Amazing Places

Long Point World Biosphere Celebrates Amazing Places in Norfolk County

What are Amazing Places?

The Amazing Places project was a sustainable tourism initiative, aimed to identify and promote significant natural sites for residents and visitors to explore and gain knowledge of ecological features and inspire a commitment to conservation.

The concept of naming Amazing Places began in 2010 with the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. Now, the Amazing Places project is thriving in five Canadian UNESCO biosphere reserves in New Brunswick, Ontario, and British Columbia!

Amazing Places are opportunities to educate and inspire visitors about their natural surroundings, and to create a connection that can quickly become powerful and deeply personal. Each place tells a story about physical, biological or historical features in publicly accessible locations.

An Amazing Place can be different things to different people: mystical, magical, unique, breath-taking and awe-inspiring. It’s time to explore the Amazing Places in Ontario’s biosphere reserves!

The Amazing Places project in Ontario was funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and Mountain Equipment Co-op for their support.

Here are 19 Amazing Places in the Long Point Biosphere.

Trails

Enjoy breathtaking scenery while you cruise along beautiful and historical pathways within the Long Point World Biosphere Region.

This route begins and ends in Port Rowan. You can take the trail at your leisure, stopping at Bird Studies Canada, the Long Point Waterfowl display, scenic marshland and  Sandhill Park along your way.

The Attawandaron Cycling route will connect you with Norfolk County’s natural and indigenous history while providing wonderful scenery and wildlife along the way.

Backus Woods is a spectacular gem in the heart of Carolinian Canada.

The Carolinian Life Zone comprises less than a quarter of one per cent of the country’s landmass, but is home to 25 per cent of Canada’s species at risk. Several occur in Backus Woods.  In addition, some of the oldest living trees in Ontario are found here.

The trails are open year-round and are ideal for hiking in spring and fall and cross country skiing in winter.

Visit the Black Bridge via trails from Delhi, Port Dover, Simcoe and Brantford.  There is the possibility of spotting an eagle, beaver, turtle, deer, wild turkey, fox or coyote. Come spring, wildflower viewing is spectacular.

The Black Bridge – a main attraction for the trail – boasts a fully decked surface, guard rails and three overlooks. These viewing platforms offer a prime location to snap photos of some of the most stunning views in Norfolk.

The Lynn Valley Trail is a 10km former rail line that was converted into a pedestrian trail. Starting in Port Dover and ending in Simcoe, you can hike or cycle the trail to enjoy some of the most stunning scenery in Norfolk.

The four original trestle bridges are popular destinations for trail users. They have been reinforced and include new decking and railings. The addition of benches, picnic tables, a portable washroom, fencing and signage have made the trail a comfortable and safe area for walking, hiking, cycling or nature study.

Parks

Towering some 450 feet above the north shore of Lake Erie stands a mountain of sand, created through a series of glacial events.

There have been at least four major ice ages throughout the earth’s history.

Massive ice sheets surged south and melted back towards the north, scouring out hollows and depositing debris from thousands of miles away.

Climb to the top of the sand dune at Sand Hill Park for the best view of Lake Erie in Norfolk. The breathtaking turquoise water is unbelievable!

Experience the tranquility of northern Ontario at Deer Creek Conservation Area.

The 80-acre reservoir is the focal point of this 250-acre park that is owned and operated by the Long Point Region Conservation Authority.

A variety of wildlife makes the conservation area home. While paddling on the reservoir, look for bald eagles and beavers. On a sunny day, you can spot turtles basking on exposed logs in the reservoir and the many inlets. Basking on logs and rocks allows these cold-blooded reptiles to use the sun to warm their bodies.

The Delhi Quance Park and Mill highlights the beauty of the Big Creek River Valley as it meanders through the Town of Delhi.

The Mill and river was critical in the establishment of Delhi. The sawmill was the first real industry in the area and pre-dates the arrival of the Tobacco Industry.

The recently refurbished Mill provides a scenic view over the Quance Dam and the park system.
Big Creek is a significant waterway resource for the migratory route of the Rainbow and Brown Trout. Big Creek Valley serves as a natural habitat for many native birds and animals.

An ecological enterprise consisting of zip lining and canopy tours, stargazing, glamping, kayaking, kayak fishing and more.

The former tobacco farm was replanted with native trees and grasses in partnership with the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program, the Long Point Region Conservation Authority and many others. Wetlands were created to become habitats for native species including threatened species such as the Blanding’s turtle. These habitat restoration projects have helped to take the pressure off endangered species here in southern Ontario.

The property has a 350 ft. boardwalk providing rare access and a close-up view of the Turkey Point Marsh that borders the UNESCO Long Point World Biosphere Reserve. Another prominent viewing platform near the welcome center provides the perfect location to enjoy over 15,000 acres of marshland, inner Long Point Bay and Lake Erie.

This 8-hectare green space tucked away in the north end of Simcoe is owned by the Long Point Region Conservation Authority (LPRCA). Fishing, walking and nature viewing are popular outdoor activities at Sutton Conservation. It is landscape that supports healthy living.

Due to the dramatic revival of the area, many locals refer to Sutton Conservation Area as “Resurrection Park.” The former mill pond has been restored to a coldwater stream and is home to several species of fish. A variety of trees, shrubs and grasses have been planted in the former reservoir area to enhance wildlife habitat.

Birding

Enjoy up-close encounters with some of the world’s most stunning birds!

Founded in 1960, Long Point Bird Observatory is a core program of Bird Studies Canada, our country’s leading national charity for bird research and monitoring, education, and conservation.

The organization conducts research, education, and training programs at Long Point, with a focus on migration monitoring (bird banding and standardized daily counts) to track long-term population trends of migratory birds.

The Big Creek National Wildlife Area has a gorgeous 2km trail through the marshes in the Long Point area. This area is home to birds, frogs, turtles, amphibians, insects and many other species which rely on the wetland for their main habitat.

These marshes are remarkably undisturbed compared to other marshes along the Great Lakes coasts.

Created in 1970, the Port Rowan Sewage Lagoons provided a natural method of treating, storing and disposing of wastewater from the village of Port Rowan. Following the commissioning of the mechanical treatment facility in 2012, the 60 acre site provided a unique and exciting opportunity to benefit both the cultural and natural communities within Norfolk County.

This innovative project included the creation of a functioning wetland with riparian buffer corridors leading to Lake Erie providing habit for and encouraging wildlife growth and movement.

The Joseph W. Csubak Memorial Viewing Area was named in honour of one of the inaugural members of the Norfolk Land Stewardship Council. “Joe’s Lookout” has been a popular spot for tourists and birders for many years.

Situated on a high bluff it provides a fantastic view of Turkey Point Marsh, the home of many migrating waterfowl.

Whether it’s first thing in the morning or a late sunset, this is one of the most picturesque vistas of the Inner Bay of Long Point. The constantly changing light and seasons make this a truly unique spot in Norfolk County and a must for residents and visitors alike.

Heritage

Backus, where history meets nature!

History buffs, outdoor enthusiasts and day-trippers alike will find something to enjoy at this picturesque Conservation Area

You will not want to miss the War of 1812 Re-enactment in September. This annual tradition features an incredible period encampment, authentic military drills, firepower demonstrations and fabulous entertainment.

“If there were an award for the best small-town museum in Canada, this would surely be a candidate.” Leslie Papp – Toronto Star (July 19, 2007)

Visit the Port Dover Harbour Museum to discover the history of this unique lakeside community. Step into an original fisherman’s net shanty to discover tools of the commercial fishing trade. Journey onto a wheelhouse from a 1912Great Lake freighter to explore the equipment used to captain a ship. Take time to learn about the shipwreck Atlantic, which occurred in 1852 and see some of the artifacts recovered. Bring a picnic lunch and sit on the docks or the new Riverfront Park. Admission to the museum is by donation.

The Waterford Heritage and Agricultural Museum (WHAM) is located in what was once the largest canning factory in the Dominion – affectionately known as “The Pickle Factory”. Just steps from the Heritage Trail, WHAM exhibits the rich social, industrial and agricultural history of the area through the use of interactive and engaging exhibits.

Children’s school programming, March Break and Summer Camps aim to inspire, educate and challenge participants through fun and creative hands-on learning.

Landscape

Long Point Provincial Park boasts a beautiful white sand beach stretching approximately 2.2km along the freshwater shores of Lake Erie and offers a spectacular view of Lake Erie sunsets.

The beach and associated sand dunes are a dynamic area, constantly shifting as a result of changing lake levels, storm events, sand deposition and erosion.

What results from these amazing processes is a system of fragile, provincially rare Great Lakes coastal dunes that are home to hundreds of plants and a multitude of wildlife.

Relaxation and respite await you at Whistling Gardens, Norfolk county’s premiere award-winning botanical garden and garden centre.

Nature lovers can explore 20+ acres of privately owned botanical gardens featuring the world’s largest public conifer collection offering over 2,500 rare and unusual varieties. Home to North America’s largest public peony collection, Whistling Gardens reveals over 1,000+ varieties on display. Four km of accessible walking trails, a musical fountain show, an exotic bird aviary, nature workshops, and garden art exhibits. Picnics and cameras welcome!

This farm is now home to fragrant lavender fields, buzzing bees, rolling vineyards and native prairie grass and wildflowers as far as the eye can see.

Environmental stewardship is a fundamental goal of Bonnieheath’s revitalization project. Through the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program, the Buehners built a wetland behind their vineyard and planted native prairie and wildflower buffers that attract essential pollinator insects and provide habitats for wildlife.

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