1) Trans-Canada Trail Natural Features – mixed forest and agriculture, large wetland just east of Atkinson Road, Jackson Park, Little Lake, Otonabee River, Ecology Park Plants – marsh marigold and anemones are common in Jackson Park, large white pines in Jackson Park Creatures – by wetland: turtles, beaver, rosebreasted grosbeak, migrant species, warblers (redstart, black-throated green, blackburnian, parula), white-throated and white-crowned sparrows; nesting species include kingbird, song and swamp sparrows, redwing blackbird, yellow warbler, common yellowthroat; other birds include kingfishers, great blue herons, sora and Virginia rails, in Jackson Park birds include warblers, sparrows, thrushes, flycatchers, black and white warblers, veery, ovenbirds, winter robins, cardinals, rabbit, mink

Rotary Greenway Trail Natural Features – parallel to Otonabee River, urban parkland, mixed forest, meadows Plants – cedars, coltsfoot (spring), wild grape Creatures – chickadees, swallows, redwing blackbirds, osprey, waterfowl

Ganaraska Trail Natural Features – travels through varied terrain, from Oak Ridges Moraine in the Ganaraska Forest in the south to eskers and mixed deciduous forest and farmland, Hogs Back Esker one of best examples of a glacial deposit in Ontario, designated as a provincially significant area of natural and scientific interest, crosses the Pigeon River, private and public lands Plants – wild strawberries and raspberries, poison ivy Creatures – weasels. And make sure you are safe while taking on the trail, be sure to bring gps trackers like the ones you can buy at www.amazon.com/Amcrest-LTE-GPS-Tracker-Geo-Fencing/dp/B07P87SZMJ.

Parkway Trail Natural Features – urban parkland, meadows, abandoned railway

1)Provincial Parks

Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park Natural Features – one of the oldest woods known in the Kawarthas – some trees over 200 years old, demonstrating a climax forest of sugar maple, beech, basswood, ironwood, white ask and eastern hemlock and yellow birch on the lower slopes Plants – leatherwort, alternate-leaved dogwood, red-osier dogwood, many varieties of grasses, sedges and woodland flowers including Indian pipe, red and white trilliums, wild leek, false and star flowered Solomon’s seal, wild ginger, jack-in-the –pulpit, rose twisted stalk, round and sharp-lobed hepatica, clintonia, trout lily, large-flowered bellwort, spring beauty, Canada violet, northern white violet Creatures – porcupines, squirrels, chipmunks, garter snakes, birds nesting include blue jays, robin, red-eyed vireo, chickadees, white and red-breasted nuthatches, rose-breasted grosbeak, scarlet tanager, wood thrush, broad-winged hawk, great crested flycatcher; other birds include pileated woodpeckers, ovenbird, green herons common along swampy section at west end of trail, American bittern

Emily Provincial Park Natural features – 78 hectares, esker, forested area, locally significant wetland, abandoned agricultural area Plants – poplar, red maple, balsam fir, spruce, white birch, tamarack, black ash, cedar, red and white pine, green ash in wetland (valued by Native people for snowshoes, sleds and bows and arrows for its flexibility); marsh plants include duckweed, water lilies, American lotus, cattails, pickerelweed, bur reed Creatures – rivers otter, deer, muskrat, raccoon, painted turtles, birds include osprey, black terns, wild turkey, wood ducks Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Provincial Park Natural Features – bedrock barrens, lakes, rivers and wetlands, Canadian Shield Plants – some small alvar areas in the south, featuring rare plants found on limestone outcrops that are quite flat Creatures – deer, bear, otter, 5-lined skink, beaver, mink, bald eagles in winter, whip-poor-will, barred owl, night hawks numerous end of May, warblers, loons, turkey vultures

Petroglyphs Provincial Park Natural Features – southern fringe of Canadian Shield, primarily coniferous forest, waterfall along Eels Creek called High Falls, small inland lakes, streams and wetlands, adjacent to Peterborough Crown Game Preserve Plants – pine and oak predominate; common spring flowers include fringed polygala Creatures – deer, moose, timber and brush wolves, black bear, five-lined skinks water snakes, turtles; pileated, hairy and downy woodpecker, bald eagles in winter, crossbills, blue jays and grey jays (most southerly nesting area), ducks, ruffed grouse, bald and golden eagles in winter, popular area for butterfly watching

Silent Lake Provincial Park Natural Features – large undeveloped lake, transition zone between the Canadian Shield and the southern deciduous forests, therefore home to both northern and southern species, Bonnie’s Pond, 1420 hectares which is largely undeveloped Plants – second growth forest, most common species of trees are birch, maple, hemlock and white pine; many wildflowers including the uncommon varieties such as the rose pagonia, rattlesnake fern and toothwort, and the more common ferns, orchids, sedges and pitcher plants; rare plants include the narrow-leaved spleenwort Creatures – bear, deer, four-toed salamander found in nature reserve zone added to the east side of the park; otter, mink and beaver live in marshy areas along the lake; warblers beginning in mid-May, hooded mergansers, scarlet tanagers and ruby-throated hummingbird in summer, ducks in migration season, loons

3)Conservation and Wildlife Areas

Ganaraska Forest Natural Features – 4455 hectares Oak Ridges Moraine, sandy hills of glacial till, predominantly pine, extremely large forest Plants – plantations of red and white pine, white spruce, tamarack; natural forest areas of maple, oak, cherry, hemlock, birch, cedar Creatures – wild turkey, blue birds by lookout.

