Due to this particular situation with the pandemic and lockdown, you might be concerned or even worried about going outside this spring. However, Ontario is littered with trails and nature reserves and there are a variety of phenomenal conservation areas that are available for you to visit and explore while maintaining a safe socially distanced situation. The ones mentioned below are in Ajax or Whitby and are a short drive from Richardson! They are all marvelous spots to bird watch, go on walks and even spend time searching for bugs and critters if you want! You have a vast amount of scenic locations to choose from. Here are some of the best.
Greenwood Conservation Area, Ajax –
Greenwood Conservation Area is a very nice nature reserve to head to if you want a variety of different habitats; including open fields, river valleys, forests, and even a great number of ponds. It is a great place to go for a walk, and filled with all kinds of critters and other animals for you to find! From various species of birds and mammals to tiny beetles, it is a wonderful place to observe so many adorable and fascinating animals!
Thickson’s Woods, Waterfront Trail, Whitby –
Thickson’s Woods is an amazing trail to visit if you want to go walking or bicycling. There is a simple and straightforward, paved road perfect for bicycling. Moreover, there are narrow trails branching off the paved path going into a forest! You can see many stunning species of birds such as sandpipers, chickadees, and even owls if you are lucky enough!
Lynde Shores Conservation Area, Whitby –
Lynde Shores is an awesome place to see tons of birds/mammals. It has an open field, secondary forest, and beach habitat you can check out. It even has a marsh, which can be a bit tougher to trek through but is extremely rewarding for those who want to see even more critters, birds, and other animals! Speaking of animals, Lynde shores is home to numerous, stunning creatures like ospreys, red foxes, beavers, treefrogs, and much more!
Heber Downs Conservation Area, Whitby –
Heber Down Conservation Area is covered with ponds, forests, and ephemeral pools, including a river and an old sandpit. You can find tiger beetles in the sandpit during the summer months! Birds such as the iconic bluejay, warblers, and swallows may be seen flying from tree to tree. Additionally, beautiful mammals like chipmunks, opossums, and foxes call Heber Downs home!
Of course, you should do your own research and plan things out if you are planning to go to one or more of these places. Check if it fits your needs. For example, a few of the locations mentioned above do not allow dogs off-leash so if you are planning to let your dog run around without a leash, you should look into another location. Nevertheless, all of these places are filled with wonderful species of animals for you to run into or search for. These reserves are excellent to visit if you want to experience true natural beauty this Earth Day.
“Greenwood Conservation Area.” Ontario Trails Council, www.ontariotrails.on.ca/index.php?url=trails%2Fview%2Fgreenwood-conservation-area
“Heber Down Conservation Area.” Ontario Trails Council, www.ontariotrails.on.ca/trails/view/heber-down-conservation-area
“Heber Down Conservation Area: Central Lake Ontario Conservation.” Cloca.com, www.cloca.com/heber-down
“Lynde Shores Conservation Area.” Ontario Trails Council, www.ontariotrails.on.ca/trails/view/lynde-shores-conservation-area
Thickson’s Woods Land Trust – External Links, www.thicksonswoods.com/links.html
“Whitby Waterfront Trail.” Ontario Trails Council, www.ontariotrails.on.ca/trails/view/whitbywaterfronttrail