Swan Lake/Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary
This park consists of two distinct areas: marshy lowlands surrounding Swan Lake; and the rocky, oak-forested highlands of Christmas Hill.
The 12,000 year-old-lake is a rich habitat for a variety of birds and wildlife including muskrats, river otters and mink.
Circle the lake along a 2.5 km trail featuring two wharves and a floating walkway, then stop in a the Nature House to see the interpretive displays and more.
For more of a hike, the summit of Christmas Hill is 109 metres above sea level and gives a spectacular view of the city.
Hours and Admission
The Nature House is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday (year-round), and from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. on weekends. The Nature House is closed on Statutory Holidays. The grounds, trails and parking lot are open dawn to dusk every day.
The Nature House is wheelchair accessible. There is no admission fee, though visitors are encouraged to use the donations box just inside the front door.
The Nature House has a reading room that includes materials for both children and adults. The children’s section contains a variety of animal and nature-themed books; both non-fiction and fiction. The adult or general section has a wide variety of books on habitats, ecology, behaviour and many other natural history topics. We invite you to sit and enjoy the beautiful view, use our free WiFi, write a letter, knit, or leaf through our coffee table books.
A small gift shop sells local and regional bird checklists, trail guides, and unique hand-made items of quality. The selection changes weekly and usually includes: nature-themed cards, native plants, quilts, felted items, owl pellets, happy piggy purses, re-usable fabric bags, and table fabrics. All are priced to sell. Recently we added a used book table (and we accept donations of used books).
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