An Insider's Guide to Waterloo Region

Interesting places on and off the beaten track

Posts Tagged ‘geocaching

Huron Natural Area

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Beaver Pond

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.

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Pileated Woodpecker

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.

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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)

Cost: Free

Written by Ruth

July 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm

McLennan Park, “Mount Trashmore”

mount trashmorePhoto by Ruth Kinzie

A landfill site in south-west Kitchener was closed in the 1970s and new homes were built in what is now known as Country Hills, Laurentian Hills and Glencairn. The site was covered with topsoil and planted with grass but trouble brewed below the surface. High levels of methane gas were detected in nearby homes and some were evacuated for several years. Pipes were built to release the gas and a methane fueled flame burned for several years at the site. Gradually the area has naturalized and the big hill became known as the best place for sledding withing the city limits. Over the past couple of years, a number of improvements have been made to McLennan Park with grading of the sledding hill, the addition of lighting, benches, a parking lot, and the establishment of a fenced dog park. Mountain bike trails are currently under construction. A number of geocaches can be found in the park as well. Much of the park is still in a natural state with frogs found in vernal ponds and nesting Kildeer and Red-winged Blackbirds in the fields.  City bike trails are found along the hydro right of way.

McLennan Bike Park link

Cost: Free

Nearby attractions: Laurentian Power Centre, Tim Hortons,

Location: Entrance on Ottawa Street South between Strasburg Rd and Westmount Rd Kitchener

Written by Ruth

June 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm