NEW - 2014 TAKE A HIKE! Program for Families
Our new Family Hikes are a great way to explore local nature. Accompanied by experienced and enthusiastic naturalists everyone in your family will enjoy these leisurely and informative hikes. For a full list of 2014 hikes click here.
In his seminal book, Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv coined the term ‘nature deficit disorder” to describe the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation. The books message is simple – people that spend time outdoors tend to be healthier and happier. We support this philosophy and are dedicated to providing opportunities for our community to enjoy nature through outdoor activities and learning.
Nature's Calling Environmental Education has produced the publication, Take a Hike!: A Family Activity Guide for Nature Trails and Paddling Routes in the Long Point Watershed. This fun and educational booklet provides you and your family with a map and descriptions of 12 of our favourite nature trails and 4 of the best paddles in our watershed. The guide is also chock full of interesting facts and information, and provides you with ideas for family-focused activities while on your outing.
Click here to download the Take a Hike! Family activity guide.
We didn't have enough room in the guide to include all the individual trail maps and paddling routes that we recommend in the Take a Hike! Family activity guide, but you can download and print them off here!
Ravine Creek Trail. Pt. Burwell Provincial Park (brochure and map)
Big Creek National Wildlife Area (map)
Bird Studies Headquarters Trail (map)
Acorus Restoration Trail (brochure and map)
Wilson Tract (map)
Andy and Helen Spriet Trail (map)
Backus Woods Trails (map)
Forest Capital Trail, SWCC (map)
Lookout Bluff Trail, TPPP (brochure and map)
Marion Shivas Trail in Spooky Hollow (map)
Lynn Valley Trail (map)
Wheeler Trail, Selkirk P.P. (map)
Big Otter Creek (map)
Big Creek (map)
Big Creek Marsh (map)
Deer Creek Conservation Area (map)
Other resources to enjoy the local outdoors
Explore Norfolk Trails
A website providing information on Norfolk County hiking trails, paddling and cycling routes, and birding hotspots, including trail maps and directions.
A Birding Guide to the Long Point Area
by Ron Ridout
An excellent guide to all the best birding spots in the Long Point area. Tons of trail maps. Available at Old Cut Birding Station store, BSC headquarters in Port Rowan, or order on-line at Bird Studies Canada.
Great websites to help you identify animals on your outing
This website provides a handy guide to the butterflies of Ontario. Each butterfly species has its own web page, and these pages are organized by family.
Winged Jewels – Dragonflies and Damselflies
Descriptions and pictures of Ontario's more common dragonflies and damselflies.
Chirpers and Trillers: Crickets and Katydids
Want to learn the songs of crickets and katydids? Here's a great website that provides sound clips of all the species in North America. Also provides names of some great field guides to buy if you and your family want to get really serious about identifying “orthopterans”.
Ontario Amphibians and Reptiles
This site contains awesome resources and downloadable identification guides to salamanders, Ff ogs and toads, larval amphibians, snakes, turtles, and lizards.
Pictures, descriptions and audio recordings of the songs of Ontario's frogs and toads.
Snakes and Turtles of the Long Point Watershed
Downloadable factsheets describing all 7 turtle species and 12 snake species found in the Long Point Watershed.
All you ever wanted to know about Birds!
This Cornell Lab of Ornithology site is comprehensive! Provides bird identification and their sounds all on one website.
Citizen scientists step forward!
The following are programs that allow the general public to provide information on their sightings of animals while enjoying the outdoors. Become a citizen scientist!
Report your turtle sightings by entering your observations into our on-line database. The The information that is collected in this database will be submitted to the Natural Heritage Information Centre and will be used to learn more about turtle distributions in Ontario.
FrogWatch Ontario is a fun, easy amphibian monitoring project for people of all ages. It's a great activity for schools, families, landowners, agricultural groups, cottagers, and community and naturalist groups across the province.
Conserving Carolinian Reptiles
This project, coordinated by the Long Point Basin Land Trust, lets you report your sightings of snakes and turtles in the Long Point Basin Watershed. Easy to complete sightings reports let you document your family's observations.
It's so easy...and so educational! At regular intervals from November to April, count the kinds and numbers of birds at your feeders, then submit their observations to Bird Studies Canada. This information helps scientists study winter bird populations.