Note: While walking the trails, please take care not to pick the flowers or disturb the wildlife.
"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."
White, paper-like bark peels easily. Birch sap can be processed like maple sap to make a molasses-like syrup.
Note the smooth bark marked with vertical lines. Many Indian tribes mixed the berries with dried meat and fat to make pemmican.
This is home to decomposers - organisms (such as mushrooms and fungi and many insects) that break down and return dead tissues to the environment.
This trail leads to the remains of an old sugar cabin. Some maple syrup facts: it takes 30 to 40 litres of sap to produce one litre of syrup; it takes 30 to 70 years for a tree to reach a tapable size of 25 cm in diameter; and sap flows when there are frosty nights of -3°C or lower and warm, sunny days of + 2°C or higher .
Ironwood can be identified by its bark which breaks into narrow, vertical strips that are easily rubbed off. Usually a small tree, there is an exception near the end of the Red-wing Trail on the left hand side. Try to spot it! NOTE: You must go back to post #4 in order to continue on the Cedar Trail.
Owls have been observed in these big pines. Look under the trees for signs of a successful hunt --- pellets. Owl pellets are sausage- shaped clumps of the indigestible parts (fir, feathers, bones, beaks, claws, tails, etc.) that the owl "coughs up".
Snow (or White) Trillium / Eastern Hemlock
Ontario's floral emblem, the Snow (or White) Trillium, must grow for at least six years before it flowers and blooms in the spring. The needle-like leaves of the Hemlock tree were used by Aboriginal peoples and early white settlers to make a tea rich in vitamin C. Aboriginal peoples also used the leaves as a spice for bear and porcupine meat.
Note the large, heart-shaped leaves. The soft, light wood is valued by hand-carvers. The inner bark and the roots are tough and fibrous and can be twisted into cords, mats and lines.
Early June finds snapping turtles laying their approximately 20 to 30 eggs in holes they dig along the bike path. It also finds raccoons and skunks digging up the nests and devouring the eggs!
A vine or shrub with glossy green (summer) or bright red (fall) leaflets in threes. Contact with any part of the plant may result in a severe rash.
Queen Anne's Lace (white) / Chicory (blue)
From fall to early spring the roots are edible. Queen Anne's Lace can be cooked like garden carrots and Chicory can be roasted and ground to make coffee.
Fence / Culvert
This fenced area around the bike path culvert is in place to prevent beaver from blocking the culvert. Beaver can cause significant damage to surrounding habitats as the water level will rise and flood the area.
A large, wetland fern with spore cases in dense clusters at the top of fertile fronds (stalks).
Wetlands Are Important
Wetlands improve water quality, provide habitat for many plants and animals and help reduce flooding. Wetlands are also a vital source of oxygen and a great place for activities like bird watching and hiking.
For further information, contact the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary at 613-537-2024.