INTRODUCTION . . .
Limberlost’s pristine lakes, varied terrain and diverse wildlife habitats ensure that there is always something new to discover with family and friends. The recent restoration of Limberlost’s wilderness trails enables nature enthusiasts to once again explore this truly unique property in a safe and ecologically sensitive way.
As the current custodians of the Limberlost Reserve, we feel especially privileged to have participated in the restoration of the property’s historic wilderness trails and to be able to welcome local residents as well as visitors from further a field to the reserve.
RESTORATION . . .
Starting in the early 1990s, local cottagers began volunteering their time to recover and upgrade additional Limberlost trails. The initial objective was to make the trails safer and easier for visitors wishing to explore the pristine lakes and enjoy the stunning vantage points overlooking the surrounding forests.
Working mostly on weekends, 70 kilometres of hiking trails have since been re-established, ranking them once again among the very best in the country. A further 30 kilometres have been identified for future restoration, but are currently in medium to rough condition.
The trail system is critical in qualifying Limberlost as a sustainable forest wildlife reserve, as distinct from a park or a nature conservancy. Parks are designed essentially for human recreation, whereas nature conservancies are dedicated to plant and animal life, with minimal human intrusion. Limberlost limits woodland roads, log landings, cottage clearings and beachfront areas to less than two percent of the reserve’s land area, while its hiking trails facilitate forest stewardship and reduce the need for logging roads.
By maintaining well groomed trails, visitors to the reserve are encouraged to remain on the established routes and not venture off them and thereby damage animal habitats and plant growth. Furthermore, large segments of the reserve experience virtually no human activity, including designated wetlands and the secluded valleys in the western and southern quadrants of the reserve.
Visitors will note from the numerous tracks left on the surface of the hiking trails that both large and small animals use them to ease their movement between foraging areas, fresh water and the areas where they bed down.
Because of the high quality of the trails, artists, wildlife photographers and bird watchers are able to walk silently through the forest and wetland meadows without being concerned about snapping twigs or rustling leaves which could forewarn animals and birds of their approach.
During the course of restoring the trails a number of new natural and historical features were discovered. These, together with Limberlost’s many other unique features, are described in our Master Trail Guide with the objective of making every visit an enjoyable learning experience.