There are some wonderful nature trails near Port Franks that are worth a visit. The trails wind through the large Lambton Heritage Forest and there are a couple of ways of accessing them. The first trail we explored starts out from Outer Drive. There is a 911 address sign for the trail, number 7101, and the trail access is located on the north side of the road just before the road curves sharply to the right. At the time of year that we walked this trail (early June), there were plenty of mosquitoes, so apply repellent generously before heading out. Consider using one which also helps to protect against ticks. The trail is easy to moderate, with a few slopes, and forms a loop that’s perhaps 1.5 kilometers long. Most of the wildlife we sighted was on the first half of the loop, the section to the left. There is a nice bench to sit and relax on at the midpoint. The trail also connects to another trail that we didn’t fully explore.
When we parked on the shoulder of the road for this trail, as we exited our vehicle we spotted two immature bald eagles soaring low overhead. They were gone so quickly there wasn’t time to grab the camera. Along the trail there were many warblers, with the highlight being the Hooded Warbler. Also of note were Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue and Common Yellowthroat…. We were especially excited to spot an Eastern Hognose Snake and he was accommodating enough to allow us to snap several photos. All along the trail you will hear and see an abundance of chipmunks.
There are more trails through the forest heading out behind Port Franks Community Center, where you will find plenty of parking and public washrooms too. We did the Tulip Trail, roughly 2 kilometers long and an easy walk. The trail was quite wide too. Watch out for horse droppings on this trail!
This trail had a Hooded Warbler also, along with Vireos and Flycatchers. Evidence of Pileated Woodpeckers could be seen. We even saw a Grouse with a brood of chicks who dispersed into the underbrush when we came upon them. The last bird we spotted was a Scarlet Tanager.
There are more trails in the Lambton Heritage Forest to explore and we will certainly be back to check out every one of them; we hope you will too.