Our Protected Natural Areas

A shared vision for the protection of a natural corridor along the Niagara Escarpment.

The Bruce Trail Conservancy’s protected natural areas preserve the Escarpment’s unique biodiversity and provide nature-based solutions to addressing climate change. In our communities, these protected areas provide valuable ecosystem services, including mitigating flooding, storing carbon, filtering water, and supporting our physical and mental health.

As one of Ontario’s largest and most active land trusts, we’re responsible for the preservation of land. We add new protected natural areas to the Bruce Trail’s conservation corridor each year, and care for these special places through our land stewardship program. These natural areas protect a diverse array of habitats including wetlands, karst topography, open meadows, caves, towering scarp edges and lush forests – all within the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere.

Thank you to everyone who has donated so generously to help preserve these irreplaceable treasures, forever.

A shared vision for the protection of a natural corridor along the Niagara Escarpment.

The Bruce Trail Conservancy’s protected natural areas preserve the Escarpment’s unique biodiversity and provide nature-based solutions to addressing climate change. In our communities, these protected areas provide valuable ecosystem services, including mitigating flooding, storing carbon, filtering water, and supporting our physical and mental health.

As one of Ontario’s largest and most active land trusts, we’re responsible for the preservation of land. We add new protected natural areas to the Bruce Trail’s conservation corridor each year, and care for these special places through our land stewardship program. These natural areas protect a diverse array of habitats including wetlands, karst topography, open meadows, caves, towering scarp edges and lush forests – all within the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere.

Thank you to everyone who has donated so generously to help preserve these irreplaceable treasures, forever.

.

Our Newly Protected Natural Areas

2020-2021

MapleCross Nature Reserve Map

Why This Place Important:

The Bruce Trail Conservancy’s largest solo acquisition to date.

This 533 acre nature reserve features breathtaking views of Georgian Bay along the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula’s iconic cliffs. With both forest and wetland habitats, the property is critical for Species at Risk in the area. The acquisition at Cape Chin was a significant win for both the continuity of the trail and for conservation. 

This acquisition was one of the largest swaths of forest left in the entire Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula and has many conservation opportunities in addition to the outstanding hiking experience it offers. Thanks to MapleCross Fund, who are helping to protect natural areas across Canada and the other 1,200 donors who made this acquisition possible. This property is a real gem in the crown of the Bruce Trail, and we hope you get a chance to experience it.  

523 acres | 1,767 m of trail

Features:

270-degree view of Georgian Bay

Unique cliffside ecosystems critical forest and
wetland habitats for rare species

Colpoys Cavern Map

Why This Place Important:

Forming a key link between adjacent conservation lands, this nature reserve preserves a large tract of  uninterrupted forest along the Niagara Escarpment. Protected in perpetuity are the caverns tucked at the north end of the property and a robust woodland ecosystem.

75 acres | 269 m of trail

Connects habitat in adjacent conservation lands

Features:

Robust woodland

Caverns near Bruce’s Caves 

Shelton Map

Why This Place Important:

Generously donated by the Shelton family, this small wooded corridor secures the current route of the main Bruce Trail, keeping it off nearby roads. Donations of land are so important and an incredible gift to future generations.

2 acres

Generously donated by the
Shelton family

Ensures Bruce Trail remains off
nearby roads

Features:

Wooded corridor

Tumbled Rock Nature reserve map

Why This Place Important:

Named after the large blocks of rock on the property that tumbled down the Escarpment long ago, this property has a variety of fascinating geological features and beautiful forest habitats. 

7 acres | 509 m of trail

Features:

Karst features

Fossils of 440 million year old Halicite
Coral

Beautiful deciduous forest

blantyre springs map

Why This Place Important:

Featuring forested Escarpment slope and trickling streams, this land connects two previously secured properties to create a continuous conservation corridor in the area.  

33 acres | 604 m of trail

Connects two existing protected areas

Features:

Forested Escarpment slope

Streams and springs

Small parking area now provides safe public access

honeywood ridge map

Why This Place Important:

With open meadows and wide vistas, this property offers beautiful views as well as important habitat for a variety of species. Preserving this property ensures that the Bruce Trail remains off the nearby busy road. 

