Wild Northerner Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 54

Highway 551 (SW corner of Mindemoya Lake). Highways 551 and 542 merge in Mindemoya, the village. Turn north on to Monument Rd. (west of Mindemoya) and drive north, 1.5 km; this is quiet country back road, good for parking. It is a wonderful site to see the fractures and a multitude of sensitive ferns, stunted Junipers and exposed dolostone pavement with no topsoil.

And watch out for the erratic rocks, ranging in size from pebbles to huge boulders. These erratics, often rocks of a different type to the limestone, are one of the most visible indicators of glaciation, contrasting the limestone pavement.

There is so much to see on Manitoulin Island including finding trace fossils at Gore Bay and the Cup and Saucer Trail, close to Little Current. And don’t miss Bridal Veil Falls at Kagawong. ‘Manitoulin Rocks!’ is an ideal reference guide for tourists, teachers, students, nature lovers, or anyone else who wants to understand the natural history of this beautiful Island. It contains 131 pages, full colour production including more than 150 original line drawings and photographs. The first half of the book treats a broad range of topics and concepts required to appreciate the geology of Manitoulin Island, using local examples wherever possible. The second half of the book is a detailed field guide to 50 field stops on and north of Manitoulin Island to examine rocks and landforms. Location maps and clear driving directions are provided for each stop. (Pers. Comm. a tip of the hat to the authors, I would give it a “camp badge,” this is how information for visitors should be presented, with GPS coordinates.) You can order it through the Earth Sciences Museum, University of Waterloo (earthmuseum@uwaterloo.ca) or 519-888-4567 ext.32469 on online.

Most people know a crack when they see one, but that doesn't mean they understand or have thought much about cracks like the clints and grikes of Manitoulin Island. Understanding the Walkerton tragedy through visiting the Manitoulin alvars may prove to be more than just interesting.

Backroads Bill is the founder of the Canadian Ecology Centre and teaches part time at Nipissing University and Canadore College. Contact the author at wilstonsteer@gmail.com or www.steerto.com ; LIKE on Fbook, Back Roads Bill Steer.