Hiking Trails at Gordon’s Park
Enjoy our hiking trails through the diverse ecosystems of Gordon’s Park in the heart of a hardwood forest. Observe and listen to the beauty of nature around the lake, up the escarpment, in the swamp, and throughout the meadows. Along your hiking trails you can check out our natural butterfly habitat and the turtles and frogs by the lake. Study the wildflowers of each season, and the mushrooms, fossils, and geology around the escarpment. See what is left of the beech tree that was a winner in the Great Manitoulin Tree Hunt after it was hit by lightening, our Baden Powell Grove, and our RASC designated Dark Sky Preserve. Watch for wildlife viewing opportunities – local species include various song birds, hawks, partridges, deer, porcupines, foxes, and wolves.
Gordon’s Park is fortunate to house a prehistoric fossil reef from 450,000,000 years ago, filled with specimens from a variety of different corals and undersea critters from that time period. On our Jim Guy hiking trail you will see fossils such as invertebrate corals [tabulates (colonial) and rugose (solitary)], stromatoporoids, bryozoans, and echinoderms (crinoids), molluscs (nautiloids, bivalves, gastropods, cephalopods), brachiopods, echinoderms (crinoids), and more on the ancient reef in the park. Gordon’s Park is located on a drumlin and is a featured stop in the University of Waterloo’s book “Manitoulin Rocks.”
Our hiking trails have nature interpretive signs so you are able to both experience and learn about nature, including different trees and their history and unique uses. However, also included in the cost of the hiking trails is our nature interpretive centre where you are able to learn more about the plants, animals, fossils and trees you will see along your hike in the park. Our nature interpretive centre and hiking trails are free for use for all of our overnight guests.