Island Eco-Trail, Middle Point

Near the east end of Harris-Garno Road is the Florian Diamante Nature Reserve and the beginning of the Eco-Trail that is suitable for cycling or walking. It goes south through fields and along hedgerows as well as woodlands, some of which are alvar (thin soil over limestone) habitats with a diversity of wildflowers, butterflies, birds, and rare island snakes. From this trail the new Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) wetland complex can be seen. This 25 ha. wetland was created by breaking artificial drainage tiles, excavating low-lying areas, and building a 1.5 km berm around the outside. This site was once part of a large interior marsh on Pelee Island that was drained in the late 1800s. NCC restored this habitat in 2020-21 and it is now bustling with wildlife. Follow the trail around the edge of the wetland to the wildlife viewing blind, or drive to the parking area off Henderson Rd.

Continuing south on the Eco-Trail, one comes to Brown’s Road. The trail south is good for hiking but less suitable for cycling. It goes through open woodlands and open shrubby alvar, good seasonally for bird and butterfly, wildflowers and an occasional surprise showing of endangered grey foxes or blue racers! It ends at Mission Hall, the recently re-constructed 1911 Pegg’s Mission Church.

Further south is Middle Point. To the west of East Shore Road is a large field that the NCC has restored to meadow habitat with several excavated ponds. This field was restored between 2015-2018 by planting locally collected seed from a variety of native wildflowers, grasses and trees. The shallow-soiled northern half of the field will be maintained as grassland habitat, while the south end will slowly mature into forest. Because this area has thin soil over Limestone, the exposed bedrock, especially by the central pond, is a good place to see glacial striations, as well as the wildlife attracted to the water. Watch for large flocks of swallows during migration, Indigo Buntings staking their claim during breeding season, egrets and herons stalking prey in the ponds and foraging Northern Harriers flying low over the field. There is parking here as well as a trail system connecting the ponds.

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