Stewardship Day on Big (Boyd/Chiminis) Island

Stewardship Day on Big (Boyd/Chiminis) Island

There has been tireless effort put into making Big (Boyd/Chiminis) Island an even greater treasure in the Kawarthas since the donation of the Island in 2015. One of the most exciting aspects of Boyd Island stewardship is in its final steps: An 8km hiking trail system on the island.

Kawartha Land Trust believes having trails through ecologically protected areas is important because it invites the community to safely and respectfully enjoy these spaces. When the Kawartha Land Trust Protects and manages a property, we seek to balance nature protection with nature connection. We have heard this idea echoed by the donor of the island, Mike Wilson, who wanted it to remain a resource for light recreation, and from contributors to the campaign who saw the potential in its protection and sustainability.

Big Boyd Chiminis Island
Trails along the shore of Pigeon Lake, Big (Boyd/Chiminis) Island

In addition to the hundreds of weekly tourists that are drawn to the back channel in boats, hoping to explore the natural beauty of the Kawarthas. We felt that it was our responsibility to ensure we could participate in and facilitate to those enjoying the island.

Establishing trails on a property such as Boyd is not a simple feat. The planning of our trail system took countless hours and many people before the physical labour could even begin. Volunteers, Warren Dunlop and Ian Deslauriers were invaluable assets throughout the process, from habitat inventory, mapping, trail planning, and the building stage. We couldn’t have done it without the help of the Boyd Island Management Advisory Team, and our amazing volunteers!

Ultimately two loops and a connecting corridor were decided upon, which we feel best showcase Boyd’s special landscapes, flora, and fauna. These trails take you through mature forests, meadows full of wildflowers, and along the impressive shoreline. The areas surrounding the trails are meant to remain untraveled to protect the wild character of these places, so we ask that you please remain on trails.

Stewardship days brought out great crews of volunteers. At our most recent event Saturday June 24th, 16 people came out to help.  A lot of hard work went into the physical building of the trails from cleaning up the areas, clearing vegetation to make paths, removing hazardous rocks, trimming excess canopy for safety and sightlines, as well as strategically placing signs to best articulate the intended trail directions. Just a few more days of work will be needed to finish the trails.

Tools of the trade.

Because the island is only accessible by boat we have established two trail heads along the eastern shore. The Back Channel, between the mainland and the island, includes sensitive shoreline with active restoration sites and wetland habitat (through the islands at the South) so we ask that you only shore-up  and access the trail in areas labeled on the map. Docks will be added later in the season to make the island more accessible.

Thank you to all volunteers helping to make Big (Boyd/Chiminis) Island a safe and enjoyable place to visit!
Happy Trails!