For the nature lover, the 4.6 km of established trails are an interesting feature to the area. The trail system branches off into various lengths each offering uniquely different experiences and habitats. Some spots along the way are wet enough to warrant rubber boots. If one keeps a keen eye, a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat may be observed.
We ask that you take only pictures and leave only footprints. Please remember that you are visiting a wildlife sanctuary - the home to the birds and wildlife that you see. Please stay on the marked trails to ensure that plants are not trampled and that you are walking on safe ground.
The trails are open year-round.
Be sure to stop in during Christmas in the Country, the largest event at Sulphur Spring Conservation Area (formerly known as Headquarters Conservation Area), hosted by the Saugeen Valley Conservation Foundation.
During this festive event, the park is adorned with thousands of lights and hundreds of candle lanterns. Activities abound in each of the buildings on the grounds. In addition, the event features unique demonstrations, story telling, train rides, a cafe, horse-drawn wagon rides and visits with Santa in his very own igloo! A great event for children and adults of all ages.
Sulphur Springs Trail meanders along the southern edge of a wetland area and the main stream that feeds the waterways of this park. The acidic environment in this area plays host to unusual plants which have adapted to the specialized conditions. The trail takes approximately 20-25 minutes to walk.
The highlight of this trail is a large spring which is roughly one metre in diameter and approximately 3 metres (10 feet) deep. As you approach the spring, you may notice a sulphur odour. The water passes through an underground sulphur layer before emerging to feed the streams and ponds. The same odour is experienced at rapids and waterfalls, where the Sulphur Springs water mixes with the air.
The water temperature registers 9 degrees C (49 F) year round; never freezing in the winter. The flow of the water from the spring is constant. It never varies in velocity and would be capable of filling 27 bathtubs with clear cold water every minute! A myriad of colours shimmer in the water, small bubbles rise and spread on the surface and black and silver algae wave like feathers in the crystal clear water.
Corduroy Road Trail takes approximately 10-15 minutes to walk.
This trail features a stretch of boardwalk that winds through a fen which is acidic in nature. The growth of the larch and cedar trees in this area have been stunted by the excessive moisture around their roots and the nitrogen poor soils. Unique bog flowers such as orchids, grass of Parnassus and insect eating pitcher plants thrive on this type of soil.
The vegetation found in corduroy road trail environment provides ideal natural habitat conditions for a variety of animals. Cedar thickets provide excellent wintering grounds for deer. Twigs and seeds are food for rabbits, squirrels and birds.
Rabbit Road takes about 30 minutes to walk.
The old cedar stumps on this trail not only offer superb hiding and hibernating locations, but supply the necessary nutrients for yellow birch seeds to start their growth cycle. As the stumps decompose, the roots of the yellow birch must reach solid ground to stabilize their footing. Many "perched" birches can be seen along this trail.
Hardwoods Highlands Trail takes roughly 30-45 minutes to walk. This trail offers you the opportunity to study various tree species and appreciate the limitless contributions of our forests. Carpets of wildflowers cover the forest floor in the spring along this beautiful trail.
The Miller Family Celebration Forest is also featured here, a program of the Saugeen Valley Conservation Foundation. Here, individuals can dedicate a mature tree to that someone special for any of life's important celebrations. Trees have been dedicated for birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, or simply just for the fun of it! Trees are priced according to size. Species vary and tree quality is excellent in this forest.
Every tree dedicated is marked with a permanent plaque in recognition of the donor, the recipient and the occasion.