Napanee Plain Natural Area

Moira River, Napanee Plain Natural Area, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

Moira River, Napanee Plain Natural Area, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

An amazing limestone plain landscape

The Napanee Plain Natural Area is a 439,848-acre (178,142-hectare) complex of wetlands, forests, lakes, grasslands and alvars. One of North America's great limestone plain landscapes, the Napanee Plain is a place where grassland birds thrive within one of the Great Lakes region’s rarest ecosystems. This area also contains outstanding examples of karst formations.

This Natural Area is located 250 kilometres east of Toronto and extends to the City of Kingston on its southeast boundary. To date, NCC has protected more than 1,846 acres (747 hectares) here. This includes land at two Provincial Nature Reserves — Menzel Centennial Provincial Park and Stoco Fen Provincial Park. Both protect significant wetlands and headwaters.


In addition to many wetlands, the area includes several major rivers — the Salmon, Napanee, and Moira — and many large lakes, including Stoco, Varty and Loughborough lakes.


The Napanee Plain is home to at least 19 species at risk, including:

  • Blanding's turtle
  • eastern milksnake
  • least bittern
  • butternut

It also supports three globally imperiled plant community types, all related to alvars.

Conservation status 

Long-term management work in the Napanee Plain Natural Area will include participation in recovery planning and management efforts for species at risk found here, including endangered eastern loggerhead shrike and juniper sedge — a globally, nationally and provincially rare and endangered species.

NCC will also coordinate efforts with conservation and government organizations in the area to exchange information about and plan for bird conservation across the Napanee Plain. If you live in the Napanee Plain area, be on the lookout for some educational material in the works about this exceptional area.

Supporter Spotlight