83 acres | 620 m of trail

Features:

Open meadow habitat

Wide vistas

Bobolinks on
property

pine river nature reserve map

Why This Place Important:

With its forested valleys and thriving wetlands, this nature reserve is home to a variety of species including Bullfrogs, Snapping Turtles, Mink and the Eastern Wood Peewee.  Special thanks to the amazing volunteers from the Dufferin Hi-land Bruce Trail Club who have been working really hard to help us keep ATVs away from this property so it can regenerate.    

192 acres | 513 m of trail

Restoration projects and
new side trails planned

Features:

Forested valleys

Thriving wetlands

Adjacent to Pine River Fishing Area

silver creek map

Why This Place Important:

The site of a quarry until 2008, the marshes, forests and meadows on this property have already started to naturalize and are already home to many flora and fauna.  

105 acres | 671 m of trail

Site of a quarry until 2008

Significant opportunity to
further restore habitat

Features:

Naturalizing marshes,
forests and meadows

speyside sanctuary nature reserve map

Why This Place Important:

This expansion of our biodiverse Speyside Sanctuary Nature Reserve may be a narrow strip, but within its boundaries are remnants of tallgrass prairie species, and a surprising number of native species not seen in our other nearby nature reserves.

4 acres | 690 m of trail

Extends an existing BTC nature reserve

Evidence of native species
not yet recorded on our nearby nature reserves

Features:

Remnants of rare Tallgrass prairie

woolverton ridge nature reserve map

Why This Place Important:

Featuring a woodland canopy of mature Sugar Maples and an intermittent stream, this nature reserve is an important step to removing 2.5 km of the Bruce Trail from busy roads.  

3 acres | 69 m of trail

Important step to removing 2.7 km of trail from roads

Features:

Mature Sugar Maple forest

Intermittent stream

No trail currently on property

Why This Place Important:

The Bruce Trail Conservancy’s largest solo acquisition to date.

This 533 acre nature reserve features breathtaking views of Georgian Bay along the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula’s iconic cliffs. With both forest and wetland habitats, the property is critical for Species at Risk in the area. The acquisition at Cape Chin was a significant win for both the continuity of the trail and for conservation. 

This acquisition was one of the largest swaths of forest left in the entire Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula and has many conservation opportunities in addition to the outstanding hiking experience it offers. Thanks to MapleCross Fund, who are helping to protect natural areas across Canada and the other 1,200 donors who made this acquisition possible. This property is a real gem in the crown of the Bruce Trail, and we hope you get a chance to experience it.  

523 acres | 1,767 m of trail

Features:

270-degree view of Georgian Bay

Unique cliffside ecosystems critical forest and
wetland habitats for rare species

MapleCross Nature Reserve
Colpoys Cavern Map

Why This Place Important:

Forming a key link between adjacent conservation lands, this nature reserve preserves a large tract of  uninterrupted forest along the Niagara Escarpment. Protected in perpetuity are the caverns tucked at the north end of the property and a robust woodland ecosystem.

75 acres | 269 m of trail

Connects habitat in adjacent conservation lands

Features:

Robust woodland

Caverns near Bruce’s Caves 

Colpoys Cavern
Shelton Map

Why This Place Important:

Generously donated by the Shelton family, this small wooded corridor secures the current route of the main Bruce Trail, keeping it off nearby roads. Donations of land are so important and an incredible gift to future generations.

2 acres

Generously donated by the
Shelton family

Ensures Bruce Trail remains off
nearby roads

Features:

Wooded corridor

Shelton
Tumbled Rock Nature reserve map

Why This Place Important:

Named after the large blocks of rock on the property that tumbled down the Escarpment long ago, this property has a variety of fascinating geological features and beautiful forest habitats. 

7 acres | 509 m of trail

Features:

Karst features

Fossils of 440 million year old Halicite
Coral

Beautiful deciduous forest

tumbled rock nature reserve
blantyre springs map

Why This Place Important:

Featuring forested Escarpment slope and trickling streams, this land connects two previously secured properties to create a continuous conservation corridor in the area.  

