Beaver Valley section (Eugenia; Map 26 north of km 46.4)
1 km of Bruce Trail Optimum Route
East Mountain Nature Reserve is a 70-acre stretch of green space on the Niagara Escarpment overlooking the beautiful Beaver Valley. The property is on the Optimum Route (the most desired routing) of the Bruce Trail, and its acquisition will mean that more than a kilometre of the Bruce Trail can immediately be taken off roadways and placed on natural land. With acquisition of the nature reserve land, the Bruce Trail will be permanently secured on the property, and significant natural habitat will be preserved in this beautiful area of the Escarpment.
The acquisition of East Mountain is a first step to bringing the Bruce
Trail to the Optimum Route and connecting with the magnificent land
already preserved at Old Baldy, less than 2 km to the north.
East Mountain Nature Reserve is named for the historical reference to this area as East Mountain by the European settlers of the Beaver Valley in the mid 1800s. Prior to their arrival the area was for thousands of years the homeland of the Anishinaabeg indigenous peoples; the Odawas were local to the Beaver Valley and the Mississaugas were nearby to the south. The land was surrendered to the government in 1818 under Treaty 18, for "yearly and every year for ever, the said sum of twelve hundred pounds currency in goods."
East Mountain Nature Reserve Habitats:
The nature reserve contains an interesting mix of cultivated land, wetlands and deep forest. A very old hand-dug pond at the northwest corner of the nature reserve has been naturalizing for decades, providing habitat for wetland birds and amphibians, and sporting a healthy population of cattails. The rocky upland forest, thick with towering trees that escaped long-ago logging of the area, provides habitat for threatened Escarpment species including Hart's Tongue Fern and Butternut Trees. The fields at East Mountain - home to sensitive species such as the Bobolink and Eastern Wood Pewee - give a hint to the area's geology and the trials of farming on the Escarpment; the solid Amabel Dolostone bedrock is exposed in patches throughout the property, and sinkholes in the rock capture rainwater that erupts as springs along the western Beaver Valley slope.
The East Mountain Nature Reserve is located within 300 m of the Kimberley Creek Life Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) to the north, and the Beaver Valley East Slope Life Science ANSI to the west.