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On the Trails: March 2020

March 1, 2020

March on the Trails

Spring is in the air, and the calls of chickadees, cardinals, and blackbirds can be heard throughout the nature sanctuaries. The early spring has left the trails melted and muddy, with Coots Paradise Marsh having only thin ice to start the month. With the warm forcast the Fishway at Cootes Paradise is anticipated to early in March. As of the beginning of March flocks of many species of birds, particularly raptors, have begun to arrive on their long journey north. The first spring wildflowers Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is beginning to bloom with this large plant found in spring feed lowlands. The best trails to spot it include the Grindstone Marsh in Hendrie Valley, Captain Cootes Trail on the north side of Cootes Paradise, and Westdale Ravine Trail on the south side.

Operation of the Cootes Paradise Fishway begins after the ice melts. The first species through include rainbow trout, northern pike and yellow perch. The operation schedule starts with only a few baskets, before ramping up for full spring fish migrations in April. Access via Princess Point is closed during March for trail repairs, with access available from the Bayfront Park End.

You can experience the season with one of the many public programs for kids or adults, with field ID pocket guides available at the RBG Shop, and great lunch time dining available at the RBG Centre and Rock Garden restaurants. If you’re looking for a guided walk try the WIN walk in Hendrie Valley, or one of our weekly free Sunday Back to Nature walks also listed in our public programs calendar. Walks rotate between four locations, one for each week of the month and are provided by RBG volunteers.

Trail User Notes

  • The Rock Chapel Parking Lot is closed for the season, re-opening in March 16.
  • Grindstone Marsh trail will have access disruptions due to repair work on the Plains Rd overpass road bridge.
  • Desjardin (Waterfront) Trail to the Fishway will be closed during March for some reconstruction related to flooding.

Explore RBG’s Trails

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