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- MIDDLESEX COUNTY -

Trails Guide

www.tourmiddlesex.ca/motm

TABLE OF MIDDLESEX ON THE MOVE GUIDEBOOK TEAM: Printer: Accell Graphics, London, Ontario Publication Management: Rachel Robson, Tourism Middlesex Art Direction, Design, Layout: Rachel Robson, Tourism Middlesex Photography Courtesy of: Middlesex-London Health Unit, Shutterstock, Rachel Robson, Middlesex County A full directory of partners and sponsors is located at the back of this guidebook. A digital copy of this guide and all trail maps available online at: www.tourmiddlesex.ca/motm Reproduction or duplication of any material is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Tourism Middlesex. All information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate at the time of printing but is subject to change.Tourism Middlesex assumes no liability whatsoever for damages or loss arising from errors, changes, or omissions.

GUIDEBOOK LEGEND

Icons used throughout this guidebook

Walking/Running/Hiking Pets On Leashes Cross-Country Skiing Snowshoeing Mountain Biking/Cycling Horseback Riding Birdwatching Fishing Boat Launch

Contents

Healthy Eating Basics ....................................... 7 Get Active Outdoors ....................................... 8 Bike Safety .......................................................... 9 West Nile Virus & Lyme Diease.....................10 What Is Geocaching? ...................................... 12 Great Escapes

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Mosa Forest/Skunks Misery ........................... 14 Big Bend Conservation Area ......................... 16 A.W. Campbell Conservation Area ............. 18 Joany’s Woods ................................................... 20 Parkhill Conservation Area ........................... 22 Trail Locator - Map of Middlesex

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Clark Wright Conservation Area ................. 25 Strathroy Conservation Area ........................ 26 Longwoods Conservation Area .................... 28 Mill Stream Conservation Area .................... 30 Sharon Creek Conservation Area ............... 32 Komoka Provincial Park ................................. 34 Coldstream Conservation Area ................... 36 Lucan Conservation Area .............................. 38 Fanshawe Conservation Area ....................... 40 Dorchester Mill Pond Eco Trail .................... 42 Lake Whittaker Conservation Area ............. 44 46 Partners & Sponsors Other Trails and Parks .................................... 47

ABOUT

Middlesex On The Move This project is a collaborative campaign that promotes healthy living by providing the residents of Middlesex County access to current, evidencebased information about healthy eating and active living choices. Funding provided by the Government of Ontario.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES INCLUDE: • Increasing physical activity • Promoting healthy lifestyles • Creating an awareness of local trails and promoting new trails • Promoting healthy eating choices featuring local growers

HEALTHY EATING BASICS Did you know Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide can help you plan healthy meals for you and your family and give you a guide for how much food you need each day?

EASY SNACK IDEAS

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FOLLOWING EATING WELL WITH CANADA’S FOOD GUIDE FOR YOU? • Meet your daily needs for vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients

Combine 2 or more food groups to power up an hour or more before a hike or after. Don’t forget to drink water before, during, and after.

• Reduce your risk of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and osteoporosis

• Yogurt and piece of fruit

• Contribute to your overall health and vitality

• Peanut butter and celery • Hummus and cut-up vegetables • Cheese and apple slices • Small handful of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit

HELPFUL RESOURCES: Eat Right Ontario www.eatrightontario.com Dietitians of Canada www.dietitians.ca Middlesex-London Health Unit www.healthunit.com Get Fresh...Eat Local! http://www.tourmiddlesex.ca/visitor-info/ maps-guides To learn more about Canada’s Food Guide, visit www.healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide

Follow the healthy plate to healthy eating … • Fill half your plate with a variety of vegetables and fruit... Choose green and orange vegetables and fruit each day • Fill one-quarter of your plate with grain products... Choose ‘whole grain’ products more often • Fill one-quarter of your plate with meat and alternatives... Choose fish, beans, tofu, and lentils more often • Have a glass of milk or fortified beverage (e.g., soy) on the side... Choose skim, 1%, or 2% milk if over two years old • Use unsaturated oils such as canola, olive, and soybean... No more than two to three tbsp a day

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GET ACTIVE OUTDOORS

BIKE SAFETY

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?

Wear a helmet at all times. A properly fitted bicycle helmet is important to make sure both children and adults stay safe while cycling. Wearing a bicycle helmet can decrease your chance of head injury by up to 85%!

• Lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. • Improved fitness. • Stronger bones and muscles. • Improved mental health.

FOLLOW THE CANADIAN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GUIDELINES FOR HEALTH BENEFITS • Adults aged 18-64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week. It doesn’t need to happen all at once. Break it up, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. • It is also good for your health to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups, at least 2 days per week. • More physical activity provides greater health benefits. Reference: Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. (2011). Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. Used with permission. Retrieved January 30, 2013 from www.csep.ca/guidelines.

