It is identified as a provincially significant wetland and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest by the Government of Ontario.
Mud Lake is very fragile, and it is important that visitors follow the principles of outdoor ethics.
- Dogs and other pets are not allowed at Mud Lake.
- Cycling is not allowed. The trails are fragile and particularly vulnerable to erosion.
- Do not feed animals. Nature provides animals with all that they need: feeding them is a detriment to their health, creates a dependence on humans and increases aggressiveness.
- Stay on official trails. For your own safety, to avoid disturbing wildlife and to protect this fragile ecosystem, stay on official trails.
- Respect plant and animal life. Leave plants and trees as you found them, and always keep your distance from wildlife.
Plants and wildlife
This 60-hectare natural environment is a complex of wetlands along the Ottawa River, the majority of which is made up of deciduous swamp forest. The driest part, to the west, contains a mature forest stand which is made up predominantly of white, red and burr oak, as well as white pine.
Mud Lake is a habitat for a wide diversity of animal species. Located within the Lac Deschênes–Ottawa River Important Bird Area and in a major migratory corridor, it serves as an important environment for bird conservation, and is recognized as one of the most popular urban sites for birdwatching in Canada.
Species that can be found at Mud Lake:
- 269 species of birds
- amphibian, reptile and fish species not commonly found in the region
- 44 rare and 15 uncommon plant species
- wildlife species at risk
Invasive non-native plant species
Several species of invasive non-native plants threaten the biodiversity of the Mud Lake habitat. Eleven of these species have been recorded, covering about 29 percent of the total area of this natural habitat. The primary species of invasive non-native plants are the following:
- glossy buckthorn and common buckthorn (Frangula alnus andRhamnus cathartica)
- Norway maple (Acer platanoïdes)
- garlic mustard (Alliaria officinalis)
- honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)
- dog-strangling vine (Cynanchum rossicum)
Please note that these invasive plants present no danger to public health.
For more information about these species, please visit the Invasive Species Centre website.
Vegetation management project
To protect Mud Lake’s natural habitat, the NCC has launched a vegetation management project. We are undertaking manual and mechanical work, which began in fall 2015 and will continue to fall 2017, to control invasive non-native plant species. This work will allow native plant species to become re-established, and will help preserve the ecological integrity of the natural environment.