Stories to Tell

Conservation Areas are full of adventure and are just waiting to be explored! There are so many great stories to tell about visits to these natural gems, and we have shared some of our experiences and the experiences of others with you on this page. We encourage you to browse through the stories below and then Step Into Nature with family and friends to create your own ‘story to tell’!

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Wheelchair Accessible Trails at Ontario's Conservation Areas


#1

Conservation Area:
South Huron Trail
Owned and Operated by: Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority and Friends of The South Huron Trail
Where: Exeter
Access:
MacNaughton Park in Exeter or Morrison Dam Conservation Area
More Information: www.abca.on.ca/downloads/MacNaughtonMorrisonTrail.pdffor information
 
The MacNaughton - Morrison Trail links with Morrison Dam Conservation Area to create the 8-kilometre South Huron Trail. This trail winds through the picturesque Ausable River valley between MacNaughton Park in Exeter and Morrison Dam Conservation Area on Morrison Line. The river, trees, birds and wildlife make this an ideal setting for a nature trail. The trail passes through towering hardwood and pine forests, skirts the Ausable River and gives a bird’s-eye view of the river valley at several lookouts. It’s also one of the best places to see the area’s unique white squirrels. The trail was designed with the entire community in mind and has features for all ages. The main trail’s granular surface is easy for hikers, runners, bicycles, strollers and wheelchairs.
 
Additionally, South Huron trail is home of the province’s only Trail Mobile, a six-seat electric vehicle driven by volunteers so people with limited mobility can still experience nature. South Huron Trail is home to the MacNaughton-Morrison Trail and the Morrison Dam Conservation Area Trail, in Exeter, Ontario.
 
#2
Conservation Area: Longwoods Road Conservation Area and Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum
Owned and Operated by: Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority
Where: 8348 Longwoods Drive, Mount Brydges

Ska-Nah-Doht, a recreated longhouse village of 1,000 years ago, is located in the beautiful surroundings of
Longwoods Road Conservation Area. Although not built on an actual site, the village is based on data collected by archaeologists and from the traditions passed on by First Nations people.

Explore the village with its 18 outdoor exhibits. Find your way through the palisade maze. Then enter a longhouse and imagine cooking supper in a clay pot over a roaring fire. Pretend to grind corn into flour in a wooden mortar and pestles. The village is wheelchair accessible, weather permitting.

Longwoods Conservation Area has outstanding wheelchair accessible trails through a Carolinian Forest and to a Class’A’ Wetland. Trails also have good interpretive and educational signs which showcase over 40 species of Carolinian trees and shrubs.
 
#3
Conservation Area: Lynde Shores Conservation Area
Owned and Operated by: Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority
Where: South of Whitby on the shores of Lake Ontario
Access: From Victoria Street.

Short, level and looping trails that are generally stroller and wheelchair friendly make the Lyndes Shores Conservation Area a convenient destination for those looking to get close to nature with minimal effort. Established in 1972, the 272-hectare Lynde Shores Conservation Area, together with the adjacent Cranberry West Tract (40 hectares) is well known for its wildlife viewing opportunities. The area provides excellent habitat for nesting birds and acts as an important stopover point for waterfowl and shorebirds migrating along the north shore of Lake Ontario.
 
#4
Conservation Area: Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail
Owned and Operated by: Jointly owned and operated by Hamilton Conservation Authority and Grand River Conservation Authority
Where: Runs between Ewen Road in West Hamilton through the Dundas Conservation Area to Brantford

More Information:
www.conservationhamilton.ca/activities/conservation-areas/activities/trails-bikeways
Completed in 1996, the 32 km Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail represents a portion of the abandoned Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway that was converted into a multi-use recreation trail. Upon the completion, this trail became Canada’s first fully developed, entirely off-road inter-urban trail.
The Hamilton section of the trail runs through the scenic Dundas Valley Conservation Area, home of the Thomas A. Beckett Living Forest and the Dundas Valley Trail Centre, a sanctuary park and rest area with indoor washroom facilities, gift shop and snack bar. Distances are marked in kilometres at most locations along the trail and parking areas can accommodate vehicles and equestrian trailers. The trail is surfaced with stone dust and is suitable for bikes, walkers, equestrians and is wheel chair accessible.
 
#5
Conservation Area: Crawford Lake Conservation Area
Owned and Operated by: Conservation Halton
Where:
3115 Conservation Road (formerly Steeles Avenue), Milton
More Information: www.conservationhalton.on.ca/ShowCategory.cfm?subCatID=1083
The pristine waters of Crawford Lake have drawn people to its shores for hundreds of years. The rare lake, with surrounding boardwalk, is nestled in lush forests atop the stunning Niagara Escarpment where visitors can watch soaring turkey vultures glide through the Nassagaweya Canyon.

