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On the Trails: September 2020

September 2, 2020

September is migratory season and our sanctuaries are in the middle of number of migration routes. Over 250 bird species can be encountered over the course of the season and in the fall every trail can host something special. The first burst of fall colour also emerges, highlighted by goldenrods and asters. These plants come into flower just in time for the arrival of another long distant migrant the monarch butterfly.

As a general visitor areas guide to fall migratory birding, raptors are centered around Burlington Heights, waterbirds are focused around the rivermouth deltas of Spencer (Cootes Paradise) and Grindstone Creeks (Hendrie Valley), and song birds are all through the wooded shorelines surrounding the wetlands. Trails with observation platforms are accessed through either Hendrie Valley or the Cootes Paradise north shore (via the Arboretum) with views of our most spectacular areas, Special Protection Areas available from the platforms. Canoe launches can be found at Princess Point and Valley Inn.

September wildflowers are dominated by goldenrods and asters with over 30 species occurring. These are particularly abundant in the meadows of Princess Point, Arboretum and Rock Chapel. More subtle favourites in a woodland setting include, Symphyotrichum cordifolium (Heart-leaved Aster) at Rock Chapel, Solidago caesia (Blue-stemmed Goldenrod) in Hendrie Valley, and Eurybia macrophylla (Large-leaved Aster) along Cootes Paradise south shore.

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.
  • 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
  • Please be aware ticks, including some ticks with Lyme Disease are found throughout the Hamilton Burlington Region. Protect yourself by staying on marked trails. RBG does not accept ticks for testing. For inquiries regarding ticks, please contact the City of Hamilton or Region of Halton 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.