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TIPS FOR OUTDOOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

• Make a plan to do some walking, cycling, or canoeing on local trails. Invite family or friends to join you. • Wear supportive footwear and safety gear that fits with your activity. • Check out some of the provincial or regional trail organizations such as: Hike Ontario www.hikeontario.com Ontario Trails Council www.ontariotrails.on.ca Thames Valley Trail Association www.tvta.ca

HELPFUL RESOURCES:

Middesex-London in motion™ www.inmotion4life.ca Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology www.csep.ca Middlesex-London Health Unit www.healthunit.com ParticipACTION www.participaction.com

Remember to wear reflective clothing or bands when riding at night. HOW TO FIT A BICYCLE HELMET • Two fingers above your eyebrow to the bottom of your helmet.

• Do not buy or borrow second-hand helmets unless you know they were not in a crash or are less than 5 years old. • Buy the right size helmet. There are special helmets for toddlers (under age 5) that cover more of the back of the head. WHAT YOU NEED ON YOUR BIKE • White front light. • Red rear light or reflector.

• Four fingers to make a “V” shape around the bottom of your ears. • One finger under the strap beneath your chin. QUICK TIPS FOR BUYING A BICYCLE HELMET • Look for a sticker inside the helmet from CSA, CPSC, SNELL, or ASTM. This tells you the helmet meets Canadian safety standards. • Buy a helmet that is bright and reflective.

• White reflective strips on the front forks and red reflective strips on the back.

HELPFUL RESOURCES: Middlesex-London Health Unit www.healthunit.com Ministry of Transportation www.mto.gov.on.ca Parachute Canada www.parachutecanada.org

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WEST NILE VIRUS & LYME DISEASE WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) West Nile Virus can be transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. • Take precautions when spending time outdoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. • Avoid shaded areas where mosquitoes

People can use both sunscreen and insect repellents when they are outdoors to protect their health. Apply the sunscreen first, followed by the insect repellent. Health Canada cautions against the use of products that combine sunscreen and insect repellent into one product, as they make the DEET less effective.

If diagnosed early, most cases of LD can be successfully treated with antibiotics. After spending time outdoors be sure to do a thorough check for ticks on all areas of the body, including those covered by clothes. It is important to remove ticks promptly in order to prevent infection. Transmission of LD is unlikely to occur if the tick was attached for less than a day.

LYME DISEASE (LD)

For safe removal, follow these instructions:

Health Canada. (2012). Healthy Living

• Try to wear gloves when handling an

Outdoors. Retrieved February 4, 2013 from

may be resting. • Protect yourself from mosquito bites by choosing light coloured clothing and wearing pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks. • Wear an insect repellent that contains DEET. Always read the labels carefully.

the age of 6 months; cover the stroller with mosquito netting.

Lyme disease (LD) can be transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. If bitten, symptoms of LD usually occur within one to two weeks.

engorged (blood fed) tick. • With tweezers, grab the tick as close

• A “bull’s eye” rash which spreads

tick straight up with steady pressure.

to the head as possible and pull the

out from the tick bite. • General symptoms of fever, headache, muscle, and joint pain.

soap and water. Seek medical attention if concerned about possible skin infection.

day when a risk of complications from

• Contact the Middlesex-London

mosquito bites exists.

Health Unit at 519-663-5317 to get information on how you can submit

• Children 12 and under should only

the tick for identification.

wear DEET with concerntrations less

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prevention plan Ontario 2011. Retrieved April 2011. Public Health Agency of Canada. (2012). Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases, information for health professionals. Retrieved December 2012 from: http://www.phac-aspc.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/securit/season-

HELPFUL RESOURCES: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Public Information on West Nile Virus. http://health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ publichealth/wnv/default.aspx/wnv_ mn.html

• Wash your hands.

DEET should only be used once per

3 times per day if needed.

Care. (2011).West Nile Virus preparedness and

saison/summer-ete/outdoors-pleinair-eng.php.

EARLY SYMPTOMS OF LD MAY INCLUDE:

• For children 6 months to 2 years,

than 10% and it should only be applied

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term

gc.ca/id-mi/tickinfo-eng.php.

• Once removed, clean the area with • Do not apply DEET to children under

References:

Photograph provided by the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Environmental Health Team.

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Lyme disease in Ontario. http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ms/lyme/ Middlesex-London Health Unit www.healthunit.com

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WHAT IS GEOCACHING?

Did you know there are hundreds of active Geocaches hidden throughout Middlesex County? And they’re just waiting to be discovered by you! Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game that has been humorously described as an activity that uses “3-billion dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods”. Geocachers use hand held GPS units or Smartphones to look for caches that have been hidden in various locations by other members. These caches contain log books to sign and often treasures and small gifts to exchange (bring a few small items with you to trade or leave behind). Often, travelling items are left for you to pick up and move along to another location. The progress of these items is logged on the Geocaching website – www.geocaching.com.