33 acres | 604 m of trail

Connects two existing protected areas

Features:

Forested Escarpment slope

Streams and springs

Small parking area now provides safe public access

blantyre springs
honeywood ridge map

Why This Place Important:

With open meadows and wide vistas, this property offers beautiful views as well as important habitat for a variety of species. Preserving this property ensures that the Bruce Trail remains off the nearby busy road. 

83 acres | 620 m of trail

Features:

Open meadow habitat

Wide vistas

Bobolinks on
property

honeywood ridge
pine river nature reserve map

Why This Place Important:

With its forested valleys and thriving wetlands, this nature reserve is home to a variety of species including Bullfrogs, Snapping Turtles, Mink and the Eastern Wood Peewee.  Special thanks to the amazing volunteers from the Dufferin Hi-land Bruce Trail Club who have been working really hard to help us keep ATVs away from this property so it can regenerate.    

192 acres | 513 m of trail

Restoration projects and
new side trails planned

Features:

Forested valleys

Thriving wetlands

Adjacent to Pine River Fishing Area

pine river nature reserve
silver creek map

Why This Place Important:

The site of a quarry until 2008, the marshes, forests and meadows on this property have already started to naturalize and are already home to many flora and fauna.  

105 acres | 671 m of trail

Site of a quarry until 2008

Significant opportunity to
further restore habitat

Features:

Naturalizing marshes,
forests and meadows

silver creek
speyside sanctuary nature reserve map

Why This Place Important:

This expansion of our biodiverse Speyside Sanctuary Nature Reserve may be a narrow strip, but within its boundaries are remnants of tallgrass prairie species, and a surprising number of native species not seen in our other nearby nature reserves.

4 acres | 690 m of trail

Extends an existing BTC nature reserve

Evidence of native species
not yet recorded on our nearby nature reserves

Features:

Remnants of rare Tallgrass prairie

speyside sanctuary nature reserve
woolverton ridge nature reserve map

Why This Place Important:

Featuring a woodland canopy of mature Sugar Maples and an intermittent stream, this nature reserve is an important step to removing 2.5 km of the Bruce Trail from busy roads.  

3 acres | 69 m of trail

Important step to removing 2.7 km of trail from roads

Features:

Mature Sugar Maple forest

Intermittent stream

No trail currently on property

woolverton ridge nature reserve

Our Protected Natural Areas

  • 1985 Pennachettie 6.06 acres
  • 1987 Taylor 12.36 acres
  • 1990 Thirty Mile Creek 24.00 acres
  • 1992 Sigrid 5.12 acres
  • 1994 Brights 29.36 acres
  • 1996 Klacko 3.24 acres
  • 1996 Lowrey 10.19 acres
  • 1996 Rossetto 4.13 acres
  • 1999 Denick 1.28 acres
  • 2005 Ricenburg 22.20 acres
  • 2009 Cherry Ridge 0.75 acres
  • 2009 Nelles Estates 1.26 acres
  • 2015 Bruns 0.37 acres
  • 2017 Pyper 0.40 acres
  • 2018 St. Paul Nature Reserve 9.62 acres
  • 2019 Masterson 0.37 acres
  • 2020 Woodend Meadow 51.88 acres
  • N/A Glocker 0.85 acres
Niagara protected area photo
  • 1995 Vallis 2.51 acres
  • 1996 Vitali 20.00 acres
  • 1998 Humber Heights 18.95 acres
  • 2003 Dr. Philip Gosling Nature Reserve 13.30 acres
  • 2004 Scarlett 3.99 acres
  • 2009 Hemlock Ridges 57.71 acres
  • 2010 West Fork 5.03 acres
  • 2012 Griffith Ravine 17.23 acres
  • 2012 Songbird Nature Reserve 16.78 acres
  • 2014 Cedar Highlands 52.52 acres
  • 2014 Mathilda’s Way 4.00 acres
  • 2014 Star Woods 3.98 acres
  • 2016 Cedar Highlands 0.59 acres
  • 2016 Galbraith 6.60 acres
  • 2016 Mono Kiln Edge 5.95 acres
  • 2018 Quarryside Nature Reserve 33.93 acres
  • 2019 Tall Timbers 23.89 acres
  • 2020 Caledon Mountain Springs 63.22 acres
  • 2020 MapleCross Nature Reserve at Cannings Falls 69.52 acres
  • 2022 Rushing River Nature Reserve 0.00 acres
  • 1976 K. Young 29.00 acres
  • 1987 Freeman 4.10 acres
  • 1987 Goodchild/H. Wilson 130.47 acres
  • 1987 Sly 93.60 acres
  • 1990 Wilson 30.00 acres
  • 1991 Clarke 28.33 acres
  • 1991 Sullivan 34.48 acres
  • 1993 Sewell 16.52 acres
  • 1995 Allan 98.50 acres
  • 1995 Tulloch 34.99 acres
  • 1996 Brent 8.27 acres
  • 1996 McConnell 23.94 acres
  • 1998 D. Wilson 64.94 acres
  • 1998 Gutzmer 48.20 acres
  • 1998 Wiese 1.25 acres
  • 2000 Leverty 36.84 acres
  • 2001 Wood 21.38 acres
  • 2002 Young Wetland 56.05 acres
  • 2003 Godfrey 12.89 acres
  • 2004 Scott 51.93 acres
  • 2004 Seidle 26.49 acres
  • 2005 E. Wilson 37.47 acres
  • 2005 White/Campbell 40.23 acres
  • 20-06 Harshman 61.03 acres
  • 2006 Hodson 9.23 acres
  • 2006 Jordan Springs 0.50 acres
  • 2007 Campbell 76.93 acres
  • 2007 Pawcett 90.51 acres
  • 2008 Cape Rich View 29.44 acres
  • 2008 Hughes 41.14 acres
  • 2008 McKay 20.00 acres
  • 2010 Cuckoo Valley Overlook 82.93 acres
  • 2012 Webwood Falls 21.94 acres
  • 2013 Cape Rich View 23.40 acres
  • 2013 Kimberley Springs 57.36 acres
  • 2013 Pinnacle Rock 135.34 acres
  • 2014 Fairmount-Webwood Passage 25.65 acres
  • 2014 Young Wetland Access 1.01 acres
  • 2015 Lawrence Homestead 64.57 acres
  • 2015 Young 15.14 acres
  • 2017 Daphne & Gordon Nicholls Nature Reserve 30.45 acres
  • 2017 Lower Valley Road Nature Reserve 65.47 acres
  • 2018 Vandaleur Nature Reserve 46.46 acres
  • 2019 East Mountain 79.29 acres
  • 2019 Fox Ridge 71.52 acres
  • 2019 Valley East 34.32
  • 2020 Fox Ridge East 13.95 acres
  • 2020 Maple Ravine 27.18 acres
  • 2021 Blantyre Springs Nature Reserve 33.00 acres
  • 2022 Eugenia Woods Nature Reserve 20.33 acres
  • 1998 Dopko 8.55 acres
  • 2002 Wattie 4.47 acres
  • 2005 Hughes 0.14 acres
  • 2006 McNally 27.16 acres
  • 2007 Kay 0.08 acres
  • 2009 Eggert 0.16 acres
