A small nature infused cluster known as the Dufferin Islands, located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is a favourite gathering place amongst locals, wandering tourists and nature lovers.
The Dufferin Islands are pocketed away from the main river flow, lying on the other side of the Niagara Parkway in a small zone nearly halfway between the falls and Welland River – look for the Floral Showhouse next to the entryway as a landmark. The islands are covered with protected parkland, about ten acres in total. This is a quiet, secluded area, where the river runs a little slower and the noise of the bustling town is muffled by its isolated location.
Dufferin Islands is a beautiful destination year round. In the spring and summer numerous small animals are present, on-land and in the water. Flowers bloom and the entire areas becomes a favourite picnic and walking destination amongst locals. During the Fall trees change colour and the Island trails take on an entirely different aesthetic.
In the winter main ‘attraction’ drawcard of the Dufferin Islands, aside from the aesthetic appeal, is the display put up every year for the ‘Winter Festival of Lights’, a citywide celebration that runs from November until January. The islands are considered a main port of call for the festival, and several large standalone light displays are erected annually around the perimeter, with some of the trees decorated in winter lights. While admission to the islands is free, visitors may be asked for a voluntary donate to the Winter Festival organisation for new displays at this time.
Aside from the festival displays, the islands are a great place to go to relax and take in a mellow, natural landscape. Bird feeding stations are maintained and local fish populations are regulated – fishing is permitted under a ‘catch and release’ program. Sometimes swimming areas are designated during the summer, but as a general rule of thumb unauthorised dips are not permitted.
The Dufferin Islands are a great place to relax. While there are still things to do for activities – barbecues and picnics, birdwatching, attending the Winter Festival displays, etc – it’s also one of those locations where doing nothing at all and just taking in the scenery is just as fulfilling.
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