5 – Beaver River Wetland Trail

Beaver River Wetland Trail20 km Linear rail trail • Blackwater marks the Y junction between the East-West Trans Canada Trail, and a wonderful spurline branching North to the old-fashioned town of Cannington. The Beaver River Wetland Trail passes through ecologically diverse marsh lands protected by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. It’s a birder’s and field naturalist’s paradise. Bring binoculars and guide books.

Although the trail surface is rough and prone to puddling after rainfall, this is a memorable nature trail not too far from Toronto.

If you’re exploring on your own, please Note: the rail trail is interrupted by industrial yards of the Sunderland Co-op. Diverting around this can be a little confusing, as you encounter an active truck area, a grassy embankment, and either a wet ditch or a short stint on the (high-speed) highway shoulder. Caution is required in this area. If you cross at the stoplights, make sure you activate the pedestrian signal. The gas station at the highway crosswalk offers a washroom and ice cream cones – at last visit in 2014.

Wild Columbine and Red Dogwood blooming trailside, Spokes & Species Ride, June 1

Wild Columbine and Red Dogwood blooming trailside, Spokes & Species Ride, June 1, 2014

If you’d like to explore the natural biodiversity of the Beaver River Wetland Trail in the company of like-minded folks, plan to join a guided Spokes & Species Ride in the company of Friends of the Rail Trail and the North Durham Nature club – to be confirmed for Spring of 2015. Contact us for details. Last year’s outing was held in celebration of International Biodiversity Day.

Plan a jaunt into the little village of Sunderland, where depending on the day and hour, you may catch a bite to eat or visit an interesting shop. An energetic local resident was able to preserve the old fire hall by converting it to a painting studio/art gallery/antique shop. This is the kind of initiative the TAG Towns project would like to champion to create a visitor-friendly Greenway. We want to see such initiatives thrive and contribute to lively, prosperous communities, while preserving local heritage.