- Exit the 401 at interchange 203 (Elgin Rd, South)
- Turn left (go east) off of Elgin Rd. onto College Line
- Turn right (go south) off of College Line onto Hacienda Rd
- The 911 address is 10594 Hacienda Rd.
Situated on 338 acres (137 hectares) of crown land, the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area provides visitors with many opportunities, including; hunting, education and wildlife viewing (particularly waterfowl and shore birds). There are four viewing stands next to the sanctuary; three are off the main parking lot and one is at the back of the property, along the south access road. One of the front viewing stations is wheelchair accessible. This site has picnic tables, trails for hiking and portable washrooms for people to use during their visit. The AWMA also provides waterfowl hunting opportunities from two blinds along the north boundary fronting College Line.
Aylmer Wildlife Management Area (AWMA) is comprised of distinct habitats that help to make this a natural area with conifer/wildlife shrub hedgerows, old fields/meadows, shrub thickets and croplands. Inside the 80 acre (32 hectare) fenced sanctuary, there is the tallgrass prairies field, goose pasture and 50 acres (20 hectares) of wetland ponds. The ponds and sloughs are designated as provincially significant wetlands and are best known for attracting waterfowl during the spring and gall migrations. This includes the tundra swans, which the site is best known for viewing.
The main part of AWMA is a fenced-in sanctuary of about 100 acres (40 hectares). This sanctuary contains a series of ponds and sloughs which are designated as provincially significant wetlands.
Since 1997, when the Elgin County Stewardship Council entered into a partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to co-manage the property, a number of projects have been initiated. Some of these include;
- The expansion of wetland habitat and established a tallgrass prairies field through a partnership with Ducks Unlimited
- Adding interpretive signage to help visitors learn about property and wildlife that depend on it for their habitat
- Investment in local partnerships, including Aylmer Rotary Club and East Elgin Secondary School to assist with the delivery of wildlife programs
- Building of the two new viewing stands to increase viewing opportunities
- Extensive vegetation management to improve appearance of the property, increase use by wildlife and enhance viewing opportunities for the public
- Development of a management plan for the site
Year Round Hiking
- Canada Goose Way, & Mockingbird Circle
- Dog Walking and Training
- Bird Watching
- Hunting- Hunting for migratory waterfowl is permitted in accordance with Provincial Hunting Regulations defined by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). Hunting is only permitted on Monday,Wednesday,Thursday and Saturday and is only permitted in the morning as defined by the Provincial Hunting Regulations. Hunting for deer and wild turkeys is not permitted at AWMA at any time. Hunting blinds are available and hunter numbers are controlled by numbered parking spaces, parking and hunting in an unmarked space is prohibited. Further rules and regulations concerning hunting may be obtained by contacting the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Aylmer District Office at 519 773 9241
- Tundra Swan Viewing- Spring Migration usually takes place during March. Swans are fed at 9am daily. Aylmer Wildlife Management Area is perhaps the best place in North America to see tundra swans up close
- Goose relocation- from Oakville and Mississauga during June
- Banding of ducks- (Darrell Dennis) volunteer with Canadian Wildlife Service bands between 500-600 each year during migration (August)
- Duck feeding- under permit from Canadian Wildlife Service from mid-August to mid-December feeding is done (Monday, Wednesday & Friday). This is being carried out with the help of the Environmental Leadership Class from the East Elgin Secondary School
- Shore bird migration- spring and fall
- Farming- spring to fall 178.6 acres at present (2013)
Formerly called the #14 Service Flying Training School R.C.A.F. (Royal Canadian Air Force), this property operated as a air base until 1961.
To read a history of the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area, click HERE
Tundra Swan Migration
The Aylmer Wildlife Area is an annual favorite staging area for migrating Tundra Swans. These beautiful swans can be viewed annually during late-Feburary, March from the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area's observation decks. Come out and ask Ron and Keith (our local swan experts) your questions about Tundra Swans. To find out more and to hear the daily swan count, please call the Swan Line at:
(519) 773-SWAN or (519) 773-7926