K2 and his humans crossed the river from its east side to its west over this beautiful bridge (picture 1 and 2).
The west side of the river (and the park) offers hiking on Glassford Trail, bird watching, photography, dog walking on the leash, cultural heritage sites and cycling. Culham Track also passes over the bridge, intersects with Glassford Trail and continues south-westwards along the river itself.
Glassford Trail is well-used by local residents in the newly settled communities surrounding the historic village of Meadowvale (picture 1 and 2) and it is a great way to explore floodplain habitats and cultural heritage features (picture 3). It took the pack into heavily forested slopes of the ridge (picture 4) where they found a blind made out of fallen trees (picture 5).
K2 and his humans entered from the east side entrance which is noted for huge grounds where visitors go picnicking and playing games. There are shelters and BBQ facilities here. Besides, visitors have long trails for hiking and cycling.
The pack hiked on portion of Culham Trail that passes through the Conservation Area. This 18 km trail is nearing completion. It is designed to provide pedestrians and cyclists with a route from Erindale Park up the Credit River Valley to the City of Brampton and offers them the chance to enjoy the area’s natural and human history. The trail passes by remnants of old homesteads, orchards, dams, rail and mill sites, and connects many green spaces in the City of Mississauga.
Needless to mention, it was an early morning and the party did not meet many people.
K2 and his humans turned right on the Second Line which to the east of Old Derry Road is very important from history, architecture and nature point of view.
On the left side of this road is the eastern boundary of the historical Meadowvale Village. On the right side of the road, there are beautiful residential buildings and parks, some of which are very historical. Wild grass and wild flowers abound on either side of the road that sometimes give an eerie feeling.
My husband, brother-in-law, and son (Humans) decided to take K2, our then 6 months old Great White Kuvasz pup, on a walk to the Meadowvale Conservation Area. The area is located about 1 km down the road I live on, but each of its two entrances is about 2 kms from us.
They decided to enter the park from East side, which is located at the northern end of the Second Line.
The pictures show K2 in a tree plantation area at the corner of Old Derry Road and the Second Line, both historical and scenic residential roads. This plantation is right in front of a historical building that at one time was owned by very wealthy Gooderhams.
The entire Peel District offers many spots for observing wildlife and birds. Birds, especially, can be observed at many conservation parks, gardens, and even in the backyards of residential homes.
Mammals are difficult to sight, but if you are patient, mother nature will reward you with a sighting of coyotes, deers, skunks, woodchucks, and even beavers.
May and October are the best months for watching birds as they migrate through the region.
As spring comes, so does the Red-Tailed Hawk (see picture), which can be observed sitting on telephone cables and on top of electric poles for long periods of time waiting for prey on the ground. A pair of Canada Geese will be often seen with their chicks following them even on busy roads. Put a birdfeeder in your backyard and Cowbirds, Common Gackles, doves, Toohies, and even shy Blue Jays will flock in.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. In 2005, my husband decided to take snapshots of birds in our backyard. We counted 15 different species in peak summer months. But do remember that many species do not visit backyards.
We have visited this conservation park a number of times since discovering it first in April 2006. This is a small 13-hectare area located in a gorge on the north-east side of the historic village of Belfountain. Niagara Escarpment talus slopes provides habitat for ferns such as rock polypody, maiden-hair spleenwort and daisy-leaved grape fern.
To get to Belfountain Conservation Area, we always take Mississauga Road from the 401 and go north to the village of Belfountain. The Conservation Area is .5 km north and east of the main intersection of town.
The conservation area has several unusual attractions: a miniature Niagara Falls, a man-made cave with concrete stalagmites and stalagtites, and a suspension bridge over the Credit River. There is also a fountain of inverted bells, covered with a thick coat of mosses.
We continued driving north on Winston Churchill for 2 kms after Terra Cotta to reach the Conservation Area on our right hand side.
Since the entrance offices are usually unmanned, the parking fee of $5.00 has to be paid manually by inserting exact amount in one of the envelopes piled up under a shade. The receipt has to demonstrated across the dashboard, because the watchman do check the vehicles parked inside the area for payment of fee.
When we visited the conservation area in mid-September 2006, it was raining, visibility was low and humidity was high. There were many trails to take and there is a link to the well-known Bruce Trail, as well as trails suitable for cross-country skiing. Its trails also connect with those of Silver Creek Conservation Area and Scotsdale Farm, just to the south. We decided to take the one going around the lake. The hike turned out to be quite exciting.
Terra Cotta Conservation Area consists of 408 acres of rugged terrain on the Niagara Escarpment. It provides habitat for a wide variety of wetland plants and animals.
We took the Creditview Road from Steeles Avenue West in Brampton and drove in northerly direction. The road twists and turns through beautiful riverside homes and tall trees of Brampton. One has to be careful, because there are many blind turns. Children seem to play in sprawling lawns in summer months and bicyclists abound.
However, unfortunately, we had to take a detour when Creditview Road reached Bovaird Avenue. We had to turn right to Chincagousy Road and then turn back to Creditview Road after Bovaird.
Once we left Brampton, the views along the road became very beautiful. For one, the road itself started going up and down the hilly area. The bicyclists here were seen toiling but enjoying every bit of it. Ultimately, we reached Caledon Hills where there were horse stables on both sides of the road. This area was a haven for hikers and bicyclists.
The road climbed a sharp rise with a sharp turn, continued for 5 more kms and then dropped sharply along a bend (a double trouble) to meet with LaGrange Road. We turned east on LaGrange and ended up on Hurontario Road (i.e. Highway 10). We headed south from here back to Brampton and then Mississauga.
This conservation area is named after the lake, which is the focal point. The lake is a naturally occuring kettle lake that is a legacy of the last galacial age in Southern Ontario.
The dense forest surrounding the lake makes it very wild even though the area is located few minutes away from the city of Brampton. The dense forest was our focal point though we had a whole day devoted with our relatives to boating, fishing, playing and bbqing.
There are over 8 kilometers of scenic natural trails within the conservation area. We found them to be less used and quite wild. Light values were low and we could not take many pictures.
We rented a boat for fishing. We thought that we were lucky in having the boat because of the big demand for them, but in the end we found out that fish were more lucky. We did not catch much. The lake is stocked with fish reared in the hatcheries of Glen Haffy Conservation Area. In order to reach the lake, we had to climb down about 40 steps of a wooden stair.
We occupied one picnic spot (there are 14 of such sites) and prepared the bbq, while the younger lot played football and soccer.
In order to get to the area, take Highway 410 north from Highway 401, which becomes Heart Lake Road. You will find the Conservation Area on your right hand side at 10818 Heart Lake Road.