SNC offers winter recreation at select conservation areas

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With winter weather approaching, South Nation Conservation (SNC) has begun closing its seasonal conservation areas and is removing safety booms and shoreline docks along rivers within the region.

SNC maintains seasonal conservation areas and municipal partner sites with river access officially between May and October each year and extends access into April and November when the weather and water conditions are safe for public use.

In preparation for the closure of the parks in November, water levels were adjusted on the South Nation River at the Chesterville Dam to prepare for winter operations and several safety and debris booms have already been removed ahead of water control structures. Remaining booms and public docks will be removed from all sites in the coming weeks.

While the closing of seasonal river-access sites in November is a sign that winter is on its way, SNC is reminding residents that it maintains 9 public parks with recreational trails all year round, making them the perfect destination for winter activities.

The following conservation areas and municipal parks and trails offer a 25 km network of winter groomed trails and recreation opportunities for residents during the snowy season:

  • Two Creeks Forest Conservation Area, Morrisburg, ON – 4k
  • Robert Graham Forest Conservation Area, Glen Stewart, ON – 2km
  • Warwick Forest Conservation Area, Berwick,ON – 6km
  • Nokomis Park – 464 Limoges Road, Limoges, ON – 1km
  • J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area, Russell, ON – 0.8km
  • W. E. Burton Conservation Area, Russell, ON – 1.2km
  • Russell Recreational Trail, Russell, ON – 7km
  • Oschmann Forest Conservation Area, Ormond, ON – 1.2km
  • Reveler Conservation Area, Crysler, ON – 3.2km

“We are proud to offer winter recreation in our year-round conservation areas,” said John Mesman, Managing Director of SNC’s Properties, Conservation Lands and Community Outreach, “trails are groomed after every major snowfall, making the trails accessible through winter for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.”

SNC reminds residents to wear proper footwear and warm clothing while using SNC trails this winter and to also be cautious when the trails are slippery and wet.

For fall visitors during hunting season, SNC is reminding people that hunting and trapping is not permitted in SNC conservation areas with active trail networks and encourages hunters with valid SNC permits to access the over 8,500 acres of land the Authority makes available for hunting. Park visitors are encouraged to wear orange, high-visibility and reflective clothing during fall. 

“We know that these trails are loved and used by many residents in the watershed and 200,000 visitors are recorded using our trails every year,” explained Mesman. “We try to keep them open as long as Mother Nature lets us, which usually leads to seasonal closures mid to late November.”

SNC helps manage over 20,000 acres of conservation land in Eastern Ontario and many Conservation Areas have been donated through SNC’s Land Securement Program to help maintain natural legacies for donors and to provide people a place to step outdoors and into nature.

SNC is a not-for-profit, community-based environmental agency that relies on donations and self-generated revenue to protect and enhance the local environment across its 4,480 square-kilometer jurisdiction on behalf of its 16 partner municipalities.

For a complete list of conservation areas managed by SNC, please visit: www.nation.on.ca/recreation/about-recreation.

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