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Middlesex On The MOVE

Geocaching is a fun way to explore the environment - and a great activity for the whole family to get involved in. It’s not just about trekking around in the woods - there are urban caches too, many of which can be found in the towns and hamlets of Middlesex County! This activity will put your wits to the test, often involving elaborate puzzles, ingenious hiding places, multi-stage caches containing clues to the final find - and some unexpected activities and discoveries along the way! You may be inspired to create your own cache! To join Groundspeak, the world-wide geocaching organization, and find the coordinates of the caches please visit www.geocaching.com.

GREAT ESCAPES In Middlesex County

Located on the cusp of the Carolinian Life Zone, one of North America’s hot spots of natural diversity, Middlesex County reflects the transistion between southern and northern habitats. Lush deciduous forests typical of the south are found alongside pockets of bogs and ferns, more typical of the north. Several major rivers, including the Thames, one of the largest and most biologicallyrich rivers in Ontario, criss-cross the county. Woods, wetlands, meadows, and shrublands support the great variety of wildlife in Middlesex.

The Wood-poppy, an endangered wildflower, is found only in Middlesex. Other species at risk include the Acadian Flycatcher, the Kentucky Coffee-tree, and the American Badger. Middlesex is also home to many dedicated, community-based groups that are active in restoring and protecting natural landscapes.

(Basic membership is free, but required for participation)

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MOSA FOREST/SKUNKS MISERY

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This large tract of deciduous forest and farmland situated along the Thames River is surrounded by the communities of Newbury, Wardsville, and Bothwell. The residents of these communities

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The heart of Skunk’s Misery is a 1,200-hectare complex of oldgrowth hardwood forest and swamp in Middlesex County, connected by wooded ravines to the Thames Canadian Heritage River to the south.

MODERATE TRAILS DIRECTIONS: Located on the Southside of Concession Drive, in the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex. Take Hagerty Road North to Concession Drive. Turn west onto Concession Drive and the Mosa Forest is located between Dogwood Road and Sassafras Road. CONTACT: Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, 519-354-7310

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Skunk’s Misery is noted for its diversity of upland and wetland plant communities, some of which are globally rare. It is home to a great diversity of animal and plant inhabitants, including many that are rare or at risk.

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Located 60 km southwest of London Ontario, it has been identified as a Carolinian Canada site, Provincially Significant Wetland, an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest, an Important Bird Area, and a key biodiversity area within the Great Lakes Region.

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and the surrounding rural area have demonstrated considerable civic pride and interest in the natural features of “The Misery.”

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Skunk’s Misery is one of the largest and most significant forested blocks remaining in the Carolinian Region of Southern Ontario.

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The Badder & Robinson Memorial Forest is located on the eastern limits of the Conservation Authority owned property. This memorial forest is open for day use from 8 AM to 10:30 PM, year-round, free of charge. The remainder of the Conservation Authority forest is not open for public access in order to preserve the natural heritage features of this significant and sensitive woodlot. Access into the bush must have prior written approval from the LTVCA Administration Building, with the letter to be displayed in the vehicle window. Absolutely NO motorized vehicles (ATV, 4-wheel drive, etc.) are allowed within the woodlot. Vehicles damage tree root systems on and beside trail systems.

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BIG BEND CONSERVATION AREA

Entrance

Big Bend Road

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21239 Big Bend Road, Wardsville

Fishing Pond

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An archaeological site located here was shared by hunting and gathering Native people over 3,000 years ago. Also located here is a boat launch to the Thames River - a Canadian Heritage River.

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EASY TO MODERATE TRAILS • TRAIL DISTANCE: 0.5 KM DIRECTIONS: Located on the Thames River, just east of Wardsville. Follow County Road 2 (Longwoods Road) east from Wardsville. Turn south on Big Bend Road and travel 3 km to the entrance. CONTACT: Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, 519-264-2420

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There’s a Memorial Forest, picnic shelter with tables and open space for sports, games, as well as group and family camping. Reservations are not required.

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Visitors can go hiking and fishing for yellow perch and pickerel. There’s a serviced washroom building with showers open mid-April to mid-October.

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A.W. CAMPBELL CONSERVATION AREA 8477 Shiloh Line, Near Alvinston

Gate House

A.W. Campbell House Museum

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A beautiful lake is the focus for this Conservation Area. Forested hills, treed campsites and a meandering river provide the backdrop to an active area which provides a host of recreation opportunities, including a swimming pool, mini golf, and nature trails. There are exciting activities throughout the summer months.

washroom buildings, nature trails, laundry facilities, a 25 foot by 50 foot in-ground pool, and 8 hectares (20 acres) of reservoir which is excellent for swimming, fishing, and canoeing. All campsites are serviced with hydro and water.

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DIRECTIONS: A.W. Campbell Conservation Area is located just east of County Road 79 near Alvinston. Take County Road 79 exit south off of Highway 402.

