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On the Trails: November 2020

November 10, 2020

Please note: Some of our trails and trailheads are narrow and we recommend you wear a mask when you are near other people.

To start the month most forest areas are nearing the end of fall colour, while the traditional late fall flower is in full bloom and migratory birds continue to be numerous. The Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) a native forest understory shrub species is among the most common species in the oak dominated forests of our sanctuaries, with the yellow flowers quite distinctive against the forest setting. The Anishinaabe Waadiziwin Trail access from the Arboretum, or the Cherry Hill Gate trail into Hendrie Valley Sanctuary, are among the two best hikes at this time of year. Despite November winds oak trees around Cootes Paradise and Hendrie Valley will remain in peak colour during the first two weeks of November in brilliant shades of orange and red. 

Migratory birds continue to pass through, particularly waterfowl and raptors. November is highlighted by the arrival of the Tundra Swans, on route from Alaska to the Carolina’s. Large flocks of mergansers, teals, and shovellers can also be sited. The best trails to see them from are the Princess Pt trail accessed on the south side of Cootes Paradise Marsh, or the Anishinaabe waadiziwin trail along the north side of the marsh and accessed from the RBG Arboretum. On route through the Arboretum the decaying leaves of the Katsura trees (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) will make you think someone is cooking brownies, as their decaying leaves release this familiar smell. 

Trail User Notes

  • 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 
  • Princess Point trail loop in the Oak Savanah area will be subject to periodic access interruptions as the trail system is upgraded to repair and protect the integrity of the site as well as improve 4 season access 
  • The Ray Lowes side trail connection from Rock Chapel ends at York Rd and does not connect to Cootes Paradise
  • High numbers of visitors will be encountered at times, consider bringing a mask to wear when you cannot physically distance from others.

Explore RBG’s Trails

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