Keeping the house, the kids and the hubby without breaking the bank, the earth, the people I love, or myself.

Heartland Forest, Niagara Falls, Ontario

This is the entry to the two-and-a-half mile trail system of the Heartland Forest. There is signage along the way that will educate and inform you about the various flora and fauna of this incredible Carolinian Forest.

Before you even enter the Forest, you'll see two large and lovely butterfly gardens. I saw a giant swallowtail butterfly, which I was unable to photograph. I saw others, too, but I couldn't tell you what they were other than pretty.

Some of that incredible Carolinian Forest.

This is the sign at the parking area. All of the Heartland Forest is wheelchair accessible.

The cabin.

She's trying to see the bear in there. I can see it. Many projects are in progress at the Heartland Forest.

A patch of jewel Weed. The flowers of these are orange and reddish.
Remember what I said about Jewel Weed in an earlier post?

It often grows near Poison Ivy and here is the Poison Ivy. Poison Ivy doesn't have a set of rules for easy identification. Sometimes its leaves are smooth-edged, and sometimes they're toothed. Just remember that old adage from your childhood camping days and honour it:
"Leaves of three, leave them be!"

Hiking is always an adventure. There is always a series of discoveries to be made.
Today, my daughter found this wonderful Hawk feather. How cool is that?

RJ found one of those threatened Fowler's Toads. I'm really glad I heard its mating call found at that link before hearing it in person. That would totally freak me out!
See the light line going down the center of its back and the dark spots on either side? Those, along with the elongate parotid glands which contact its prominent cranial crests are identifying features of Fowler's Toads. (The glands look like raised bumps behind the second set of black spots just behind the toad's head.)

I discovered a Mayapple with fruit:
I have rarely seen a Mayapple fruit. They are edible, however the skins and seeds are poisonous. The Mayapple is currently under investigation as a possible cancer fighter.

Roy discovered an adult Fowler's Toad:
Can you see it against the log? You may need to click on the picture to view it in more detail.

Here it is:

A little bit of the more-than two miles of trails in the Heartland Forest. Remember, it is all wheelchair accessible.

We didn't get to see the whole Hearland Forest as I did not realize that it was part of a protected wetland. The mosquitos were HORRIBLE! We were unprepared for the nasty buggies and we were all being eaten alive. So we ran out of the forest and spent some time exploring the butterfly gardens and ongoing construction outside of the Forest entry.

They do have a learning fish & frog pond in progress. Some people were already exploring its inhabitants with nets, but after the bug attack in the forest we did not want to be near a water source!

You can learn a lot more about the Heartland Forest at its website. There are also easy to follow directions. It's only a couple miles from downtown Niagara Falls. The Heartland Forest was rescued from designation for industrial development.

Upon entry to the unpave, gravel road that goes to the Heartland Forest, you can see all the destruction of habitat on the opposite side of the street. It was heartbreaking and very poignant to view after having visited the forest itself.

Judging from the regularly-spaced fireplugs along the entry road, it seems that Industrial Park will probably be complete in the next couple of years. Say goodbye to all that habitat (except for the protected Heartland Forest).

If you plan on visiting during warm weather, be prepared for the mosquitoes so you can enjoy the whole experience without having to run screaming from the bloodsuckers!


Angry In Oman 3:59 AM  

Another Niagara jewel that I was unaware of... my parents suck!

Thanks for sharing :)

CannedAm 5:29 PM  


This one's pretty new though. We only just learned about it this summer :)

Gill - That British Woman 7:09 PM  

Again a great place to go, thanks it looks interesting.


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About This Blog

Saving money. Saving graces. Raising children, husbands and, sometimes, cats. Laughing. Living. Thinking. Doing. Life in the Niagara Region of Ontario.

About Me

I am a happily married woman with four children and various cats and kittens (fosters). I love to read and my favourite authors are George RR Martin, Thomas Hardy, Raymond Carver, PD James, Kurt Vonnegut, J. K. Rowling, and Margaret Atwood. I know there are only three women in that list (and none of them American), so if you'd like to suggest some I'm willing to give them a shot! And yes, I am an American living in Canada. (Hence the nick -- CannedAm.) I like it here. There are things about the states that I miss, but my love is here and this country has things to offer that my own does not. Things that make my quality of life much better than it ever was in Ohio. Guess I'm stuck here. Though there's a nice spot in the Appalachian hills where I'd love to spend my retirement.

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