Dorion – A Birding Paradise on Superior's North Shore

Do you have an interest in Birds? Birding? Or Bird Watching?

If your answer is yes, you will want to plan a trip to the small town of Dorion, a short drive east of Thunder Bay on the north shore of Lake Superior to take in the annual Canyon Country Birding Festival held each year in late May. The festival is your opportunity to spend two great days in Canada's Great Outdoors experiencing bird watching in the majestic setting of Lake Superior and the proposed Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area.

Dorion is fast becoming known as a North American hot spots for birding with the Hurkett Cove Conservation Area and Ouimet Canyon near  by. Dorion is easy to get to on the Trans Canada Highway less than an hour's drive east of Thunder Bay. You can also connect through Thunder Bay's international airport with daily flights with Porter Airlines, Westjet and Air Canada. Rental cars are available right at the airport.

This is your opportunity to enjoy two full days of guided birding excursions. Experience an outdoor wilderness experience like no other as you walk the trails and paths at Hurkett Cove, Ouimet Canyon and the Nipigon River Recreation Trail. The Hurkett Cove trails are maintained by the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority. Ouimet Canyon is an Ontario Park while the Nipigon River Trail connects the towns of Red Rock and Nipigon and is part of the Trans Canada Trail.

2016 will mark the eighth year for the Canyon Country Birding Fesitival, with over 100 species of birds to see. With the help of experienced guides, all with a wealth of local knowledge, you can expect to see a wide variety of birds, from eagles, hawks, and ruffed grouse to chickadees, woodpeckers, jays, nuthatches, and finches, plus waterfowl like ducks and geese.

Dorion group with bus

Parks Canada Connection

While at Hurkett Cove and on the Nipigon River Recreation Trail, you will enjoy magnificent views of the proposed Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area as part of your birding experience. Parks Canada staff will be on hand as partners in the festival to explain the significance of the preserving the absolutely breathtaking vistas and resources offered by the Lake Superior waters that has been labeled "the world's largest freshwater protected area."

Get Up with the Birds

The 2016 festival continues to offer the early birding option. Those who are "up with the birds" have a chance to say good morning to them! These early birders are offered a hike at Hurkett Cove Conservation Area at 6 am on the Saturday morning prior to the official opening of the Festival. Guides will be on hand at the Cove to lead the hike. The early birds are responsible for their own transportation, are asked to return to the Dorion Community Centre by 8 am for Registration and a delicious breakfast. They will then join the rest of the birders for an official introduction and start to the day.

For more information you may visit

About John Cameron

John knows what Northwest Ontario and Thunder Bay has to offer as a tourism destination. A life long resident of the region, John has lived in Thunder Bay for over 30 years. A former sports journalist, John has a passion sports having worked in television, radio and print. He continues to write a weekly column on curling for Thunder Bay’s daily paper, the Chronicle Journal. John works as a development officer for Tourism Thunder Bay with sports tourism a key part of his portfolio.

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