Beaver River Wetlands Conservation AreaLocated
in the southeast section of the Lake Simcoe watershed, the Beaver River Wetland
Conservation Area and Trail is the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority’s largest
owned tract of land, at more than 500 hectares. The area consists of two parts
– an abandoned CN rail line which provides for a recreational trail running
along the western side of the conservation area, and an extensive area of
provincially significant wetland.
The Beaver River Wetland is one of the most ecologically significant natural areas in the Lake Simcoe watershed. Because of its role in replenishing and storing water, filtering pollution, mitigating the effects of climate change and providing critical habitat to animals, the area has been evaluated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as both a Provincially Significant Wetland and an Environmentally Sensitive Area. A conservative dollar estimate of the ecological goods and services this area provides, (in other words the work of nature to control and filter water and air, regulate climate, pollinate crops and more), is in excess of 5.5 million dollars a year.
The Beaver River Trail is one of the best ways to access and savor the smells, sights and sounds of the pristine and largely undeveloped Beaver River wetland. The flat, dry trail runs along a portion of an abandoned railway line which was purchased by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority in 1993. Although many enjoy hiking or cross-country skiing the trail, cycling enthusiasts also make use of this unique Conservation Area.
Watch for abundant wildlife as you travel along the trail - in the summer you might see a great blue heron, red-winged blackbirds, muskrats and beavers in the wetland. In the winter, the quiet calm soothes the spirit and calms the mind as you listen to the sound of your boots or skis in the snow.
The trail offers 20 kilometers of multi-use, accessible trail connecting the communities of
Blackwater, Sunderland and Cannington. As part of the Trans Canada Trail, it
connects to Toronto through Markham and Uxbridge, and the whole of Canada.