The River Flats - Natural Area
This 4.75 acre riverside property was purchased through the generosity of the citizens and organizations of the community of Bayfield and surrounding areas. It is now owned and protected in perpetuity by the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy on behalf of the village and managed by the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association whose mandate is to protect the quality of the environment and the ‘naturalness’ of this property.
During Bayfield’s early years - until 1900 - this tranquil woodland setting was the site of Thomson’s Mill. Until the saw and gristmill were fully operational in the 1840’s, area pioneers had to hand saw their lumber and carry their grain on their backs on deer paths to Goderich for milling. The ruins of the mill and the old dam, which was also the first bridge across the Bayfield River, are still visible.
Anglers from all over Southwestern Ontario and beyond come to the Bayfield River to test their skills. The ‘River Flats Natural Area’ is especially popular because of the extensive restocking program at the upstream hatchery and because it is an important spawning area.
The property features a small hiking trail, canoe launch, picnic areas and wide access to the river for fishing enthusiasts.