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CONTACT: A.W. Campbell Conservation Area, 519-847-5357 -ORSt. Clair Region Conservation Authority, 519-245-3710

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Boat Rentals

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Frisbee Golf

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Mini Golf

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Playground Sugar Shack

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Approximately 125 hectares (300 acres) in size, A.W. Campbell Conservation Area has 140 campsites, two modern

EASY TO MODERATE TRAILS • TRAIL DISTANCE: 8 KM

Lakeside Campground

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JOANY’S WOODS

Boot Hill Road

Boothill Road off of Highway #7

Ausauble River

Elliot Road

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Joany’s Woods has two public trails – the Ivey Trail (4.4 km) and the Inch Trail (3.2 km). Along these trails you will find hardwood swamps, mature upland and lowland forest, scrubby areas, and a number of sizable plantations.

Sylvan Road

Joany’s Woods is a conservation area that is included in Carolinian Canada’s Ausable River Valley Site and is part of the Provincially-recognized Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI). It is the second most important Carolinian botanical site in Middlesex, next to Skunk’s Misery.

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EASY TO DIFFICULT TRAILS • DISTANCE: 7.6 KM TOTAL DIRECTIONS: The parking lot is located off of Boot Hill Road, south of Parkhill Drive, west of Parkhill. CONTACT: The Thames Talbot Land Trust, 519-858-3442

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CLARK WRIGHT CONSERVATION AREA

Walkers Drive, Strathroy (SW of 81 HWY) This 50 acre site, donated by Mr. Clark Wright, includes 3 km of nature trails through recently reforested lands

including pine/spruce plantations. This location is also an excellent bird watching site.

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MOSA FOREST

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BIG BEND CONSERVATION AREA

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A.W. CAMPBELL CONSERVATION AREA

4

JOANY’S WOODS

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PARKHILL RAIL TRAIL

6

PARKHILL CONSERVATION AREA

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AILSA CRAIG LION’S PARK

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STRATHROY CONSERVATION AREA & RIVER WALK

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CLARK WRIGHT CONSERVATION AREA

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LONGWOODS CONSERVATION AREA

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MILL STREAM CONSERVATION AREA

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DELAWARE CONSERVATION AREA

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SHARON CREEK CONSERVATION AREA

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KOMOKA PROVINCIAL PARK

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COLDSTREAM CONSERVATION AREA

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ILDERTON RAIL TRAIL

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LUCAN CONSERVATION AREA

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WELDON PARK

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FANSHAWE CONSERVATION AREA

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DORCHESTER MILL POND & ECO TRAIL

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LAKE WHITTAKER CONSERVATION AREA

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EASY TRAILS • TRAIL DISTANCE: 3 KM DIRECTIONS: 2 km west of County Road 81 on Walkers Drive, one concession south of Strathroy. CONTACT: St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, 519-245-3710

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CANOE THE THAMES RIVER THAMES VALLEY TRAIL

TRAIL LOCATOR

A Map of Middlesex County PLEASE NOTE This map is for visual purposes only and does not contain details regarding local mapping for navigational purposes. Please consult a Middlesex County Map for navigation.

TRAIL SAFETY TIPS

SAFETY TIPS

WHAT TO WEAR?

• Understand your fitness level and pick a trail that matches this level. • Tell someone where you are going, when you expect to return, and what to do if you don’t return by an agreed upon time. • Check weather conditions and reports before you start out. • Stay on marked paths. When in doubt of trail conditions, turn around and head back the way you came slowly and calmly. • Walk in daylight hours. Be aware of sunset and how many hours you have before dark.

• Hiking footwear for hiking; Helmet for cycling; Personal Floatation Device (PFD) or a Lifejacket, if appropriate • Reflective clothing and/or bands • Wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses • Wear clothing that covers skin, such as long sleeve tops and long-legged pants • Layer your clothing to control temperature • Always bring rain gear

WHAT TO BRING? • Cell Phone and identification • Plenty of water and lightweight snacks • Insect repellent with DEET • Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher • Trail map and compass • First aid kit with a whistle and a flashlight

Learn more about safe walking and hiking by taking the Hike Ontario Safe Hiking Program course. Reference: Ontario Trails Council. (2013).Trail Safety. Retrieved February 6, 2013, with permission, from http://www.ontariotrails.on.ca/trail-services/ trail-safety.

HELPFUL RESOURCES: Hike Ontario • 1-800-894-7249 Website: www.hikeontario.com Email: info@hikeontario.com Ontario Trails Council www.ontariotrails.on.ca

ABOUT THE THAMES VALLEY TRAIL ASSOCIATION

The Thames Valley Trail is 110 km long and extends from Delaware, through London, to St Mary’s following the Thames and North Thames Rivers. Much of the trail outside of London crosses private property so, it is critical that the trail user’s code be followed. This hiking trail is maintained primarily by the Thames Valley Trail Association (TVTA). The booklet A Guide to Hiking the Thames Valley Trail describes and maps the entire system in detail and is available from area bookstores. The TVTA schedules hikes and produces a quarterly newsletter for members. There are over 30 certified hike leaders who offer a wide variety of hikes each week. Each month over 20 hikes are available to members, as well as the occasional Open Hike to non-members. They also have a one hour walk every