  • 2009 Prytula 0.08 acres
  • 2009 Taunton 0.10 acres
  • 2010 Bonta 20.60 acres
  • 2011 Smokey Hololow 21.03 acres
  • 2012 MaCaulay 0.21 acres
  • 2013 Cedar Springs Woods 10.00 acres
  • 2013 Cline Bench 5.00 acres
  • 2013 Dekker & Bick 3.88 acres
  • 2013 Greenridge 1.50 acres
  • 2015 Robinson 0.78 acres
  • 2015 Rosa 1.15 acres
  • 2015 Ryan 0.16 acres
  • 2018 Red Oak Nature Reserve 19.03 acres
  • 2019 Fisher’s Pond 86.42 acres
  • 2019 Heikoop 0.78 acres
  • 2020 MapleCross Nature Reserve at River & Ruin 69.00 acres
  • 2020 Millen Road Access 0.37 acres
  • 2021 Woolverton Ridge Nature Reserve 3.32 acres
Iroquoia protected area photo
  • 1989 Pollock 63.61 acres
  • 1994 Rock Hill Corner 24.90
  • 1994 Russel 26.66 acres
  • 2002 Reginal Brett 138.12 acres
  • 2011 Boyne Riber School 100.55 acres
  • 2012 Black Edge 46.00 acres
  • 2012 Splitrock Narrows 63.28 acres
  • 2014 Chisholm Nature Reserve 1.83 acres
  • 2021 Honeywood Ridge 82.76 acrea
  • 2021 Pine River Nature reserve 192.33 acres
  • 2022 Honeywood Ridge 4.59 acres
  • 1984 McNabb 105.00 acres
  • 1988 Thomas 27.27 acres
  • 1989 Johannes 44.13 acres
  • 1989 Johnston 100.00 acres
  • 1990 Carnahan 55.23 acres
  • 1990Rocksprings 49.59 acres
  • 1996 Skinner’s Bluff 99.34 acres
  • 1997 Ward 77.85 acres
  • 1998 Hambly 31.12 acres
  • 1999 STobbe 4.59 acres
  • 2001 Dyke & Wood 4.43 acres
  • 2001 Hunt 51.40 acres
  • 2001 Kirchner 78.97 acres
  • 2002 Graham 100.19 acres
  • 2002 Stonehouse 10.86 acres
  • 2002 Waisberg 45.22 acres
  • 2003 Boyd 45.02 acres
  • 2003 Day 0.30 acres
  • 2004 Keeling22.07 acres
  • 2004 Lesich 94.53 acres
  • 2005 Tuersley 71.40 acres
  • 2007 Fligg 14.93 acres
  • 2007 Walter’s Creek 34.20 acres
  • 2008 Crevice Springs 46.96 acres
  • 2009 Braver Springs Wetland 56.80 acres
  • 2009 Ferndell 18.40 acres
  • 2009 Lindenwood 174.21 acres
  • 2009 The Pines 41.88 acres
  • 2010 Pallisades 31.12 acres
  • 2013 Silent Valley 200.00 acres
  • 2015 Bayview Forest Nature Reserve 47.63 acres
  • 2015 Fossil Glen Nature Reserve 67.87 acres
  • 2015 Rocklyn Creek Nature Reserve 55.00 acres
  • 2016 Sydenham Nature Reserve 126.95 acres
  • 2016 Walter’s Creek 16.50 acres
  • 2017 Ancient Beach Nature Reserve 58.00 acres
  • 2017 Irish Ridge Nature Reserve 31.30 acres
  • 2017 Kemble Rock Nature Reserve 201.00 acres
  • 2018 Hayes 23.94 acres
  • 2018 Kemble Wetland Nature Reserve 137.98 acres
  • 2018 Overton 12.50 acres
  • 2019 MapleCross Ridge 100.00 acres
  • 2020 Bayview Bluff 100.00 acres
  • 2020 Skinner’s Woods 113.32 acres
  • 2021 Colpoy’s Cavern Nature Reserve 75.00 acres
  • 2021 Shelton 1.91 acres
  • 2021 Tumbled Rocks Nature Reserve 7.43 acres
  • 2022 Lindenwood Pond Nature Reserve 160.00 acres
  • 1994 Hardy 37.73 acres
  • 1995 Opavsky 50.00 acres
  • 1995 Sinclair 31.11 acres
  • 2001 Hammer 16.28 acres
  • 2001 Kerr 7.40 acres
  • 2001 Speyside Woods/Snow 100.72 acres
  • 2001 Springle 37.83 acres
  • 2001 Weiser 22.00 acres
  • 2010 Speyside Sanctuary Nature Reserve 144.16 acres
  • 2012 Cunningham 3.38 acres
  • 2016 Lan Kwan Sum Nature Reserve 18.00 acres
  • 2018 Maple Ridge Nature Reserve 69.62 acres
  • 2019 Robertson Farm 38.80 acres
  • 2021 Silver Creek 104.93 acres
  • 2021 Speyside Sanctuary Nature Reserve 3.50
  • 1988 Timpson 15.28 acres
