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Sep 1, 2011

Return to Centennial Park

Today I visited King Township's Centennial Park, which is not only the township's official arboretum but is also the township's official mountain bike course.....strange bedfellows.   It is located at 14855 Jane Street, between the 16th and 17th Sidroads.   The two seem to exist in harmony.   The steep and deep trails I hiked there several years ago have largely been replaced by more lateral, snakelike trails that constantly switch back and forth up and down the 100' hills and valleys.   It takes much longer to walk the entire park, as a result, but the climbs are more bearable for 70-year-olds like me.   It took me 2.5 hours to walk all three connected trails (beginners/intermediate/advanced) and I took several photographs along the way.   I never saw a single biker during the entire time.   I have no idea about protocol if one meets a madly-pedalling mountain biker.   There are no signs regarding right of way, unless it was mentioned on that whacking great billboard, at the entrance, which I ignored.   I have to admit that walking the course is actually quite pleasant and quite a workout.   One is constantly turning a corner and seeing a wonderful new forest vista!   I heard several birds, but saw not a one.   Below are some photos of my jaunt.
Above and below are typical switch-backs the mountain bikers must manage.
Centennial Park is almost 200 acres of woods so following the signs is highly recommended.
     Naturalists should not  bend over in the middle of the course, to view lovely scenes such as this. Below left: Fly Agaric fungus ~ Below right: an early autumn Maple leaf
 Do trees have ears?             
It appears this one does.  
I wonder what tales it could tell?   Would it speak of birds and deer and flowers and nuts?   Or would it speak of axes and saws and fire?

Photos by BarrytheBirder
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