Huron Natural Area
Huron Natural Area, located in south west Kitchener officially opened in October 2007. The city partnered with the public and Catholic school boards in the development and maintenance of the site. There are several kilometers of groomed trails, some paved for wheelchair accessibility. The area has meadows, wetlands, forests, a stream and large beaver pond to explore. Wooden walkways have been built over sensitive waterways at the beaver pond.
Ample parking is provided and clean washrooms and picnic tables are available at the kiosk near the entrance. The washrooms are open April to October during daylight hours. The park is open year round but the trails are not cleared of snow. Some of the paths are ideal for snowshoeing and cross country skiing and others are well trampled down by other walkers.
I have seen numerous birds here, over 60 species in varied habitats. Some of the rarer finds have included the Great Egret, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Towhee, Black-billed Cuckoo, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, a variety of Wood Warblers, Great Horned Owl, Great Crested Flycatcher and Indigo Buntings. Other animals seen have included coyotes, beaver, mink, raccoons and numerous frogs which make a very loud springtime chorus when they are mating. The meadow is full of butterflies and dragonflies in the summer and early fall. If you visit in the summer, make sure to use plenty of mosquito repellant, especially in the woodland and beaver pond areas.
Monarch Butterflies prepare to migrate in September
Most of the trails are less than 1 km in length and are suitable for children and the trail through the meadow has a number of rest stations. If you take your dog, be sure to stoop and scoop. There are garbage cans at the entrance. Several geocaches are located here, some quite challenging to find.
Location: 801 Trillium Drive, Kitchener Ontario (map)