Saturday morning, open to anyone who wishes to join. This enables people to check out the hikes to see if it’s an activity that they want to get involved with. The website www.tvta.ca is full of information and even has a calendar that has all of the hikes listed. Most are member-only hikes but some give the hike and meeting location so that you can join for a trial run. While the TVTA trail is their main focus for maintenance, there are many other hiking trails they use in the area. Each year hike leaders schedule hikes to over 60 different trails, so hikers experience a wide range of terrain, flora, and fauna. For more information visit www.tvta.ca

PARKHILL CONSERVATION AREA

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The Parkhill Dam and Reservoir were constructed in 1969 to create a storage area to regulate the water flow of Parkhill Creek. The recreational opportunities include canoeing, windsurfing, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, and tobogganing.

A rest area for travellers, known as the Scenic Lookout, is located on County Road 81, just north of Parkhill.

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Call 519-294-6333 or 1-800-539-5226 for camping information or reservations.

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EASY TO MODERATE TRAILS • TRAIL DISTANCE: 8 KM *All riders must be Ausable River Riders Club members. Visit www.ausableriverriders.com for all the details.

DIRECTIONS: For entrance to nature trails, take Centre Road off of County Road #7. For entrance to the boat launch, take McGuffin Hills Drive off County Road 81. CONTACT: Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, 519-235-2610

Middlesex On The MOVE

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Each season brings something new along the nature trails at Parkhill Conservation Area. The 800-hectare conservation area is the result of efforts to control serious flooding and soil erosion problems downstream.

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STRATHROY CONSERVATION AREA

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CONTACT: St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, 519-245-3710

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DIRECTIONS: South of Highway 402, on County Road 81. Multiple access points throughout the Town of Strathroy.

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EASY TO MODERATE TRAILS • TRAIL DISTANCE: 8.5 KM

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PADDLE THE SYDENHAM The Strathroy Water Trail is a 5 km loop of clear watercourse for recreational use on the Sydenham River. The river is the only major watershed in Canada that lies entirely within the Carolinian Life Zone and is home to many plants and animals that are not found anywhere else in Canada. As you travel along the Sydenham River, you can see dams, mills, historic homes, churches, and schoolhouses. The trail starts at the Conservation Authority Office and follows the river downstream to the Strathroy Marsh, with convenient access points along the shoreline.

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THE ROTARY TRAIL The Rotary Club of Strathroy Memorial Trail was established to honor Rotary members who have passed away. The trail connects with the Conservation Authority’s trail system creating a town-wide public trail system. The trails start at the skateboard park, located at the south end of Alexandra Park (off

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of Albert Street by Carrie Street), and extend through town to Second Street, just west of the Strathroy District Collegiate Institute and Holy Cross Secondary Schools. d ra Ca

This Conservation Area located within the Town of Strathroy, includes a three kilometer trail through a beautiful floodplain forest. Reforestation efforts by the local Conservation Authority have made this area a great place to see wildlife. The trail can be accessed at the Conservation Authority Administration Centre or at the parking lot across from the Sprucedale Care Centre on Head Street. There are also links with the rest of the Strathroy Parks system linking urban parks, arboretums, and wetlands.

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LONGWOODS CONSERVATION AREA

8348 Longwoods Road, Mount Brydges

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Ska-Nah-Doht Village

Resource Centre & Gift Shop

Within Longwoods stands Ska-NahDoht Village featuring longhouses, a palisade maze, and exhibits reflective of the Haudenosaunee of 1,000 years ago. The interpretation is gathered through archaeology and Traditional Aboriginal Knowledge passed on by local First Nations.

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Three heritage cabins on site are used for educational programs and special events. Each cabin was donated by local First Nations communities; Oneida, Chippewa, and Munsee-Delaware.

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Longwoods Road Conservation Area has 63 hectares (155 acres) of Carolinian forests, ravine, meadows, and a provincially significant wetland. The Mill Stream, a tributary of the Thames River, winds through the park supporting a large variety of flora and fauna.

The Resource Centre houses the Ska-Nah-Doht Museum displays of First Nations culture and archeological artifacts. Displays and information on conservation and environmental issues are also available. The bird viewing area is not to be missed.You can also pick up the Carey Carolinian Arboretum and Trail Map at the Resource Centre. The Turtle Trail gift shop features local First Nations crafts, stained glass, and nature-themed items.

EASY TO MODERATE TRAILS • TRAIL DISTANCE: 6 KM DIRECTIONS: Located approximately 32 km west of London, 6.5 km west of Delaware, and 10 km east of Melbourne. CONTACT: Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, 519-264-2420

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Map Legend Roadway Seasonal Trail Longdo Trail Westwood Trail Turtle Trail Carey Carolinian Aboretum & Trail Millstream Trail Eastwood Trail Pondview Trail

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Parking Lot Washrooms

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Some Wheelchair Accessible Trails

Picnic Area Camping Area Restricted Area No Public Access

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MILL STREAM CONSERVATION AREA

22035 Gibson Road, West of Delaware

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Mill Stream Conservation Area has a small toboggan hill, picnic shelter, limited nature trail for fishing along the Mill Stream, hiking, and birdwatching. There is no drinking water or washroom facility. The park is open for dayuse from 8 AM to 10:30 PM, year-round, free of charge.

