An Insider's Guide to Waterloo Region

Interesting places on and off the beaten track

Archive for the ‘Trails’ Category

A Walk Before Work

These pictures were taken early this morning along the boardwalk at Riverside Park in Cambridge. The birds and other animals were not looking for human handouts but were busy singing, making nests and feasting on new plant growth.

Written by Ruth

May 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Posted in Low cost or Free, Parks, Trails

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Archeological Dig at Huron Natural Area

This boardwalk is built along the newly discovered Indian village at Huron Natural Area. There is nothing to see now but there will be an opportunity to learn more next Saturday at the Earth Day special event.

On Saturday April 23rd, the annual Earth Day Celebration will take place at the Huron Natural Area, between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Activities that afternoon include:
• Live demonstrations of birds of prey by the Canadian Raptor Conservancy
• Build and take home a Bird Box (limited quantities)
• Tree planting, crafts and other activities
• Learn about the recently discovered Neutral Nation Village – This is an archaeological dig at Strasburg Creek in the Huron Natural Area where the remains of 10 or more longhouses have been discovered, along with ancient garbage piles and shards of pottery, pipes, spear tips and arrow heads. Some of the artifacts found here date back 500 years, others to 4,500 or even 9,000 years.

Written by Ruth

April 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Posted in History, Parks, Trails

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Tree Swallow Real Estate

Tree Swallows have returned this spring and are checking out the best nesting boxes for raising their families. There are a number of boxes along the RIM Park trail in Waterloo and at Guelph Lake Conservation Area. I enjoy watching Tree Swallows build their nests in the spring and find them one of the prettiest birds of the season.

Written by Ruth

April 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Posted in Birding, Trails

Tagged with

F. W. R. Dickson Wilderness Area

I visited this natural area for the first time on a snowy, damp weekend (as we have had every weekend lately!) In spite of the weather, it was an interesting and beautiful area that I will return to explore further when the trails dry out. There are several steep sections in the 5 km loop so if you go when it is icy, you need to take special care.

Chickadees here are very friendly and come readily to eat from your hand. Most of them have colour-coded bands and are being studied for behaviour and movement. This is a birder’s paradise.

This map directs you to Hillside Lake Park on the Brant-Waterloo Road. Dickson Wilderness area is immediately west of the trailer park. A parking lot is on the north side of Brant-Waterloo Road.

Other trails are found nearby at Sudden Tract, Wrigley Lake and Pinehurst Lake.

Written by Ruth

March 10, 2011 at 7:27 am

Signs of Spring 2011

The Laurentian Wetland in the Ottawa Street South and David Bergey Drive area does not look very inviting in this late winter picture. But the rain was melting the ice and birds were active over the area. I heard my first Red-winged Blackbird of the season here yesterday. Robins will be back in a week or two and spring is on the way. Here is an upcoming event in this area.

April 16, 2011; 1 to 4 p.m. – Laurentian Wetland Clean-up & Earth Day Celebration. See the KNAP website for more information.

Written by Ruth

March 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Sudden Regional Forest

1839 Spragues Road, North Dumfries Township

The Region of Waterloo’s Regional Forests and Woodlands include 16 wooded areas owned by the Region. Sudden Tract is south of Cambridge at 1839 Spragues Road. I have enjoyed the trails here particularly in the fall and winter. The Chickadees and Nuthatches are very friendly and will eat out of your hand. This is where I saw my first Red-bellied Woodpecker a few years ago.

The boardwalk traversing the large wetland near Spragues Road has been closed to the public for over a year now. It is in poor repair and is missing cross boards in many areas. People (like myself) walk around the barriers and follow the trail toward the back of the forest where glacial hills and formations add the beauty of the forest. I wouldn’t recommend using this trail though especially when spring arrives.

The boardwalk over the wetland is unsafe

Here is a link to a January 2011 report from the Region of Waterloo concerning the Regional Forest Management Plan. According to the report, in the fall of 2010 ” a team of students from Conestoga College’s Environmental Engineering program undertook the project of designing a replacement boardwalk as their major course project. To date they have produced an “Existing Conditions” report and are currently in the design stage of the project. It is anticipated that if their recommendations are realistic and achievable, that their proposal will be presented to EEAC for consideration at a later date.”

Red-bellied Woodpecker along broken boardwalk trail

Written by Ruth

February 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

McLennan Park- Phase 2 Development

Blackhorne Drive entrance to McLennan Park

Phase two of the City of Kitchener’s development of McLennan Park is well under way. It is slated to open in the spring of 2011 and according to the city website will include:

  • Playground area, including accessible playstructure and splash pad.
  • Skateboard park with bowl and street elements.
  • McLennan Park gate roadway, centralized drop-off and parking areas.
  • Entrance feature off McLennan Park gate at Blackhorne Crescent and Block Line Road.
  • Pedestrian trails and landscaping.
  • Basketball and beach volleyball courts.
  • Washroom building and picnic shelter.
  • A great lawn for picnics, ice skating and field play.


Written by Ruth

February 18, 2011 at 12:37 am