Back to nature

A full one-third of the 600-acre Resort has been dedicated as a nature preserve, and from land to lake, head to heel, the development team has taken every measure to ensure natural species enjoy their all seasons experience too. With clearly marked trails and bridged streams, there’s plenty to discover by foot or bike.

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Discover serenity. Here only birds singing and the sound of rustling leaves will interrupt the silence. The Nature Preserve supports over 40 species of birds and makes the perfect home for the nimble-footed deer and red fox. Tread quietly, and fantastic photo opportunities await.

  • Wetlands add ecological diversity and support Wood Frogs, Spring Peeper, American Toad, Green Frog, Leopard Frog and Turtles.

  • The Marina basin is designed and constructed with specific native aquatic plants and features aimed at enhancing the habitat for fish.

  • Red squirrel The Red Squirrel's long tail helps them to balance and steer when jumping from tree to tree. It also helps to keep the animal warm and cozy during sleep.

  • Song Sparrow The Song Sparrow forages for insects and seeds on the ground and in shrubs or in very shallow water.

  • Eastern Cottontail Named after their distinctive little "cotton ball" tails, the Eastern Cottontail rabbit ranges from reddish brown to gray, and seek out habitats in open spaces.

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird These tiny, precision-flying creatures flutter around brilliantly in the sun looking to feed on sweet nectar.

  • Eastern Chipmunk In spring or summer, a female Eastern Chipmunk gives birth to an average of three to five babies.

  • Simcoe Woodland The Simcoe woodland provides the ideal habitat for white-tailed deer, coyote and red fox.

Plant life

Go on a digital detox, and concentrate on the physical world. Take time to appreciate and explore Lake Simcoe’s diverse woodland of deciduous, mixed and coniferous forest communities. You’ll feel far from civilization in a world filled with fresh air and natural calming powers.

  • Butternut Tree Lake Simcoe is home to the nationally endangered Butternut Tree, and Friday Harbour has made extra efforts to preserve this rare species.

  • NATURE PRESERVE The Nature Preserve is part of a large tract of forest cover that extends over one kilometer to the south.

  • Chokecherry The Chokecherry produces beautiful clusters of shiny black fruits which is an important food source for Lake Simcoe's birds.

  • Pin Cherry Pin Cherry shrubs line the preserve, protect existing wildlife, and ensure that noise, light, and other human disturbances do not affect the environment.

  • White Ash The White Ash tree grows to be the largest of the Ash species. They have a lighter colour and a flakey or peeling appearance.

  • Fragrant Sumac The fragrant Sumac is a shrub native to Canada, and despite its name, it doesn't really have any distinct scent.

Protecting Lake Simcoe

Throughout the process of planning and developing Friday Harbour Resort, extensive care was taken to preserve and protect the forest and wetland communities. Important habitats and species were carefully protected, including the nationally endangered Butternut trees that were abundantly replanted. By enhancing stormwater management and recycling systems at the Resort, as well as adding edge management areas, the Resort releases less phosphorus into the Marina Basin and less human-related disturbances to Lake Simcoe than the lands did before the Resort was developed.

Every person can play a role in protecting the health of Lake Simcoe and the sensitive environment within the Friday Harbour Resort site. Here’s how:

Do not disturb habitats
Do not approach or feed wildlife
Use only marked trails and keep pets on a leash
Clean up all waste
Report any unusual sightings such as spills or nuisance plants and algae growth
Avoid using chemical fertilizers and pesticides on your lawns
Keep your car in good working order and ensure oils and fluids are cleaned and disposed of properly
Use biodegradable personal care products
Never dump any chemicals directly into storm drains
Never litter