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NATURAL FEATURES

The Carolinian Forest and ravine system habitat supports abundant wildlife and is a natural corridor link to Longwoods Road Conservation Area. It is located on the Caradoc Sand Plain.

EASY TRAIL

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DIRECTIONS: From Delaware follow Longwoods Road (Middlesex County Road #2), 2.6 km west to Gibson Road. Turn north onto Gibson Road CONTACT: Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, 519-264-2420

DELAWARE CONSERVATION AREA 2695 Gideon Drive, Delaware

This area is used for fishing and canoe access to the Thames River. The land is a flat field with some mature trees. There is a sixty car parking lot. The park is open for dayuse from 8 AM to 10:30 PM, year-round, free of charge.

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Delaware Conservation Area is located on the floodplain of the Thames River, which is a Canadian Heritage River. This area is subject to flooding. However, is a fishing hot spot during pickerel season.

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Springer Road / Concession 1

SHARON CREEK CONSERVATION AREA 4212 Springer Road, Delaware

Wetland Area

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Sharon Creek Conservation Area has 35.6 hectares of water and 12.9 hectares of forest, grassland, wooded ravines, a small wetland, and a tallgrass prairie. Picnicking, birdwatching, hiking, fishing, and canoeing are enjoyed by many visitors. Conservation-oriented group camping is available by reservation only. Call for reservations 519-264-2420. Swimming in the reservoir is unsupervised. The park is open 8:00 AM to 10:30 PM. All year, free of charge. The dam is an “earthen dam” with a morning-glory spillway which has a capacity for a one in ten year regional storm. Another spillway accommodates extra water capacities assuring the dam remains intact. These spillways have a capacity for a one in a one hundred year storm.

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NATURAL FEATURES Springer Lake (the reservoir) was formed as a result of the installation of the Sharon Creek Dam. The lake was named after Daniel Springer, an early Delaware settler. Fish species include bass, pike, and walleye. The Sharon Creek Dam was built primarily to raise the ground-water levels and provide a municipal water supply for the region of Delaware. The dam and reservoir can also be used for flood control, but this is not the main purpose. The 2.8 hectare Sharon Creek Tallgrass Prairie is the largest publicly accessible site in Middlesex County.

EASY TO MODERATE TRAILS • TRAIL DISTANCE: 1 KM DIRECTIONS: From Delaware go east on Longwoods Road (Middlesex County Road 2). Take Springer Road south 2 km from Longwoods Road. CONTACT: Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, 519-264-2420

Tallgrass Prairie

Sharon Creek Memorial Forest

Springer Lake

Sharon Creek Reservoir

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KOMOKA PROVINCIAL PARK

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The trails pass through a number of habitat types including mature deciduous forest, swamp, meadow, and ďŹ&#x201A;oodplain. There is an excellent view of the Thames River, a Canadian Heritage River, from various vantage points along the trail.

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Blue Trail Orange Trail Yellow Trail

CONTACT: Port Burwell Provincial Park, 519-874-4691

White Trail

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DIRECTIONS: One access point is located off of Gideon Drive (County Road 3), opposite Brigham Road. Another is located on Oxford Street 1.3 km west of its intersection with Gideon Drive (look for sign on south side).

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The Blue,Yellow, and Orange Trails create additional loops and link up to the parking lot on Gideon Drive.

MODERATE TRAILS â&#x20AC;˘ TRAIL DISTANCE: 11.5 TOTAL

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Komoka Provincial Park is situated on the Thames River, south of Kilworth and east of Komoka. This park is described as non-operating, meaning there are limited facilities. The four colour-coded trails total 11 km in length. The White Trail is the Thames Valley Trail and it follows the south bank of the river through the entire length of the park.

Hiking Mountain Biking Horseback Riding Hiking Only

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COLDSTREAM CONSERVATION AREA

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EASY TO MODERATE TRAILS • TRAIL DISTANCE: 3.2 KM DIRECTIONS: Enter off of Quaker Lane, located off of Ilderton Road in Coldstream. (North of County Road 22 at Poplar Hill). CONTACT: St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, 519-245-3710

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Seasonal washrooms, playground, beach volleyball court, and soccer fields are all available for you to enjoy as well!

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There are a number of beautiful bridges throughout the conservation area, as well as numerous picnic areas and barbeques.

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The Gravel Pit Trail, to the north of Coldstream Road, is a wonderful place for spring wildflowers, birds, and fishing.

Take a seat on a bench along the water’s edge, watch the sunset, and hear the trickle of the water as it travels downstream.

