Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day Hike: Miller Creek Conservation Area

Yesterday was such a beautiful day, Chris and I decided to do a little exploring.  Originally, we'd thought about going to Petroglyph's Provincial Park, but given the distance, and the need to get back to get the kids off the bus, we figured we'd stick to something closer.

Canadian Columbine's along Miller Creek Trail
I knew there was a conservation area near Bridgenorth with a hiking trail, so looked it up on my phone as we were driving.  The information was pretty limited on the website, and the little map was very inaccurate. Normally, when you go through Bridgenorth you want to take E Communication Rd. but the entrance to this little road was ripped up and under construction so we went a little further and turned onto Holden Rd.  Bridgenorth is a little confusing...the street name changes three times in less than a KM.  It starts as Chemong Rd just before entering town, changes to something else until you hit the traffic light, then it's something else.  Once you are out of town and hit the big curve the road becomes Line 8 Smith.

Anyway, once on Holden, you soon come to Line 7 (which is what E Communication becomes) and turn left.  The map on the phone showed it to the right, so we drove up and down the road looking for it.  It's practically right across from Holden and the sign is pretty hidden.  It's brown with yellow letters.  You'll see the gate a few meters into the little driveway. There's really only parking for 2 cars, so I'm guessing this park doesn't get used much?  The trails certainly didn't seen all that heavily used.

Red Wing Black Bird
Okay, so there's only about 1km of trail.  Almost immediately, the route forks.  If you go to the right, you'll get to a wooden tower platform thing where you can look out over the swamp/marsh and watch for birds.  We only saw a red wing black bird but there are usually ducks, herons and several other species hanging around according to the sign.

The actual trail goes along the edge of the marsh, giving you more chances to see birds.  The mosquitoes were crazy bad in the shady areas, so we didn't stick around too long, just did the loop and headed back out.

There's no place to sit and have a picnic (unless you carry a blanket and set up in the one area that's a little field.  Basically, it's a small little protected area with a marsh and small creek, but I imagine it's a good spot to watch for birds.  We did see a yellow bird that definitely wasn't a goldfinch, but I couldn't positively identify it. It might have been a pine warbler.  I got a picture but the angle didn't give me a view of it's wings or tail so I couldn't be sure.  I just know the wings weren't dark enough to be either a male or female goldfinch.

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