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© Lora Denis
“Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time.” Katrina Mayer
I couldn’t agree more. Fresh air, birds singing, the sound of running water – how can you go wrong? Today, I’d like to tell you about five of our nature reserves that are ideal for hiking and reconnecting with nature. I consider these properties to be hidden gems. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, you will have to drive a few hours to get to them, but trust me – they are worth the drive.
At 470 hectares, this is our largest nature reserve. It’s home to a diversity of warblers, ruby-throated hummingbirds, white-tailed deer, moose, beaver, moccasin flower, showy lady’s slipper and many more species. On this property, you will truly feel like you’re walking through a pristine forest.
This is my favourite reserve, and at 423 hectares, it’s our second largest. The hiking trail traverses six distinct geologic formations and offers remarkable views of the shoreline. Black bears, scarlet tanagers, ovenbirds, Canada warblers and peregrine falcons have been seen on this property.
Known as a garden of wildflowers, especially orchids, this 33-hectare nature reserve is located north of Owen Sound. It is a spectacular example of Great Lakes coastal meadow marsh, a globally rare habitat.
Located north of the Oak Ridges Moraine in Newmarket, this reserve is a 108-hectare wildlife refuge. Hiking through forests and along creeks, you may come upon white-tailed deer, red fox, great blue herons, red-tailed hawks, great-horned owls and a great number of painted turtles.
Want the old growth forest experience, without having to travel to northern California? The mature maple-beech forest in this 281-hectare reserve is a rare example of pre-settlement woodlands in southern Ontario. Many of the trees are 250-300 years old!
Ontario Nature’s promise to protect wild spaces and wild species is upheld in our network of nature reserves. We want you to celebrate this success with us by enjoying our reserves and fostering a close relationship with other species.
See you on the trails!
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I was just thinking the same thought as the first comment above. Where are these nature reserves? How do you journey to them? You don’t tell us
If you click on the links, embedded in each nature reserve name under the images, these will take you to the nature reserve pages where you will see detailed directions to help you locate the nature reserves to plan your visitation.
It would help if you gave location and how to drive to the reserves.
Please and thank you.
Tried to register for blog but could not.
Also looking for a place to visit in January or February as a break.
We have noticed that when users browse with the notorious Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge, hiccups can happen with the forms. We suggest using a browser such as Firefox or Chrome. If that still does not work, please let us know and we will register you for blog notifications.
We will also be updating the Event Calendar: https://ontarionature.org/events/ with winter events shortly! We regularly update the calendar with events three months in advance.
In the meantime, many local Nature Network member organizations offer wonderful nature-focused events throughout the year: https://ontarionature.org/about/nature-network/ .