From bird watching, hiking, fishing, to taking in the scenic views, Nottawasaga Conservation areas are a must to visit as the trees begin to change, and the air cools.
“There are many opportunities to make a day trip out of our conservation areas. Visitors can hike, bird watch, canoe, picnic, play disc golf, and geocache. In the fall, we recommend visiting Tiffin Conservation Area, Nottawasaga Bluffs, Historic Fort Willow Conservation Area, and Minesing Wetlands Conservation Area to enjoy the fall colours,” says Maria Leung, Communications Coordinator for the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA).
The Nottawasaga Bluffs Conservation Area is located on the Niagara Escarpment. You can enjoy day trips, hike to a lookout, and have a beautiful view of the farms and forests. The Keyhole Side Trail provides a unique experience for visitors to walk through fissures.
“The Tiffin Conservation Area has seven kilometres of trails including some through mature sugar maples, which turn a spectacular colour in the fall. These trails are fully accessible and visitors can enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the many picnic tables on the property. Young and older visitors alike will enjoy the Free Play Forest where imagination is the only limitation to what can be discovered. This section of the forest is a safe way for young visitors to independently explore nature,” informs Leung.
Group camping for up to 100 campers is also available at Tiffin Conservation Area. You can bring your own activities, or arrange for programming through the NVCA’s outdoor education program. It’s an excellent starting point to explore the Nottawasaga Valley watershed, and the trails are fully accessible. Leung says it’s also a great place to host events such as weddings year-round.
“In most years, the Fort Willow Conservation Area comes alive with history with the Festival at Fort Willow. Although cancelled for 2020, the Festival gives visitors the opportunity to see what life would’ve been like back in the early 1800s with actors doing
displays on blacksmithing, fur trade, military displays and more. This property was a historically important portage between Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay,” explains Leung.
You can access hundreds of kilometres of trail through the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, the Trans Canada Trail, and the Nine Mile Portage Trail.
“Minesing Wetlands provides year-round opportunities for bird watching, but of particular interest is the fall migration, which can be seen from several locations. Canoeing is also a fun fall activity,” says Leung.
If you like to fish, take the family to The Glencairn Conservation Area located in the village of Glencairn on the Mad River.
It only costs $6.50 to park at any of the NVCA conservation areas, and you can purchase an annual parking pass for $45.50 online, by phone, or through an app.
Get out an explore some of these beautiful conservation areas with the family before the snow flies. The landscape of the Niagara Escarpment looks very different each season. Take advantage of the photo opportunities, and make some memories.
Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority