Properties are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 precautions
Seemingly each passing hour there are updates about the COVID-19 virus and its impacts on our daily lives. At the Thames Talbot Land Trust, we are doing everything we can to comply with the advice of our health care professionals and political leaders.
Recently we have noticed increased gatherings of people visiting our nature reserves as people look for stress relief in nature. Usually this would be a welcomed experience and greatly encouraged on our public properties. However, the increased gatherings of people have given reason for concern with the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. Hence, with great sadness, we will be closing access to our properties until further notice.
This is following the closures of similar nature reserves by other land trusts, conservation authorities, provincial and national parks.
We hope that this temporary closure will be for a short period of time.
Stay healthy and safe during these uncertain times.
André Lachance, President
When Properties reopen:
Permitted Activities: Strolling, hiking, picknicking, bird or butterfly watching, botanizing, meditation, and tree hugging.
Prohibited Activities: Motorized or non motorized vehicles, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, camping or camp fires, dumping or littering, posting notices, dogs off leash, cutting or removal of wood or plants.
*Please note that all group visits to and activities on a TTLT property must be approved by the TTLT prior to the event. Please contact us at 519-858-3442 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a group visit.
Properties Open to the Public
Five Points Forest
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.
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 4.8 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 Carolinian Forest and the Ausable River floodplain. The Ivey trail is a medium to difficult level trail with some steep hills and rough terrain. It connects with the River and Inch Trails if you're looking for a longer hike. QR codes along the trail link to a trail guide, or you can download the Ivey Trail Guide here.
Please note that the Ivey trail between trail markers 6 and 11 is currently closed. The remaining portion of the Ivey trail as well as the River trail and Inch trail remain open.
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. QR codes along the trail link to a trail guide, or you can download the Inch Trail Guide here.
River Trail - approx 2.2 km
The River Trail can be accessed via the Ivey Trail from the Vernon Road entrance to Joany's Woods and will take you for a gentle walk along the banks of the Ausable River. This is an easy level trail that is mostly flat, however the trail is accessed via a steep hill.
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.
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.
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 properties! 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.