Thanks to the hundreds of donors who generously gave to the BTC in recent months, Barrow Bay Cliffs and Kemble Ridge Nature Reserves have now been added to the Bruce Trail's conservation corridor.
Together we've protected an additional 463 acres of Niagara Escarpment land, secured nearly 2 km of Bruce Trail, and made it possible for 8 km of Trail to be removed from busy roads. Learn more about these important acquisitions below.
Barrow Bay Cliffs Nature Reserve
Barrow Bay Cliffs Nature Reserve is a stunning and ecologically vital property in the Peninsula section between Lion’s Head and Wiarton. Its creation will preserve 363 acres of rugged, natural Escarpment landscape. It will secure 1.4 kilometres of the Bruce Trail, while removing close to 8 km of Trail from busy roads.
Ecologically, this acquisition is critical. Much of its expansive acreage is pristine interior forest habitat – “deep woods” which are increasingly rare in southern Ontario where roads and development fragment large tracts into smaller stands. By preserving this important wildlife habitat, we will be providing a refuge for many species which rely on interior forests including American Redstarts, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Black Bears and Fishers.
Equally impressive are the Escarpment rim features at Barrow Bay Cliffs. These provide specialized habitats that support regionally rare species. The 20-metre high cliffs are dotted with American Harebell, Smooth Cliffbrake, and Bulblet Fern. And here you will find one of the signature treasures of the Bruce Trail – Eastern White Cedars. Stunted and tenaciously clinging to the rock face, they are among the oldest North American trees east of the Rocky Mountains.
Kemble Ridge Nature Reserve
The 100-acre Kemble Ridge Nature Reserve is in the community of Kemble outside Owen Sound and will significantly expand our conservation impact in the area. Together with the adjacent Kemble Rock and Kemble Wetland Nature Reserves – recently created with donor support – it establishes a remarkable 440 acres of contiguous preserved land, securing a total of 4 km of the Bruce Trail.
We also have the opportunity with this acquisition to restore and retain the ecological health of the forests, which have been selectively logged in recent years. Once the land is in our care, we will bring our experience as land stewards, using best forest management practices, to this crucial task.