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The Nonquon Crown Lands Educational Centre on Scugog Line 10 (Port Perry) Trails Review
UPDATE – March 29 2021 – Thanks to our reader Shaun, I’ve contacted the Durham District School Board (DDSB) concerning the recent erection of “No Trespassing” signage at both Outdoor Educational Centres in the Nonquon Crown Lands. I received a remarkably swift, polite, and professional response from Sarah Jeynes, Facilitator for the Nonquon OECs, explaining that due to Covid restrictions, they can’t maintain the trails well enough to responsibly allow the public to access them. Well, that and the fact that a number of walkers have been irresponsible in their wanderings. Seriously folks, if we don’t abide by the rules of the stewards of these places, we’re gonna lose them completely. My thanks to Shaun for taking the time to inform me, and to Sarah for her rapid and kind response. Stay safe folks, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. There really is.
This is the first in a series of three reviews on the Nonquon Crown Lands near Port Perry. At 0.5 kms West of Old simcoe Rd. on Scugog Line 10 you’ll see the Nonquon Outdoor Education Centre entrance. At the time of our earlier visits, we didn’t feel comfortable accessing from the Centre as there always seemed to be activity we might get in the way of, or the gates were closed. However, we found that, just past the entrance to the Centre, there are a few short trails (literally 5 – 8 meters from the road) that are entrances to a gorgeous boardwalk and trail system. This link will open Google Maps at the location :
Try as I did, I couldn’t find an on-line trail map, so I had to use this picture of one from the location. Unfortunately, the plastic cover was reflective enough to scare the crap out of a vampire, so I had to shoot from a severe angle. However, they’re a coupla loops, so it’s not like you’ll get lost or nuthin’. The white lines are boardwalks, and the dotted lines are on ground.
On our visit in May, though the gates were closed, we noticed a well – worn path around them on the East side, so we took the liberty. The first trail on the right, will lead to the boardwalk we accessed from the road I mentioned earlier. It goes past a pretty little pond with an iron bridge off to the South. Keep to the right to continue on the boardwalk. I don’t know what the total length of boardwalks is here, but it’s considerable. There are “islands” of dry land throughout the marsh connected by numerous boardwalks. There are all kinds of differing styles of boardwalk designs, but they do the job quite nicely. I should mention here to watch your step on the dry sections, as there are some seriously heaved trip roots on the “islands”.
After walking through the marshlands on boardwalks and islands, we approached the Nonquon River and it’s lovely, wide, and well maintained riverbank boardwalk. It runs along the Nonquon’s West bank with a spectacular view of the river, complete with an observation platform. It leads to the iron bridge visible from the pond at the start of the boardwalk loop.
Crossing the bridge will bring you to the Education Centre and it’s complement of buildings and information/map boards. There’s another very nice boardwalk on this East side of the river as well. There’s what appears to be a beaver lodge right on the shoreline near the Centre which the Wife thought she could hear something inside of, when we visited here in early April (wishful thinking, or maybe not).
The Final Take
Though an Outdoor Educational Centre, this piece of Crown Land has a very well maintained trail with a nice boardwalk system. It provides lovely views of the Nonquon River and surrounding marshlands which would be impossible otherwise. Be sure to bring a handfull of peanuts or sunflower seeds, as a coupla chickadees followed us around the trail looking for free handouts.
Other than the Edu. Centre, (which is not available to the general public, of course) there are no facilities here, not even parking. Please don’t park in front of the gates as we were here on numerous “non school days” and there were alot of service people coming and going who needed clear access. I didn’t see anything about dog walking, but I wouldn’t recommend it here as most wildlife areas are opposed to them.
Have a nice walk,
The other two trail systems in the Nonquon Crown Lands are here :