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Natural Areas

Black Creek Swamp

Description: This is the largest forested tract in Oxford County. There are extensive stands of Silver and Red Maple, Black Ash, and Yellow Birch in the river valleys and Beech-Sugar Maple along its edge. There are also a variety of other wetlands, including willow scrub, cattail marshes, and open ponds.

Points of Interest: The large expanse of standing dead trees makes this a haven for woodpeckers and flycatchers. Many species of fungi are found in this area especially in the autumn. 

Directions: Exit the 401 at Interchange 250 (Drumbo Road 1 Oxford County Road 29). Go west (towards Innerkip) 1 km to Hubbard Road, turn right. Follow this road to the "T" intersection -turn right again. About 1 km. along, turn left onto King Road. An elevated abandoned rail line crosses King Road near its intersection with Township Road 9. It provides an excellent path to view the Drumbo Swamp (to the south) and the Black River Swamp.

This area has the highest diversity of breeding birds of any place in the county.

Chesney Bog

All seasons provide a different panorama.

Description: The central feature of this Conservation Area is a true sphagnum bog unusual in this region. The paths around the property travel through many successional stages from old field to mature forest.

Points of Interest: The bog contains a typical sphagnum mat and associated plants, including arathusa and showy lady's slipper. The surrounding mixed forest is rich in spring wildflowers and ferns. Hawthorn scrub on the northern edge of the property has been home to blue-winged warblers.

Directions: Exit the 401 at Interchange 250 (Drumbo Road, Oxford County Rd. 29). Go west about 3 km to the intersection with County Road 22. Look for the gate just past the corner. It is open each day from dawn until dusk.

 

Pittock Lake

This is one of the best birding areas in the county, particularly for migrants.

Description: Operated by the Upper Thames Conservation Authority. Cedar swamp, coniferous plantation, open meadow.

Points of Interest: Contains the only outcrop of bedrock in the county, in the Thames River Valley at Innerkip.

Directions: For the entrance to the beach and campground - Go north from Woodstock on Hwy 59 and turn east on Pittock Park Road. Trails are found all along south shore of the reservoir. For example, go to the end of Lansdowne Avenue within Woodstock and/or continue along Township Road 3. Other trails may be found along Township Road 4 south of the bridge on Oxford Road 4.

 

Trillium Woods

This old growth forest is great for early spring wildflowers, the maple syrup festival and woodpeckers. Wheelchair accessible.

Description: The Trillium Woods is a small woodlot known for the profusion of unique trilliums. It is owned and operated by the Ministry of Natural Resources as a provincial park.

Points of Interest: Beech/Maple upland hardwood forest.

Directions: From Highway 401, go south on Sweaburg Road all the way to Trillium Line. Turn Right.

Wildwood Lake

This artificial reservoir is a fabulous birding destination, particularly during migration times.

Description: The entire Wildwood Lake area is an excellent birding area.

Points of Interest: 31st Line near Harrington has a shallow impoundment that often attracts waterfowl while the area near the bridge is excellent for shorebirds when the water levels are low. 29th line (the next road west) is also excellent for shorebirds and waterfowl when the water levels are low. Wildwood Conservation area at the north end of the lake provides good views of roosting flocks of gulls and waterfowl, particularly in the late afternoon and evening.

Directions: Start west of Harrington and take 31st Line north to access the lake and impoundment pond. Work west from there to see more access points.