valley’s most diverse and undeveloped wild areas. These habitats support a variety of plants and animals, some of which are rare and regionally significant. Shirleys Bay forms part of an important bird migration route along the Ottawa River, a migration gateway for Canada’s arctic and boreal birds. More than 270 bird species have been seen in the Shirleys Bay area over the years. With over seven kilometres of accessible trails and two recreational paths, this area is a great spot for birding.