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Mar 18, 2010

Local trail a delight

For my money, the Ed Millar Side Trail, off the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail, just north of King City, on Seneca College lands, is one the prettiest, short, public walks in all of King Township. Access is from Keele Street, about 100 metres north of King's 16th Sideroad. Even in mid-March, the trail beguiles. It helps, of course, when the temperature is 16C and the sun is shining. Below are some shots I took today. A downed tree presents no real obstacle. Two cuts from a chain saw, roll the cut-section aside, and carry on.
This Seneca beaver pond is thawing and bubbling over the top of the dam. It looks like the beavers and the King Township Roads Department have reached a compromise on water levels. Keele Street isn't flooded and the beavers have not made any adjustments to the dam's height, in over a year.
The trail climbs along an elevated ridge that culminates with a pleasing contrast of very tall, slender, White Birches (some 70 to 80' tall) and a mass of dark Hemlocks. There is even a handful of Black Spruce, which are more common, much further north in the Boreal Forest, especially in boggy areas. If you look about here, you will see that this particular area is surrounded by many wet and boggy spots, including the beaver pond/swamp. In a few weeks, this trail will be in its spring glory and it will be a reward for any walker with an hour for leisure. For the lucky ones who walk softly, the many ephemeral wet spots often are home here to Wood Ducks (spectacular sights in their right). One last trail note: there is parking for three or four vehicles, on the east side of Keele, where the stile climbs over the wire fence. Enjoy, BtheB

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