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Natural Northumberland

Northumberland has finally been “discovered” as an increasing number of people come to visit or settle here. While most agricultural land in southern Ontario is quite flat, we are treated to a rolling landscape of drumlins, eskers, and the Oak Ridges Moraine at the ancient shoreline of glacial Lake Iroquois. The dominant mixed forests have both northern and southern flavours, making for a unique assemblage of flora and fauna. Each of the tours in this four-part series is devoted to one special green space.       


Meeting time: various (depending on date)

Duration: 4–4.5 hours 

Meeting place: various (depending on date)

Effort rating: 1

Cost: $45.00/per (HST included)

Notes: Bring water and proper sun protection.

Lone Pine Marsh


Visit the flagship property that started the Lone Pine Land Trust. Purchased almost 30 years ago, this 130 acre tract is centered around a large cattail marsh and is surrounded by forest, grasslands and successional habitats. Learn how a small group of people acted to save a wetland and see some the many plants and animals that thrive there.


3 September – Lone Pine Marsh

Leader: Doug McRae

When: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Meet at the Parking lot on Maplegrove Road about 1 km north of Cty Rd. 21.


Register here.

Goodrich Loomis Conservation Area


This gem is tucked away in the rolling hills north of Brighton, and is part of a much larger forested area protecting Cold Creek, one of the finest cold water streams in southern Ontario. A good network of trails will take us through different forest and old field habitats where we can search for migrant birds and late season butterflies and plants. This is an excellent site to work on tree identification as well.

10 September – Goodrich Loomis Conservation Area

When: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Leader: TBA

Meet at Goodrich-Loomis CA Parking area accessible only from Loomis Road


Register here.

Murray Marsh


Hidden away in the hills south of Percy Boom is a massive wetland complex called the Murray Marsh.  It is a mix of forested wetland, cattail marsh and sedge meadow with drumlin “islands” of forest and regenerating field.  One of these drumlins – Potts Island – provides a spectacular view of the Trent River and surrounding countryside.

17 September – Murray Marsh

When: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Leader: Doug McRae

Meet at parking area on Goodfellow Road

Register here.



Peter’s Woods

This 100 acre nature reserve is part of the larger Burnley-Carmel natural area and is a breath-taking example of the old growth forest that once covered the County.  Massive White Pine, and Red and White Oak grow on slopes that were inaccessible to early loggers.  The rich soil and pristine streams support rich fern and wildflower communities.  Fall colours should also be apparent as the deciduous forest transitions to its leafless winter state.

Meet at Parking area on McDonald Road

24 September – Peter’s Woods

When: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Leader: Andrea Kingsley

Meet at Parking area on McDonald Road

Register here.

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General field trip information

Field trips have various effort levels. Please check the specific trip information for effort ranking.

Physical Requirements: 

See individual field trip descriptions for difficulty levels according to the following rankings:


1 – Largely flat terrain mostly on established trails, maybe with some moderate slopes; distances up to three kilometres.

2 – Generally flat terrain mostly on established trails with moderate slopes; distances up to five kilometres.

3 – Moderate to steep slopes for some long stretches mainly on established trails; distances up to five kilometres.



Nature does not stop in the rain and neither do we. All our trips run rain or shine. If severe weather is predicted, we will notify you if we need to reschedule.



Southern Ontario is one of the safest places in the world for outdoor exploration; however, ticks that carry Lyme Disease are present throughout southern Ontario. Biting insects are mostly present in late spring and early summer. Bring your own bug repellent and wear appropriate clothing. Long pants with socks over the cuffs and insect repellent are effective measures to deter ticks. Lighter-coloured clothing seems to attract insects less. Long sleeve pants and shirts and insect repellent help mitigate their affects. Poison Ivy is common in some habitats. Wear long pants and socks to prevent accidentally brushing against plants if particularly sensitive to the plant.



Wear sturdy walking shoes and dress according to weather conditions, bearing in mind it’s frequently cooler by the lakeshore in spring. Individual field trip descriptions will include any additional specific recommendations. 



Bring water and any food you may need during the trip.



In most cases, we will travel on foot from the meeting place. If transportation is required during the trip, it will be by personal vehicles. 



Bring your binoculars, camera, and spotting scope. If anyone needs binoculars, We have a small number of binoculars available for rent at $10.00/day. We welcome photography, even though our outings are not photography-focused (unless otherwise noted).



Transportation and related costs, food and drinks, park fees, accommodations

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