Wild Northerner Magazine 2015/16 Winter Issue - Page 19

“A combined group of community and educational partners have developed a system of hiking trails in the park to make the park features available to the public,” Martin said. “The interpretative signage is based on our local appreciation and knowledge of the area.”

The Loudon Peatland Trail is a neat choice because of the lookout tower, but there are also plenty of trails to tackle on other days. On the west side of Highway 64, there are nine loops totalling more than 35-km.

“The Loudon Peatland Trail is the easiest trail,” Martin said. “The others have varying levels of difficulty up to the most difficult Coastal Trail. View the newsletter section for the latest information. We invite you to come, hike and learn about the wonders of our wetlands.”

This can be a great winter’s day or stay in a local West Nipissing/French River lodge. Then look forward to open water you can also launch your canoe or kayak at an access point just south of the Loudon Peatland trail and experience the Muskrat Creek leading to a more remote part of the West Bay of Lake Nipissing. The east access is 2.4-km north of the Blanding Access Pt., about 100-metres off of the highway. Then there is the West Arm extension to the west of Highway 64, there is a roadside picnic area to launch from just south of the bridge. The trailhead signs are excellent, so take a photo with your phone for reference purposes.

Travel west from North Bay, through Sturgeon Falls on Highway 17 to Verner, turn south on Highway 64 (stop in Verner to read the historic plaque – Reverend Charles Paradis – “the rebel priest.”). Lavigne is 13-km from Verner on the Northwest Bay of Lake Nipissing; an expansive view to the east. Journey fifteen more kilometres to the Loudon Peatland Trail on the east side of the highway. Access to the west network of trails is via the Blandings Access Point, just north of the Chemin Samoset Rd. and just 0.9-km south of Memquisit Rd. Access to the north section of the loops is via Musky Island Rd. The lookout tower is located at WGS 84 17 T E 554576 N 5123255 or N46° 15’ 38.5” W80° 17’ 30.6”. It is a very unique view and vantage point to see the extent of the peatland. A place to set up your portable stove and have a hot drink.

No matter what the season wetlands matter, go and have a look at the diversity which nature gives us at only, the cost of the time, we need to spend. Your snowshoes are close at hand. Contact the author at wilstonsteer@gmail.com or www.steertonorthernontario.ca; LIKE and SHARE on Facebook – Steer to northern Ontario.

See the map…use the Google Earth imagery… https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=zoA16HwFag5Q.k71GuIUPczS4 .