Skip to content

On the Trails: June 2022

June 1, 2022

Breeding birds, a show of wetland flowers, and nesting turtles highlight June on the Trails. The wildflowers of June are highlighted by the Blue Flag 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 where 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 concentrations in southern Ontario.

The Cootes Paradise Fishway, located near Princess Point is now in reduced operation, with most activity related to fish returning to the harbour/lake after spawning. The Fishway is open to the public during the afternoons as per the operation schedule.

Trail User Notes

  • Cootes Paradise South side trails: Set to begin the week of June 20th, trails associated with Churchill Park will be temporarily rerouted or partially closed. Access to Churchill Park from the Princess Point and Ginger Valley trailheads in the north end of the park will be closed during construction, but the trails will continue along the forest edge. More information and signage will be provided before construction starts. This is related to Churchill Park reconstruction that will create a network of loop walkways and will improve accessibility through the park. This work is expected to be completed by November 2022.
  • The Ray Lowes side trail connection from Rock Chapel to Arboretum ends at York Rd and does not connect to Cootes Paradise. This relates to the Bruce Trail Conservancy head office having moved from the Arboretum, now located in Dundas via another side trail from the escarpment.
  • Creekside Walk and Unsworth Ave Parking lot (1171 Unsworth Ave.) associated with Hendrie Valley nature trails are anticipated to reopen by the end of June. Originally closed due to extensive damage to Creekside Walk Trail during an extreme weather event on December 11, 2021.
  • The Bridle Trail Loop in Hendrie Valley is a one directional walk due to social distancing limitations of narrow sections. Signage is located at key intersections to indicate the one-way loop.

For Your Safety

  • Please note that all trail use is at your own risk. Most of our trails are hilly and the trail surfaces are natural soil. Consider your footwear as during winter surfaces can be icy or muddy depending on the weather.
  • Please stay on the marked trails to avoid trampling regenerating shrubs and trees or buried roots of understory plants such as trilliums.
  • The nature trail system is considered closed during extreme weather event notifications from Environment Canada.
  • Mountain bikes/fat bikes are not allowed as our trails are not designed to accommodate these activities.
  • Please be aware ticks, including those carrying Lyme Disease, are found throughout the Hamilton/Burlington area and are active at temperatures above 0°C. Protect yourself by staying on marked trails. RBG does not accept ticks for testing. For inquiries regarding ticks, please contact the Region of Halton or City of Hamilton Public Health.

Explore RBG’s Trails

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