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The Coldstream Conservation Area has two trails. The Cedar Trail, in the south end of the Conservation Area, takes you through a cedar swamp, a rare experience in Southwestern Ontario.

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LUCAN CONSERVATION AREA 5420 Prince William Street, Lucan

Little Ausable River

Lucan Conservation Area is an eightacre property adjacent to the Little Ausable River in the McGillivray Ward of North Middlesex. Half of the property is floodplain and the remainder is a rolling upland hardwood forest. The Little Ausable subwatershed has a high level of stress with respect to water quality. The property, although small, improves subwatershed health.

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• Campfires are only permitted in the provided barbecue. • Hunting and camping are prohibited.

EASY TRAILS • TRAIL DISTANCE: 0.5 KM

DIRECTIONS: Take Prince William Street (County Road 13), 4 km west of Highway 4 at Lucan.

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CONTACT: Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, 519-235-2610

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Upper Thames Conservation Authority, 519-951-6181

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Front Gate

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North Thames River

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Admin Office

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Camping Area Landmark Starting Point/Trail Access

Fanshawe Dam

Rowing Centre

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Tamarack Trail (1.5 km) Lake Trail (20 km) Roadway

Children’s Safety Village

EASY TO MODERATE TRAILS

Lookout Trail (4 km) Meadows Trail (3 km)

Day Use Area

Bikers unable to travel all the way around the lake must yield when biking against the flow of traffic. Bikers are reminded to watch for pedestrians using the trail.

MAP LEGEND

Fanshawe Pioneer Village

Odd numbered dates (e.g., May 5, 23, etc.) ALL bikers go counter-clockwise around the lake.

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Even numbered dates (e.g., May 2, 14, etc.) ALL bikers go clockwise around the lake.

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BIKING DIRECTIONS In order to ensure trail safety for all users, people biking around the reservoir must go the following directions, depending on the DATE:

HIKERS INFORMATION The Lake Trail is also part of the Thames Valley Trail (TVT), which runs from the southern border of Middlesex County to the Town of St. Marys. The white markers on the west side of the lake indicate the main TVT route. The blue biking markers on the east side indicate the secondary TVT trail.

Fanshawe Reservoir

Round trip hike: 4 - 5 hours Round trip cycle: 1½ - 2 hours

TRAIL MARKINGS Blue squares and black diamonds along the Lake Trail indicate the level of difficulty. The entire Lake Trail is marked with blue squares. Bikers have the option of riding the tougher black diamond sections.

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The Lake Trail is open to cyclists and hikers from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Night riding is prohibited. Helmets are mandatory for cyclists. Bike bells are recommended. Park admission fees are in effect.

The trail offers spectacular views, all kinds of wildlife and a variety of terrain. Hike or bike through mature forest, open meadows and along three stretches of roadway.

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The Fanshawe Lake Trail is a 20 km loop trail that goes around Fanshawe Reservoir. The trail is accessed at the main entrance to Fanshawe Conservation Area, 1424 Clarke Road (just north of Huron Street in London).

Lake Trail continues around the lake

1424 Clarke Road, London

Forest City National Golf Course

to Clark Road

FANSHAWE CONSERVATION AREA

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DORCHESTER MILL POND ECO TRAIL

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Mill Road, Dorchester

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CONTACT: Thames Centre, 519-268-7334 -ORUpper Thames River Conservation Authority, 519-451-2800

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EASY TO MODERATE TRAILS • TRAIL DISTANCE: 3.5 KM

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The pond and surrounding area offers a diverse collection of flora and fauna. The trees, which include black cherry and white oak, offer a home to many different species of birds. Ground shrubs such as raspberry bushes and dogwood support various mammals including cottontails, raccoons, and white tail deer. The pond itself, which boasts beautiful yellow water lilies, is inhabited by water fowl, turtles, bass, and even beavers - a rarity in Southwestern Ontario.

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Evidence of a beaver dam can be seen beside the bridge. The Mill Pond is truly a unique natural area located right in the Village of Dorchester.

The pond itself is tranquil and changes from season to season providing excellent subject matter for photographers. Visitors may wish to simply enjoy the view looking south from the dam reconstructed in 2005, or enjoy a quiet walk in the cool shade. The century old pond and dam provide a setting for quiet enjoyment.

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The cluster of flora and fauna at the Mill Pond is a fine example of Carolinian forest right here in Dorchester. Park your car in the large parking lot off of Mill Road. Enjoy a hike around the entire perimeter of the pond along the nature trail. Stroll along natural paths, over wooden walkways, and bridges. Enjoy the panoramic view from the lookout deck on the east side or perhaps see flocks of Canada geese land on the water as you watch from the unique wooden bridge at the south end of the pond.

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LAKE WHITTAKER CONSERVATION AREA 5840 Whittaker Lane, Harrietsville

Doan Rd

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Choose from 214 roomy campsites equipped with a picnic table and fire pit. Serviced sites are available including water,15 and 30-amp service with ample room to park an RV.