You can even step back in time and explore the 15th century Iroquoian Village that has been reconstructed on its original site. The spirits still sing in the rustic longhouses where tools, animal hides and the smell of smoke let you experience the life and times of Ontario 's First Peoples.
Crawford Lake Conservation Area offers two wheelchair accessible trails:
Crawford Lake Trail – 1.4 km
This elevated boardwalk around Crawford Lake surrounds the environmentally sensitive shoreline and forest. The boardwalk offers several interpretive stations explaining the formation of the lake and its colourful natural and human history.
Woodland Trail – 1.5 km
A hard-packed trail that easily accesses a cross-section of escarpment features including Crawford Lake’s scenic woods and wetlands. Participate in a self-guided “Moccasin Walk” as you enjoy the inspirational signs posted along the way.
Four all-terrain wheelchairs are available for those who are physically unable to get out and enjoy the trails at Crawford Lake by foot. Wheelchairs are available from May to October.
#6
Conservation Area: Mountsberg Conservation Area
Owned and Operated by: Conservation Halton
Where:
2259 Millburough Line, Campbellville
More Information: www.conservationhalton.on.ca/ShowCategory.cfm?subCatID=1416
The extensive wetlands of the Mountsberg Conservation Area are a birdwatcher's paradise. Waterfowl and shorebirds clamber about a misty lake while hundreds of warblers flit through forest and meadow. Nature surrounds you at this scenic conservation area that has great hiking and cross-country ski trails outfitted with boardwalks, birdfeeders and interpretive lookouts.
You can even come face to face with a great horned owl, browse the exhibit gallery or gift shop, or see a live bird presentation during a year-round program with many special events. The call of the wild awaits you at this exciting conservation area.
Mountsberg offers one wheelchair accessible trail:
Wildlife Walkway – 1.6 km
This hard-packed, wheelchair accessible trail begins at the Raptor Centre where birds of prey are featured. The trail passes several specially designed enclosures with hawks, falcons, eagles and owls that are non-releasable due to permanent injuries. The trail also includes enclosures with bison and elk. Near the end of the trail a boardwalk leads to a Lookout Blind that overlooks the reservoir.
#7
Conservation Area: Bleasdell Boulder Conservation Area
Owned and Operated by: Lower Trent Conservation
Where:
Quinte West
Access: Take Hwy 33 toward Glen Miller

More Information:
www.ltc.on.ca/conservation/ca/bb/
At Bleasdell Boulder Conservation Area, you can take a journey through time with a short hike to the 'Bleasdell Boulder', one of the largest known glacial erratics in North America, estimated to be 2.3 billion years old. The Bleasdell Boulder, also known as the Glen Miller Rock, was studied by Reverend William Bleasdell in the 1800s who wrote of the rock in scientific journals and so brought it to the attention of geologists across Canada. The Boulder measures 13.4 metres long, 7.3 metres wide and 6.7 metres high (44’ x 24’ x22’). That’s almost three stories tall! The trails are wheelchair accessible.
Apart from the Bleasdell Boulder, you will see a wide variety of trees, flowers, and ferns. You may find beaver activity, rabbits, hare, weasels, raccoons, fox, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, grouse, hawks, waterfowl, songbirds, reptiles and amphibians.
#8
Conservation Area: Lemoine Point ConservationArea
Owned and Operated by: Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority
Where:
Kingston
Access: Lemoine Point Conservation Area has two entrances; off Hwy. 33 at Collins Bay and off Front Road past the airport, Kingston

More Information:
www.cataraquiregion.on.ca/lands/lemoine.htm
Bordered by Lake Ontario and Collins Bay, Lemoine Point is 136 hectares of forest, field and marsh, with a spectacular waterfront. This is a very popular and heavily-used Conservation Area with more than 2,500 metres of shoreline on Lake Ontario. It is also the last large publicly accessible tract of wooded Lake Ontario shoreline in the region, making it of great importance both as a recreational and a natural area.Lemoine Point Conservation Area not only has wheelchair accessible trails, it also has accessible picnic tables and washrooms adjacent to the trails.
#9
Conservation Area: Little Cataraqui Creek ConservationArea
Owned and Operated by: Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority
Where:
Kingston
Access:
Division Street (Perth Road)
More Information:
www.cataraquiregion.on.ca/lands/littlecat.htm
Take advantage of many opportunities for nature appreciation, education and recreation at this 394 hectare site. There are areas of marsh, field and forest habitat and excellent outdoor recreation facilities. The accessible trail at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area also doubles as an interpretive trail with signage, a brochure and a viewing platform over the creek and marsh.
#10
Conservation Area: Baxter ConservationArea
Owned and Operated by: Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
Where: Between Manotick and Kemptville

Access:
Dilworth Road
More Information: www.rvca.ca/careas/baxter/index.html
Baxter Conservation Areas offers 68 hectares of outdoor fun! Follow over five kilometres of trails through wetlands, conifer plantations, mixed forest, alder thickets, nut groves and a solar energy display. Enjoy a peaceful view of the scenic Rideau River from the trail or splash and play at the sandy beach. In addition to trails, Baxter Conservation Area has a boardwalk loop that is wheelchair accessible and travels through fern and trillium environments.
#11
Conservation Area: Foley Mountain ConservationArea
Owned and Operated by: Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
Where: Westport

More Information:
www.rvca.ca/careas/foley/index.html

Foley Mountain Conservation Area is located high atop a granite ridge overlooking the Upper Rideau lake and picturesque village of Westport, 50 km south of Perth. The Conservation Area consists of 325 hectares (800 acres) of mixed forests, ponds, and fields. The five hiking trails, group camp area, scenic Spy Rock lookout, and picnic areas set the stage for a quality outdoor education experience. Foley Mountain Conservation Area has a new mobility trail made with stone dust and rest stops with interpretive signs designed specifically for wheelchair accessibility. The trail is a 300 metre loop with beautiful views of Upper Rideau Lake.