Preserving the beauty and ecology of the Niagara Escarpment has always been a priority for Ontario Nature. The Wilfred G. Crozier Nature Reserve has played an important role in these efforts. The four-hectare (ten-acre) reserve straddles a section of the escarpment near Milton.
The reserve is part of the Halton Forest North a provincially significant, Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) and is crossed by the Bruce Trail. The Halton/North Peel Field Naturalists are the official stewards of the reserve.
Plants and Animals
Above and below the short cliffs that divide the reserve in half are old fields that have been tilled. In the recent past, these fields were used mostly for grazing and hay mowing. Now they are good examples of old-field succession communities. A very open cover of young trees such as white ash and white elm gives way to mostly shrub cover – hawthorn, staghorn sumac, chokecherry, raspberry and the like – as the visitor moves away from the base of the slope.
The escarpment face, except for the top five metres or so, is mostly buried behind a talus slope. The escarpment rim is dominated by eastern hemlock with a scattering of sugar maple, paper birch, eastern white cedar, white ash and red oak. The cliff-edge forest extends about 12 metres back from the face and then opens into old field again.
The reserve is six and a half kilometres north of Highway 401 on Regional Road 25 from Milton, south of Speyside. To access the property, turn west onto St. Helena Road from Regional Road 25. A small parking area is located right at the end of the road. Follow the signs to the Bruce Trail, which runs through the reserve.
View Wilfred G. Crozier Nature Reserve in a larger map