April 28, 2017 – With warmer temperatures and the return of chirping birds, beautiful foliage and spring’s natural beauty, it is a great time to explore conservation and natural areas throughout the Kawartha watershed.
“We are really fortunate in our region to have so many diverse conservation and natural areas for hiking, walking, biking and enjoying,” said Conservation Areas Acting Coordinator Jon Hale. “Whether it is lakes, marshes and boardwalks or incredible views of the Oak Ridges Moraine, our conservation areas offer unique and diverse experiences for families and individuals.”
With more than 7 kilometres of sustainable trails, Durham East Cross Forest is designated as a Natural Core Area on the Oak Ridges Moraine.
Pigeon River Headwaters is a 308 acre property situated on the Pigeon River. The area is ideally suited to hikers and nature lovers and birders will enjoy woodcock, hermit thrush and warbler sightings, and the ruffed grouse can be heard drumming through the dense forests.
Fleetwood Creek Natural Area offers spectacular views of the Oak Ridges Moraine and includes a 2.2 km valley trail, 3 km west loop and 3 km east loop through meadows and forests.
“The roads to both Pigeon River Headwaters and Fleetwood Creek Natural Area are unassumed roads and people should be very careful when entering or exiting the areas,” said Mr. Hale. “For those people who do venture to these two conservation areas, the sights, sounds and views are spectacular.”
Windy Ridge Conservation Area is an ideal spot for a relaxing walk or hike in the open air. This conservation area features a panoramic view from the lookout perched atop the area's tallest ridge. Directly below lies the Fleetwood Creek wetlands, where the Pigeon River and Fleetwood Creek join.
“Our flagship conservation area, and the most popular, is Ken Reid Conservation Area,” said Mr. Hale. “There is a $2 charge for parking and visitors are treated to a nearly 300 acre property with a variety of diverse trails for walking, hiking or biking.”
Ken Reid offers several loop trails that lead through forests, meadows, and wetlands. A favourite route includes the floating boardwalk that winds through the provincially significant MacLaren Creek Wetland bordering Sturgeon Lake.
“With all of our conservation areas, we would like to remind everyone to obey the rules and stay on the trails to help ensure everyone’s enjoyment of our natural areas and trail systems,” said Mr. Hale. “Our conservation areas help protect significant natural areas within our watershed for future generations and we ask that everyone respect other users, the wildlife and the environment.”