Story and photos by Nancy Ellis
Find yourself busily rushing from screen to screen, iPad to computer to cellphone and back again? There’s not a whole lot of ways to avoid it these days. Almost everyone wants their copy of this or that emailed, up on social media and twittered out there – a.s.a.p.
But what’s really out there? Outside the screen? Maybe you’ve forgotten, with intent or by chance or maybe because having an online presence has become a big (if not all-consuming) part of our lives.
In Clarington there are great conservation areas and trails where you can see some wildlife and enjoy being out in nature!
Get outside this summer and find a place where you can hike, bike, picnic and revel in sunshine! A place to splash in the new rubber boots you bought downtown. A place for kids. A place that presents opportunities for family snapshots, fishing or practising your own photography skills. Catch the serene moments that make life wonderful any day of the week.
Stephen’s Gulch Conservation Area, just off Bethesda Road on Stephens Mill Road
Walk, hike, cycle, run or take your dog. This is a great forested trail to experience nice summer shade to keep cool. An area to study plants and learn about wildlife like frogs, slugs and ferns. It borders on Soper Creek and includes part of the Soper Creek Valley. All dogs must be leashed and parking is available.
Samuel Wilmot Nature Area, get there from Cobbledick Road and Toronto Street
Hike, cycle, walk and get all the way to Quebec, if you want. This trail runs lakefront along Lake Ontario through the Port of Newcastle and has access to both Wilmot Marsh and Wilmot Creek shorelines. Benches, board maps and parking here.
Enniskillen Conservation Area, access off Holt Road
Walk, picnic and see the two ponds that are wildlife habitats. See some living creatures or hike. You might spot some turtles, fish, bugs and/or frogs here. Some of the boardwalk crosses the Bowmanville Creek. Washrooms and parking are available at this site.
There are bunch of other nature areas, trails and conservation sites in Clarington too. Find one close to your home or local to something that you like to visit. Check out Bowmanville Valley Trail, Soper Creek Trail, Bowmanville Harbour Area, Bowmanville Westside Marshes Conservation Area, Darlington Waterfront Trail, Darlington Provincial Park and Courtice Millennium Trail all in the west of Clarington. To the east you will find the Waterfront Trail. In Orono there is the Sidney Rutherford Trail and the Orono Crown Lands. To the northwest Long Sault Conservation Area and Oak Ridges Trail are found. And who can forget the Ganaraska Forest, south central Ontario’s largest forest.
Come by or call the Tourism Office for a trail guide, cycling or fishing map that will come in handy!