While hiking on Bruce Trails we observed 'overhanging cliffs.
The harder dolomite limestone forms much of the rock of the escarpment cliffs along Bruce Peninsula National Park's Georgian Bay shoreline. The dolomite "caprock" erodes more slowly than the rock below it, creating the sculptured cliffs for which the area is famous.
Since the last Ice Age, water levels in the region have undergone great changes. Softer limestone has been eroded away by water action, leaving magnificent overhanging cliffs at various points along the shore. These are the big attraction of the Cyprus Lake trails.
We also observed Alvars. Alvars are naturally open habitats with either a thin covering of soil or no soil over a base of limestone or dolostone. Globally, alvars are restricted to the eastern European Baltic region and the North American Great Lakes Basin. North American alvars support a distinctive set of flora and fauna, and almost 75 percent of these alvars are located in Ontario.
Because of the thin soil, we often observed uprooted trees (picture 1).
Commonly seen wildlife on The Bruce Peninsula National park includes chipmunk, squirrel, raccoon, porcupine, snowshoe hare, skunk, white-tailed deer, snakes and frogs. Black bear, fox, fisher, martin and the Massasauga rattlesnake are not as commonly seen.
Unfortunately, due to our focus on hiking, we were not able to see any wildlife except for chipmunks and squirrels.
This national Park is unique in Canada for its wide variety of wildflowers. This is because it has has an unusually rich diversity of habitats, from the rugged cliffs to flat, dry rock plains called alvars, to various types of swampy wetlands within the park.
The national park is also known as orchid capital of Canada. They are not just tropical plants. Of over 60 species in Ontario, approximately 43 are found on the Bruce Peninsula National Park, likely due to the area's variety of habitats. They are picky plants that often grow along with specific fungi, making orchids almost impossible to transplant. The plant uses the fungus to obtain nutrients and vice versa in a symbiotic relationship.