COVID-19 Update: All our trails are currently open. Please continue to observe physical distancing guidelines when visiting trails. If you arrive and the parking is busy or you see lots of others on the trail, consider returning at a less busy time.
Please note that all group visits to and activities on a TTLT nature reserve must be approved by TTLT prior to the event. Please contact us at 519-858-3442 or [email protected] to request a group visit.
Nature Reserves Open to the Public
Although we have 20 nature reserves, most of them are not open to the public. This is done for a variety of reasons centered around conservation and protection of the various species that call these nature reserves home. We want to allow nature to interact freely without the interruptions of human presence. The presence of humans can cause wildlife to stress and alter their behaviour, which can give them a disadvantage in their energy levels for other behaviour such as foraging and mating. This can make a major difference for species-at-risk trying to grow their populations, and can disrupt sensitive ecosystems and habitats within the area.
We do keep many of our nature reserves open to the public and encourage you to visit these areas to discover all the life which you may not get the chance to see in the city. View the ones below and start planning your next adventure on one of our public nature reserves!
Photos: Five Points Forest landscape (Daria Koscinski), Hawk Cliff Woods landscape (John St. Pierre), Joany's Woods boardwalk (David Wake), Meadowlily Nature Preserve bridge (Colin Johnson), Wardsville Woods landscape (John St. Pierre).
Five Points Forest - Driedger Tract
Five Points Forest Trail - approx 2.5 km
Walk through a range of habitats including meadow, young forest, mature forest, and a White Pine grove. The trail is easy difficulty and mostly flat although the terrain can be uneven and there are a couple of narrow stream crossings. Different loops mean shorter or longer hikes are available. QR codes along the trail link to a trail guide, or you can download the trail guide here. Click here for the trail map.
Parking - please park along the edge of the road adjacent to the meadow.
Hawk Cliff Woods
Trail loop - approx 1 km
This is a short but beautiful trail loop through a young forest into a more mature forest. Expect to see species like Sugar Maple and Shagbark Hickory as well as ravine views. The trail is easy and flat, but expect a couple of very muddy spots during the spring and when there is wet weather. The trail entrance is about half way up Hawk Cliff Road on the west side of the road. Click here for the trail map.
Auzins Community Wildflower Garden
The garden is planted with all native wildflowers and grasses. It is named to recognize Karen and Eric Auzins, whose generosity helped to ensure that Hawk Cliff Woods would become a protected nature reserve. Visitors are welcome to collect seeds from the garden in the fall. Interpretive signage details each species and how to use it in gardening, as well as seed collecting instructions. The garden is wheelchair accessible from Spring to Fall (not maintained in winter). Access the garden via the parking area at the south end of Hawk Cliff Road.
Parking - parking is provided along the edge of Hawk Cliff Road.
Ivey Trail - approx 4.5 km
The Ivey Trail is named in honour of Richard and Beryl Ivey to recognize their incredible generosity to TTLT over the years. The Ivey Trail is a loop accessed from the Vernon Road entrance of Joany's Woods. It takes you through a mixture of Carolinian Forest and plantation forests, and along the banks of the the Ausable River. The Ivey trail is a easy to medium level trail with some flat portions and some slopes, and is accessed via a steep hill. It also connects with the Inch Trail if you're looking for a longer hike.
Please note that the old Ivey trail between trail markers 6 and 11 is currently closed.
Inch Trail - approx 3.2 km
The Inch Trail is named in memory of Helen and Spencer Inch, whose legacy gift to TTLT helped to secure Joany's Woods as a protected nature reserve. The Inch Trail is a loop accessed from the Boothill Road entrance to Joany's Woods. Along this trail you can see varied habitats including woodlands, meadows, swamps, and conifer plantations. This is a medium difficulty trail with some steep sections. The Inch Trail connects with the Ivey Trail approximately half way around if you want a longer hike.
Parking - a small parking area is provided at the Boothill Road property entrance. Depending on the road conditions you may have to park at the intersection of Boothill Road and Elliot Drive and walk in. For the Vernon Road entrance, there is limited parking along the roadside at Vernon Road.
Meadowlily Nature Preserve
Meadowlily Nature Preserve Trail - approx 350 m
Across the road from the Meadowlily Woods Trail, this short, easy trail takes you from Meadowlily Rd. South along the Thames River floodplain into a butterfly meadow. Click here for the Meadowlily Nature Preserve trail map.
Meadowlily Butterfly Meadow
TTLT is slowly restoring this area to native meadow by planting grasses and wildflowers each year with the help of local students. The meadow provides habitat and nectar for an impressive range of butterflies. Interpretive signage in the meadow shows some of the species that can be found there. Visit in July and August for the best chance of seeing these butterflies.
Parking - parking is provided by the City of London along the side of Meadowlily Road South.
Wardsville Woods Trail - approx 1.6 km
This trail loop takes you on a streamside walk through the edge of a Carolinian Forest and into a restored meadow habitat. Along the way you can see restored wetland habitats, a community wildflower garden, and butterfly meadow. This is a medium level trail with some hills and some areas with uneven terrain. Expect some muddy sections in spring and during wet weather. Click here for the Wardsville Woods trail map.
Ann White Butterfly Meadow
The meadow is named to recognize the generosity of Ann White, long time TTLT volunteer, supporter, and donor. The meadow is a restored former golf course that now contains a range of native wildflowers and grasses, providing excellent habitat for butterflies and other pollinators. Visit in July and August for the best chance of seeing butterflies.
Wardsville Woods Community Wildflower Garden
The garden is planted with all native wildflowers and grasses. Visitors are welcome to collect seeds from the garden in the fall. Interpretive signage details each species and how to use it in gardening, as well as seed collecting instructions. The garden is accessed via the main trail. Learn more about the garden here.
Parking - a small gravel parking lot is available at the property entrance on Longwoods Road.
Please be safe when visiting our nature reserves! The Ontario Government has provided information on ticks and Lyme disease including precautions to take to prevent tick bites and what to do if you find a tick. We encourage you to read this information and take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of Lyme disease.
The following information is summarized from the Ontario Government information page. Precautions you can take to reduce the risk of tick bites and Lyme Disease when hiking include:
- Staying on marked trails.
- Wearing long sleeves, pants, socks and closed shoes.
- Tucking pants into socks and wearing light-coloured clothing to make ticks more visible.
- Using insect repellent with DEET or Icaridin on clothes and exposed skin.
- Checking the body thoroughly for ticks after being outdoors, as promptly removing ticks can help prevent infection.
- Putting your clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any ticks that might be in your clothing.
Please consult a health care professional if you get a tick bite, especially if you experience the following symptoms: skin rash, headache, fever, muscle and joint pain, spasms, weakness, numbness or tingling and generally feeling unwell.