Miller Creek Wildlife Area Natural Features – provincially significant wetland, officially known as the Snelgrove Brook Wetland, locally known as Miller Creek Plants – numerous vegetation zones, upland hardwood, lowland wet and dry coniferous woods, grassland, late-stage bog, sedge and cattail marshes, interesting vegetation includes: ram’s head lady’s slipper, clubmosses, goldenthread, starflower, one-flowered pyrola, Solomon’s seal, jack-in the –pulpit, skunk cabbage, baneberry, thimbleweed Creatures – deer, muskrat, beaver, red fox, coyote, river otter, weasels, European hare, eastern cottontail, star-nosed mole, bats, variety of snakes, toads, salamanders, frogs, including locally uncommon mudpuppy, painted turtles, most birds found in the Kawarthas can be found here as migrants, winter residents or breeding: warblers, flycatchers, swallows, blackbirds, wrens, sparrows, hawks (including marsh harrier), herons, ducks (all these breed here), American bittern, snipe

Selwyn Conservation Area Natural Features – along Chemong Lake, forested area, open fields, wetland, limestone plain, sand beach, 29 hectares Plants – thick cedar, sugar maple, American beech, closed gentian, violet family, spotted jewelweed Creatures – white-tailed deer, skunk, raccoon, meadow vole, great blue heron, belted kingfisher, osprey, wood ducks, yellow-bellied sapsucker

Warsaw Caves Conservation Area Natural Features – Indian River flows through it, limestone gorge, caves and kettles, river “disappears” for a stretch, “potholes, mixed forest, cave 4 is a glacier cave – ice not uncommon in mid-July, 224 hectares Plants – eastern white cedar, eastern white pine, white spruce, walking fern by caves 5 and 7, gaywings, helleborine, hepatica, wild columbine, goldenrod Creatures – fossils in cave 2, porcupine, deer, butterflies abundant

4)Other Areas of Interest

Ennismore Waterfront Park Natural Features – along western shore of Chemong Lake Creatures – osprey (nesting)

Kawartha Nordic Ski Trails Natural Features – within the Peterborough Crown Game Preserve, mixed forest through Canadian Shield, large wetlands Plants – large white pine, hemlock, spruce, white birch, sugar maple, red oak, cedar, balsam, tamarack Creatures – deer, timber wolf, bear, beaver, snakes, barred owl, tame chickadees and red breasted and white breasted nuthatches at Tanney Cabin, grey jays

Trent University Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Area Natural Features – 150 hectares, several drumlins, wetlands, old agricultural area Plants – early successional habitats with grasses, apple, hawthorn, aspen, lowlands have eastern white cedar Creatures – deer are plentiful, porcupine, raccoon, great horned owls, American woodcock, Cooper’s hawk, butterflies abundant

Trent University Otonabee River Loop Natural Features – dominated by the Otonabee River and Lady Eaton Drumlin (252 m high), limestone Plants – cedars overhanging river, locally rare butternut trees, ferns, wildflowers plentiful on Lady Eaton Drumlin Creatures – swallows, ducks all year, butterflies abundant on Lady Eaton Drumlin

Eels Creek Natural Features – undisturbed wilderness Plants – pine, willows, royal and ostrich ferns, in late summer, purple fringed orchis and small stands of cardinal flower, pickerel weed, white-flowered pickerel weed Creatures – raccoon, beaver, herons, wading birds, ducks

Nogies Creek Natural Features – Muskellunge Research Area and Sanctuary – fishing not permitted, rocky, heavily wooded, wetland, Crown and private land Plants – white cedar, white pine, hemlock, birch, poplar, maple, beech, white ash, ironwood, basswood, black cherry, butternut, wild rice (quite plentiful), hepatica, wild leek, trillium, closed gentian, turtlehead, high bush cranberry, spikenard, fringed polygala, clintonia, yellow lady’s clipper, fack-in-the-pulpit, cardinal flower Creatures – otter, beaver, muskrat, mink, raccoon, deer bear, snowshoe hare, migrating waterfowl

Indian River – Warsaw to Warsaw Caves Natural Features – the broad river valley at Warsaw transitions to a 65 m limestone gorge at the Conservation Area property, giant icicles along gorge in winter and early spring, river goes underground for 400m at Warsaw Caves Plants – cedar and birch along gorge Creatures – red winged blackbirds, kingbirds, great blue heron, kingfishers, beaver, muskrat, mink

Indian River – Keene and Rice Lake Natural Features – extensive cattail marsh, mouth of the Indian River, Rice Lake, Serpent Mounds Park, Harris Island – designated as a provincially significant area of natural and scientific interest with a large marsh and drumlin Plants – dense cattail marsh, old oaks at Serpent Mounds Creatures – muskrat, beaver, black terns, bats, large flocks of resident and migrating ducks, bitterns, herons and songbirds

City of Peterborough – Waterfront Walks Natural Features – Little Lake, Otonabee River, Trent Canal and lock, environmental display gardens at Ecology Park, various areas of natural restoration along waterfront Plants – old willows, ash, silver maple, catalpa Creatures – wild and domesticated water fowl on Little Lake, beaver, osprey

Havelock Trail Natural Features – passes through a nice woodlot

Lakefield Trails Natural Features – Lakefield Marsh, Otonabee River Creatures – at the marsh birds include black tern, northern harrier, marsh wren, least bittern

Peterborough and the Kawarthas are typified by the Canadian Shield to the north, and limestone plains and agriculture to the south. The transition zone, known to some as The Land Between, has a high level of biodiversity reflective of the habitat offerings of both the Canadian Shield and the limestone plain. Listed below are major features and creatures of interest in natural areas and along trails and canoe routes in the Kawarthas.

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