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Kerncliff Park – From Quarry to Sanctuary

“Exploring is an innate part of being human. We're all explorers when we're born. Unfortunately, it seems to get drummed out of many of us as we get older, but it's there, I think, in all of us. And for me that moment of discovery is just so thrilling, on any level, that I think anybody that's experienced it is pretty quickly addicted to it.”

- Edith Widder

It amazes me when you live in a particular area but still find spots that you had no idea even existed before and when you do, you are blown away! For me, Kerncliff Park is my most recent example of that.

Located at the site of the former Nelson Quarry on Kerns Road in north Burlington, this park contains a combination of towering escarpment cliff faces with Carolina woodlands and marshland, a true gem.

Add some wooden boardwalks and an almost guarantee of snake and turtle sightings and you have a winner in my opinion.

The fact that both times I visited, I pretty much had the place to myself just adds to the appeal.

Part of the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System, this ambitious project adds another protected area to our vast collection of natural preserved resources.

Walking the wooden boardwalk on my 2 recent visits, I quickly lost count of the number of common water snakes and turtles I spotted, often seeing numbers of them together in very close proximity. Birds were plentiful as well, from red winged blackbirds to birds of prey. I even had a pair of Red-breasted Grosbeaks land by me, a species that I don’t see often.

The trails meander and lead to a steep trail that leads to the top of the escarpment walls and links to the Bruce Trail side-trail that passes across the top.

Its really quite remarkable, when we think of quarries, we often think of land destruction. Wandering this unique landscape with its exposed rock faces and abundant wildlife you can’t help but be impressed with efforts to re-naturalize the land and create an eco-system that enhances the area and provides an excellent environment for a broad range of birds, mammals and reptiles.

For a close proximity nature experience and hiking destination, consider a visit to Kerncliff Park.

#Ontario #photography #hiking #Burlington #outdoors #nature #reptiles #wildlife

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