Winter Wonderland: Hiking, Cross-Country Skiing, and Snowshoeing Kawartha Land Trust’s Trails
There’s something special about being in nature in winter. The quieter, snow-blanketed landscapes are magical places where you can disconnect from screens and connect with the land around you.
Trails you know by heart in the warmer months may look different in winter. Boughs of Cedar, Balsam, and White Pine, laden with snow, brighten the forest even on overcast days.
Kawartha Land Trusts’ public access trails are open for you and family and friends to enjoy all winter long. We hope you enjoy the sights, sounds, and beauty of winter in the Kawarthas.
851 Ballyduff Road, Pontypool, Ontario
Protected in 2011 through a Conservation Easement Agreement (CEA) with Kawartha Land Trust, Ralph McKim and Jean Garsonnin donated 150 acres of beautiful Ballyduff Trails to KLT in 2022 (the remaining land will continue to be protected through the CEA).
As part of the glacially-formed Oak Ridges Moraine, Ballyduff Trails contains a wetland that is the source of a cold-water stream at the headwaters of Fleetwood Creek and the property borders the 900-acres Fleetwood Creek Natural Area. The tallgrass prairie, poplar planes, and “Back 40” are popular places to hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski.
Christie Bentham Wetland
Juniper Pt. Road, Selwyn, just south of Burleigh Falls
Protected in 2020 through community support, beautiful Christie Bentham Wetland features over 1,200 feet of natural undisturbed waterfront on Clear Lake. The 5 km of three interconnected trails will take you through quiet forest, along a stretch of marshland and through an abundance of juniper.
John Earle Chase Memorial Park
Anchor Bay Road, Trent Lakes (close to Gannon’s Narrows bridge)
Owned by Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW), Parks Canada, and managed by Kawartha Land Trust (KLT), this property, which was donated by the Chase family, has been made accessible to the public through a unique partnership between TSW and KLT. The 7.4 km of connected trails wind through forest, alongside a marsh, and across a beautiful meadow that offers panoramic views of Lower Buckhorn Lake, Pigeon Lake, and the Gannon’s Narrows Bridge.
Jeffrey-Cowan Forest Preserve
81 Fire Route 10, North Kawartha Township, Peterborough County (keep to left to find small KLT parking lot)
Donated to Kawartha Land Trust in 2018 by Norman Cowan, visitors can hike to the highest point on the trail and enjoy a scenic view of Stony Lake. The trail winds down to the shoreline, which features a bench, boat house, and some chairs if you want to stay for a bit and take in the beautiful winter scenery.
While the damage from the May 2022 derecho is visible along the trails, as is our staff and volunteers’ work to clear the trails, this forest preserve, with its mature White Pines and Red Oaks, remains a beautiful place to visit and we look forward to seeing it regenerate in the coming years with new growth.
Visit the Jeffrey-Cowan Forest Preserve property page to learn more about this property and to download a trail map of Stony Lake Trails (PDF), of which the Jeffrey-Cowan Forest Preserve trails are part of.
105 Reid’s Road, North Kawartha Township, Peterborough County
This stunning property, which was generously donated to Kawartha Land Trust in 2011 by the Ingleton and Wells families is a must-see on the north shore of Stony Lake. The trails wind through upland forest and open fields that provide diverse habitat for wildlife.
Cation Wildlife Preserve
French Settlement Road, Coboconk, Kawartha Lakes
Donated to Kawartha Land Trust in 2018 by David and Sharon Cation, Cation Wildlife Preserve is a vast and beautiful landscape.
The trail begins with wide open grassy fields dotted with shrubs. It briefly winds past a marsh before transitioning through a mature upland forest followed by a succession forest of Ironwood, Oak and Elm on a limestone shelf.
Thank you to all of our incredible supporters and donors for protecting the land you love!
Article posted January 13, 2023. Main photo: Winter trail at John Earle Chase Memorial Park in the Municipality of Trent Lakes.