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On the Trails: June 2020

June 2, 2020

June on the Trails

Breeding birds, a show of wetland flowers and nesting turtles highlight June on the Trails. The wildflowers of June are highlighted by the Blueflag Iris (Iris versicolor) and White Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata) found throughout the wetlands. Among the richest locations is the Bridle Trail Loop in Hendrie Valley. Given the abundance of wetland plants in the valley today it’s difficult to conceive this area was so degraded 20 years ago. This success is a testament to the ongoing work of the wetland restoration program.

June is the peak of breeding bird season, with the calls of 100+ species present. Trails lead you into woodland, wetland and meadow habitats were you may encounter species such as the Wood Thrush (Grindstone Marsh Trail), Yellow Warbler (Captain Cootes), or Virginia Rail (Marsh Walk).  The most unusual birds, the birds that hide in the marsh reeds, are likely heard while visiting South Pasture Swamp platform in Hendrie Valley or a Cootes Paradise (Arboretum access), with these platforms providing views of the various Special Protection Areas.You may find a surprise on your walk, turtles migrating to high ground to lay their eggs. Trails and garden areas are attractive destinations for laying eggs, with eggs taking several months to hatch. Please do not disturb the turtles as some are large enough to have a bite. Nesting turtles are most often encountered during the morning hours and encounters can occur most any day. The Gardens’ is undertaking special research to ensure the turtles are sustained into the future. Five of the six species present are on the Canadian endangered species list, with the Gardens sanctuaries one of the remaining concentration in southern Ontario.

The Cootes Paradise Fishway, located near Princess Point continues to be in full operation, but is closed to public access until further notice.

Trail User Notes

  • Hendrie Valleys Creekside Walk and Unsworth Ave Parking lot are closed until further notice due to ongoing flood damage to the trail. 
  • The Bruce Trail remains closed, however the RBG section at Rock Chapel is open with restrictions due to locally wider trails at this access point 
  • Nature Trails on the north shore of Cootes Paradise are only accessible through the Arboretum entrance, with outlying trails continuing to be closed due to maintenance limitations and the need to maintain controlled access to the property.

Explore RBG’s Trails

RBG’s nature sanctuaries feature more than 27 km of nature trails! Find maps, guided hike schedule, and more.