Saturday was a perfect day for 45 nature enthusiasts to enjoy a beautiful hike! The hike was hosted by Lambton Shores Nature Trails and led by Klaus Keunecke who provided information about the history of the trails before we headed out. The Dunes and Swales trail is well marked and there is a good map at the trail head. Near the sign is a Tulip Tree (with distinctive stripy bark), a Carolinian tree, and looking down the trail a few meters you can see pine trees which are more indicative of northern climates. Larry Cornelis pointed out what a unique habitat the area is because it is where “north meets south”.
The trails are on 145 acres owned by Nature Conservancy Canada and run along 7 dunes parallel with the Lake Huron shoreline. Along the way we saw many interesting plants including the Winterberry (Ilex verticilatta) which is a species of holly and is an important food source for birds.
One of the tallest ferns we saw along the trail is called a Royal Fern.
Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens). Not to be confused with the Newfoundland “partridgeberry” which is a relative of lingonberry.