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SEYMOUR CONSERVATION AREA TRAILS REVIEW
The wife and I do an annual Spring pilgrimage to Seymour Conservation Area. The draw ? A forest floor blanketed in hepaticas. The highest concentration of which we’ve ever seen anywhere.
UPDATE – May 5 2020 – just returned from here. The hepatica need another week or two to peak.
Then, there’s also the heron rookery UPDATE May 5 2020 – We failed to see any on our walk today. However, I’m sure I heard one, but there weren’t any nests visible. garter and ribbon snakes, and the occassional porcupine up in the trees. We’ve seen huge tadpoles in the abandonned, flooded quarry (with the clearest water …). There are also shagbark hickory trees on the trails, valued for their nuts in the Fall.
Speaking of the quarry, the Lower Trent Conservation Authority hosts an annual family fishing day with (I believe) stocked trout. Contact the LTCA for more information. There’s also a picnic shelter over-looking the quarry, or at least within a few steps of the quarry.
Just as an aside, the town of Campbellford is literally minutes North on Hwy 30 if you’d like to pick up a lunch and return for a picnic (the wife and I often do this). There is a large picnic shelter right across from the parking lot that doesn’t afford much of a view, but it’s big (the one on the quarry pond is better, just smaller). There’s washroom facilities near the parking lot as well.
The trails are very good and easily wide enough for two to walk side-by-side for their entirety. Mostly dry with very few exceptions (in the Spring) which can be stepped around easily. The Teal trail is fairly level and is where you’ll see the hepatica display best. The numerous permanent and vernal forest pools are well populated with frogs and turtles.
The Upland trail is exactly that, up a hill (not a particularly challening one as it’s not very steep) and back down again while still affording some nice vistas along the way. The forest floor is clear of underbrush and affords an unimpeded view for quite a distance into the forest, even in leaf season.
The Final Take
Seymour, though a fair ways off the beaten path (that means the 401), is a pleasant walk in any season. The hills of the Upland trail are nothing significant and will present near no challenge. The Spring flower carpet is amazing but doesn’t show well in pictures. On the subject of pictures, these are all from our Spring visits. It must be experienced personally to fully appreciate them. The herons are something else to look for in the Spring, and I’m sure there’s a snake hibernaculum somewhere along the Teal trail. The Heat of Summer can be broken by a quick dip in the crystal clear water of the quarry, and the Fall can bring hickory nut gathering if you’re faster than the squirrells (which you aren’t … sorry , that’s just a fact, but you can usually grab a few just for tasting fun).
It’s not a big area, and the trails are shorter than they look. All the sites I looked up said they’re 6.5 km total, but I have a serious “I don’t think so” concerning that. Finding a trail map was like pulling dragon’s teeth, and once I found one, there were no distances marked on it. So I did a satellite view calculation, combined it with personal experience, and I figure they’re probably at most three Km. There’s no charge for parking nor walking either.
As I say, she’s a fair ways off the 401, but you could take a cruise into Warkworth and walk their new lilac trail. It’s not as wild as Seymour, but is pretty, easy to walk, and has lovely lilacs in season. Not to mention it’s potential as a picnic spot as well. UPDATE February 7, 2022 – We dropped in here last week and noticed that the parking lot is well plowed and maintained, even after the big snowstorm we had recently. So, I added the descriptor “A Winter Walkable” to this review.
Have a nice walk.