ACTIVITIES AND INFO: • Admission Fee • Individual and Group Camping • Lake/River/Reservoir • Fishing • Swimming • Hiking • Children’s Activities • Handicapped Access • Rental Facilities • Picnic Facilities • Boating/Canoeing • Sports Facilities • Disc Golf

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HOURS OF OPERATION: From May 1st to September 30th Daily Gatehouse Hours: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM

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DIRECTIONS: East of London, on Whittaker Lake north of County Road #37, near Harrietsville. CONTACT: Lake Whittaker Conservation Area, 519-269-3592 -ORKettle Creek Conservation Authority, 519-631-1270

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Pool Open from late June to September Pool Hours: 9:00 AM - Noon 1:00 PM- 5:00 PM || 6:00 PM- 8:30 PM

MODERATE TRAILS • DISTANCE: 2 KM

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Visit Lake Whittaker and enjoy some of the best rainbow trout and smallmouth bass fishing in Middlesex County. This 26-acre spring fed lake provides a spectacular backdrop for summer activities. A 2 km non-surface trail meanders through wetlands and forest. Campers have access to two beaches and a handicap accessible pool. Golf enthusiasts will also enjoy the disc golf course on site and the 18 hole link golf course just minutes away.

Rec Centre

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PARTNERS & SPONSORS Middlesex On The Move

Ausable-Bayfield Conservation Authority www.abca.on.ca

Phone: 519-235-2610

Doug and Marion’s Bike Sales & Repairs www.dougandmarionsbikes.com

Phone: 519-245-9923

Kettle Creek Conservation Authority www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca

Phone: 519-631-1270

Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority

Phone: 519-235-2610 -ORAdmin: 519-354-7310

Middlesex County www.middlesex.ca

Phone: 519-434-7321

Middlesex County Library www.middlesex.library.on.ca

Phone: 519-245-8237

Middlesex Federation of Agriculture www.ofa.on.ca

Phone: 519-457-8444

Middlesex-London Health Unit www.healthunit.com

Phone: 519-663-5317

Middlesex-London in motion™ www.inmotion4life.ca

Phone: 519-663-5317 ext. 2220

Real Canadian Superstore & PC Cooking School www.superstore.ca • www.pccookingschool.ca

Phone: 519-245-4198

Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre www.soahac.on.ca

Phone: 519-672-4079 -OR519-289-0352

St. Clair Region Conservation Authority www.scrca.on.ca

Phone: 519-245-3710

Tourism Middlesex www.tourmiddlesex.ca

Phone: 519-205-4952

Upper Thames River Conservation Authority www.thamesriver.on.ca

Phone: 519-451-2800

www.lowerthames-conservation.on.ca

OTHER TRAILS,

Parks, and Recreational Areas in Middlesex In addition to the trails featured in this guidebook, there are numerous parks, private trails, and recreational areas within Middlesex County. PARKHILL RAIL TRAIL Start at the Municipal Office, Parkhill A Geocachers Paradise in Parkhill! Tour this trail alone or with family! There are geocaches placed along this entire trail, on both the East and West sides of the Main Street. Bring your bike for a nice ride all the way West to Ailsa Craig or explore East of Main Street by foot. ILDERTON RAIL TRAIL Start at Junction Park in Ilderton This former railway line is now a trail used by locals and visitors alike! Start your journey at Junction Park. Make your way either South for walking and hiking or go North in the winter to follow the snowmobiling trail. AILSA CRAIG LION’S PARK At the end of William St., Ailsa Craig Located at the end of William Street, this park is partially accessible. The remainder is a dirt trail along the river bank, winding through a beautiful forest. Quilt Murals line the trail at this park, each representing the different countries who have participated in the annual Ailsa Craig Quilt Festival.

WELDON PARK Arva Located in the village of Arva, Weldon Park is owned and operated by the Municipality of Middlesex Centre. This 15 hectare multi-use park features a series of spring-fed ponds, a small woodlot, and recreational facilities. TRAILS WITHIN LONDON Various locations in London and area Trails within London are plentiful! From the Fanshawe Hiking Trails, to the Sifton Bog and Westminister Ponds, London has a lot of green space to offer! For more information visit london.ca/ transportation/bikepage.htm BARN QUILT TRAILS Various locations in Middlesex & Area Barn Quilts are colourful quilt patterns painted onto large boards. They are installed on the sides of heritage barns, significant buildings, and free standing. There are many Barn Quilts located along Longwoods Road. The Ailsa Craig Lion’s Park also displays a collection of freestanding murals that resemble the barn quilt phenomenon. There are barn quilts scattered in South Caradoc and the four surrounding Counties of Elgin, Oxford, Brant, and Norfolk. Visit www.barnquilttrails.ca for more details.

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In partnership with:

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AUSABLE BAY A FIELD

CONSERVATION

CREATING AWARENESS | TAKING ACTION

St. Clair onservation

Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre

This publication is funded by:

www.tourmiddlesex.ca/motm


Middlesex County Trails Guide - Middlesex On The Move