  • 1991 Dinedune 77.83 acres
  • 1993 Metheral 5.42 acres
  • 1994 David 22.14
  • 1994 McLeod 33.93 acres
  • 1994 Swiss Meadows 10.25 acres
  • 1996 Skelton 45.68 acres
  • 2010 Leys Burn 1.60 acres
  • 2012 Noisy River 81.00 acres
  • 2014 Duntroon Crevice Heights 7.73 acres
  • 2017 Dunedin Ravine Nature Reserve 78.68 acres
  • 2019 Gardner 14.50 acres
  • 2020 Lime Kiln Bluffs 36.10 acres
  • 2022 Balsam Wetlands Nature Reserve 283.85 acres
  • 1987 Richardson 36.50 acres
  • 1987 Warder 199.00 acres
  • 1988 LeFeuvre/Chupac 56.00 acres
  • 1988 Minhinnick 49.00 acres
  • 1989 Deal 65.58 acres
  • 1990 Tigert 0.09 acres
  • 1991 Knowles 5.10 acres
  • 1991 Mackie 48,80 acres
  • 1991 Schneider 14.25 acres
  • 1992 Manore 38.76 acres
  • 1994 Barrow Bay 3.34 acres
  • 1994 Cornell 0.84 acres
  • 1995 Johnstone North 290.00 acres
  • 1995 Johnstone South 50.00 acres
  • 1996 David & McLay 9.93 acres
  • 1996 Spears 43.32 acres
  • 1998 Bowman 15.47 acres
  • 1998 Porter 16.17 acres
  • 2001 Murray 11.00 acres
  • 2002 Hunter 7.51 acrea
  • 2004 Astles 0.21 acres
  • 2004 Palmer 5.69 acres
  • 2005 Madill 13.79 acres
  • 200156 Stewart 0.41 acres
  • 2007 Chris Walker Nature Reserve at Rush Cover 28.50 acres
  • 2008 Boundary Bluffs 195.00 acres
  • 2008 Bull Homestead 62.55 acres
  • 2008 Colpoy’s Bay View 76.68 acres
  • 2008 Dyer’s Bay Cliffs Nature Reserve 12.46 acres
  • 2008 Glassford Wetland 287.50 acres
  • 2008 Williams Caves 18.90 acres
  • 2009 Downham 32.01 acres
  • 2009 Sattler 87.00 acres
  • 2010 Dyer’s Bay Cliffs Nature Reserve 66.20 acres
  • 2010 Malcolm Bluff Shores 575.00 acres
  • 2011 Knapp 12.17 acres
  • 2011 Malcolm Bluff Shores 281.00 acres
  • 2011 Smitham 0.76 acres
  • 2012 Lillie Family Nature Reserve 94.00 acres
  • 2012 Malcolm Bluff Shores 189.00 acres
  • 2015 Baker 2.50 acres
  • 2016 Light Nature Reserve 11.00 acres
  • 2016 Vanishing Stream 104.84 acres
  • 2017 Cape Dundas Nature Reserve 231.00 acres
  • 2017 Lindsay Rd 40 25.00 acres
  • 2017 Otter Lake Nature Reserve 262.20 acres
  • 2019 Barrow Bay Cliffs 362.20 acres
  • 2019 Cape Chin Woods 100.00 acres
  • 2020 McTaggart 0.65 acres
  • 2021 MapleCross Nature Reserve at Cape Chin 523.00 acres
  • 2022 Colpoy’s Bay East Nature Reserve 402.00 acres

Land Acknowledgment

The Bruce Trail Conservancy wishes to acknowledge and honour the lands of the Niagara Escarpment as the traditional territory of Indigenous peoples. In both spirit and partnership, we recognize and thank the Anishinaabek, Huron-Wendat, Tionontati, Attawandaron, Haudenosaunee, Métis, and all who provided stewardship of these lands over millennia.
Recognition of the contributions of Indigenous peoples is consistent with our commitment to making the promise of Truth and Reconciliation real in our communities. We are grateful for the opportunity to live, work, and play here and thank all those who have served and continue to serve as caretakers of this special place.
We are also mindful of broken covenants and the need to reconcile with all our allies and relations. Together, may we care for this land and each other, drawing upon the strength of our mutual history through peace and friendship, to create a lasting legacy of conservation for generations to come.

Protected Natural Areas

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