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Altberg Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Reserve (Kinmount) Review
I can’t decide which major centre to start written directions from, so I’ll just suggest you go 8.3 kms West of Kinmount on Monck Rd (Cty Rd # 45), to the (maybe) 5 car parking lot on the South side of Monck Rd. Click on the link below to open Google Maps at the location : https://goo.gl/maps/HyYAysiWn3ouXeMUA
You’ll walk through the gate to find a rather new looking kiosk, a number of interpretive signs and a cute little privy. There are three loop trails in here and combined, they make about 3 kms. They’re not long enough, nor do they differ enough for me to review each one individually. So what we did was to take the Beaver Meadow to the left (East … past the privy) to the Mesa Trail around to the Escarpment Trail (did a figure “8”) and returned via the West side of the Beaver Meadow Trail. I printed out a trail map I’d found on-line, but it was fairly different from the map on the sign at the trailhead (below).
These trails are very well marked with colored triangles on trees. There are also lots of maps with “you are here” along the trails. I should mention, there was a trail (a Blue, Granite Ridge Trail) at one time, off the top of the Mesa Trail, but it was clearly closed and hadn’t been used in a very long time. I mention it as you might notice the blue markers on trees along the Mesa Trail, and wonder what they’re all about. It was only 600 meters long and led you to a ten foot tall granite rockface. There are ample boardwalks and bridges wherever needed. The 1st bridge had two fallen trees over it. We managed to roll the one off, but the other was waaaaay too heavy for us. We also noticed some strange porcelain-like rocks along the trail.
As we continued, we came across a rock outcropping with a vein of the odd white rocks we’d seen earlier. There’s a bit of a hill to climb up, on the Mesa Trail, but it wasn’t much of a challenge. It did provide a pretty view of the surrounding valley, as it wandered along a ridge through mixed forest.
The Final Take
I must admit to being a tad disappointed in the lack of anything botanically interesting on these trails. I’d read such glowing accounts on other sites that I expected a good show. We are both (the Wife considerably more so) quite adept at recognizing wildflowers without flowers, and we saw nothing that wowed us. To be fair, as you can see from the map, these trails are only a small representation of the size of this property. Perhaps the stewards know the locations of the more impressive stuff.
These trails are single file width, well marked, with ample parking for such a small area. There’s a lovely little privy, though I didn’t check it’s internal condition. Judging by the trail conditions, markers, and interpretive signage, I expect it would be well maintained.
We were going to save Altberg for a return visit, after walking a stretch of the Victoria Rail Trail and the Somerville Tract Forest near Kinmount. However, we found both of these “trails” to be ATV and dirtbike heaven, so we abandoned those plans and took Altberg. Though, the sound of traffic from County Road # 45 was mildly audible throughout the trail system, it was a welcome break from the dust, noise, and exhaust fumes in the Somerville Tract.
Otherwise, this was a pretty little, well maintained set of trails that will provide a pleasant, easy walk through the forest.
Have a nice walk,