Though this NA is well covered on the I’Net, something Ranger and I found prompted me to do a review anyway. We were searching for something online, when we stumbled across a Russian video site. Someone had posted a link to a lousy thirty second video I’d posted on another site taken from the bluffs at Wilmot. What really shocked us was the number of hits it had racked-up. Apparently over 185,000 people found reason to watch one of the least impressive videos I’d ever made. So …
Your best way to get to Wilmot from any direction is to go North on Hwys 35/115 to Hwy #2. Then East to Cobbledick Rd. and South to the parking Lot. Oddly, this Nature Area doesn’t show up on Google Maps.
The two main trails are graveled and wide enough for three to walk at the shoulder. One covers the East side of Wilmot creek, and the other skirts the West side and Lake Ontario. Both are dry enough after a recent rain with just a few spots you’ll need to work around on the West side.
The West Trail
This one is directly South of the parking lot and makes a right curve down and over a seasonal stream. If you follow it alongside the creek it’ll bring you to a lookout over the marsh.
If you want, you can take the trail just right of the lookout and walk down a steep hill to the lakeshore. Sometimes you can cross the creek’s outlet without getting too wet and walk back up to the East trail (depending on the volume of water, but those conditions are rare). Otherwise, you can return to the main trail which will lead you to the bluffs over the lake.
You’ll see a gazebo further ahead as you walk with the lake to your left and a butterfly filled meadow to your right. Be very mindfull of the bluff cliffs as they are unprotected and undercut. This is where I took the video that seemed to fascinate so many Russians (it really isn’t worth re-posting here).
This is a much better video from this trail, I think.
The gazebo is a great spot for a picnic. We often stop at Algoma Orchards on Hwy 2 just West of Cobbledick rd. before going in, for a coupla fresh strudels and a drink, for said picnic. Once past the gazebo, the trail will lead you back to the trail where you’ll re-walk a short way back on the same trail you walked to the marsh lookout. Once over the seasonal stream again, there are a coupla paths through the “Memorial Forest” to the East trail.
The East Trail
This one starts with a steep, long walk downhill to the creek. There’s a lovely steel bridge over the creek (where plenty of fish can be seen in season). You walk a short distance across the riverbed lowland until you hit the hill back up. There’s a bench at the crest of this one (which is often appreciated). There are a coupla woodland trails that branch off to the right from this main trail (with a meadow on your left). On our last visit, they were working on upgrading these trails with what appeared to be gravel. UPDATE July 4th 2017 – The Southernmost of these 2 trails has (had) been re-routed, gravelled, planted, and bridged, to come out on the East trail just West of the hibernaculum. However, at the time we got to it today, the lower part was flooded out. Once Ma Nature is through trying to wash South/Central Ontario off the map, this trail oughta be walkable.
On that note, the lookouts had been upgraded as well. Eventually, you’ll come to Toronto rd. where you’ re prompted to go left for a short bit until you come to a trail back into the meadow at the overhead power lines (I point that out because there’s no signage to tell you that’s where you turn back into the Nature Area). This will lead back to the downhill grade to the steel bridge again. However, if you walk downhill on Toronto rd. (to the right where the Wife and I saw six deer bound across the road in front of us), you’ll find a paved path that will lead you past a hibernaculum down to another lookout over the marsh. You can continue past it to the lakeshore. This is where you’d find yourself if you walked down to the lake from the lookout mentioned in the West trail.
The Final Take
The Samuel Wimot Nature Area trails (about two kms long) are easily walked, and fairly level (except for the dip down and back up from the creek on the East trail). There are meadows, mixed woods, flowing water, marshland, bluffs, assorted wildlife and, panoramic views of marsh, creek and lake. The trails (even through the wooded areas) are at least wide enough for two to walk together. While the din of the 401 and the occasional train whistle, can be heard from the parking lot, those sounds are drowned out by the lake and distance as you head South on the trails. There are no washroom facilities, nor a charge for use, and there’s ample parking. Algoma Orchards is only moments away, so bringing a homemade picnic isn’t necessary.
Have a nice walk,
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