This season, the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) is encouraging members of the public to give winter a chance at Gray’s Creek Conservation Area
“From hiking and snowshoeing to geocaching and winter birding, there are lots of opportunities for local residents to reconnect with nature, engage in physical activity, and breathe in the crisp winter air,” says Vincent Pilon, RRCA’s Public Information Coordinator.
The popular public greenspace is found in South Glengarry, just minutes east of the City of Cornwall. Its 106 acres include a 5-kilometre nature trail system, a park and picnic area, a marina, 10 hidden geocaches, and an edible forest. It also provides important habitat to many species of native plants, amphibians, and birds.
“It’s never a bad idea to bring along a pair of binoculars, or a camera,” says Pilon. “Birds such as blue jays, cedar waxwings, and cardinals can be quite active throughout the winter. A barred owl was also recently spotted on a trail. Carrying a handful of seeds in your jacket pocket might also make you very popular with black-capped chickadees, who won’t mind perching on your hand in exchange for a sunflower seed.”
Pilon says there has been a noticeable increase in visitors at Gray’s Creek Conservation Area throughout the last few years. In 2021, it received over 110,000 visitors.
Dogs also are welcome at Gray’s Creek, though they must be kept on a six-foot leash at all times. Owners are reminded to clean up after their pets, something made easier by the recent addition of dog waste bag dispensers.
During the warmer months, Gray’s Creek Marina, with its boat launch and 128 docks, is used by many local residents as a convenient way to access the St. Lawrence River.
Gray’s Creek is one of the RRCA three Conservation Areas. In total, the RRCA conserves, manages, and protects 1,644 acres of environmentally significant land in order to enhance forest cover, conserve sensitive habitat, and provide recreational opportunities to the public.
For more information on Gray’s Creek Conservation Area, please visit the RRCA’s website at rrca.on.ca, or contact (613) 938-3811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.