Creemore Nature Preserve
Forest trail, Creemore, ON (Photo by NCC)
Two hours northwest of the sprawling metropolis of the Greater Toronto Area is the small Ontario town of Creemore, home to NCC’s Creemore Nature Preserve. This 204-acre (83-hectare) property is loved by both locals and visitors alike.Home to majestic, mature sugar maple trees, a meandering, cold water stream and small pockets of wetlands, this lush Niagara Escarpment forest is home to variety of rare and at-risk species. The sounds of hairy and pileated woodpeckers echo through the trees while the skies above are home to red-shouldered hawks. At-risk wood thrush and eastern wood-pewee also live here. The restored streams on the property support trout and other cold-water fishes, as well as various frogs and turtles.
Waterfall, Creemore Nature Reserve, ON (Photo by NCC)
Over the years NCC staff, along with volunteers, have installed new foot bridges and improved trails on the reserve to improve recreational access for hikers and protect the surrounding habitat. There is a connected network of hiking trails that vary in difficulty and length for visitors to explore, all of which have interpretive signage explaining the natural history and features of the area.
As you walk through the forest and along the banks of the stream you might spot the flash of silver from a jumping trout. Take the 100-metre Lookout side trail to see a former pond transforming into a marsh surrounded by new willows and dogwoods. Go early in the morning or in the late afternoon and you might just spot a deer or coyote.
The heart of a small town
Known locally as "the Mingay" after the family who originally owned and donated the land, the Creemore Nature Preserve is an important part of the community. Rich in human history, this area was long inhabited by both Indigenous peoples and more recent settlers. NCC started working on the property in 1997, but the trails through the forest were already well-known to local nature-lovers. Creemore comes from the Irish "Croí Mór," meaning "big heart” in Gaelic – and the town is true to its name in supporting and caring for this important local natural gem.
Seeding the wetland with mudballs, Creemore Nature Reserve, ON (Photo by NCC)
Several partners have supported NCC’s work on the Creemore Nature Preserve, including Creemore Springs Brewery, Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gail Worth, Ian Cook and Carol Phillips, Bruce and Anne Godwin, DJ and Diane Wiley, the Dichek family, many local families and the Government of Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program.