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ROBERT JOHNSTON ECO – FOREST TRAILS REVIEW
This one’s an unassuming little collection of trails, just East of, and far enough from, Peterborough to make it a nice quiet walk. All totalled, the four trails are about six kms long (you have to walk some distance on one to get to another in most cases). The ample parking off the Douro 5th Line is free of charge, as is trail usage.
The Entrance Trail
This short stroll will lead you past the pond and over a small bridge to begin the Lowland Trail. There’s a lovely little bench over-looking the pond. I’ll mention here that there are many well positioned benches along all the trails in this Forest.
The Lowland Trail (0.8 km loop marked with a turtle silhouette)
Aptly named as it meanders through a fairly damp cedar brush lowland. It’s what I often call “spooky cedar forest”. It was wet enough for us to have to go around a number of muddy spots in mid May when we walked it. In the dead of Summer, it should be a bit drier (but probably not by much). This is the trail you’ll find the boardwalk on. It’s quite well maintained and fairly lengthy. We disturbed a rather impressively sized snake on this trail.
The Bird Watching Trail (1.5 km loop plus a little bit of Lowland trail to get to it, marked with a blue bird silhouette)
This trail is a blend of damp cedar forest and dry regenerating fake forest (rows of pines intentionally planted). It’s fairly dry (the cedar stretches notwithstanding) and level walking.
The Eastern stretch skirts the bottom of a drumlin which you’ll need to climb to access :
The Wildlife Trail (2.6 km loop after about 1 km on the Bird Watching Trail to get to it)
This one starts with a sloping trail up the drumlin, which you’ll be walking along the ridge of. Its high and dry. On it’s Eastern stretch, there’s an unmarked, short trail leading to an opening in the forest affording a lovely view of the rolling lands further to the East. The Western stretch provides a view down into the ravine you just traversed. The understorey is fairly clear in this forest.
The Evergreen Trail (0.4 kms)
I’m not sure what the reasoning was for this trail. It just arcs through a bit of forest off the Lowland Trail.
The Final Take
This Forest is small but the trails are laid out to make it feel bigger. With few exceptions, the trails are wide enough for two to walk side by side. The Lowland trails are mostly wood chip based, while the rest are compacted soil. There are numerous rest benches at locations of interest throughout the forest. There’s a boardwalk, a pond, a lookout, and a total of about 6 kms of fairly level walking (save the walk up the drumlin to get to the Wildlife Trail). In the Spring, the lower trails can be wet.
While there are numerous rest benches along all these trails, that’s all there is. There are no picnic facilities, nor washrooms. However, the ample parking is free, as is access to the trails. Dog walkers are requested to leash their pets.
Have a nice walk,