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Alexander Hope Smith Nature Reserve

Alexander Hope Smith wetland
Alexander Hope Smith wetland

In 2007, Ms. Hope Smith donated 113 acres on the south side of Boyd’s Creek, just north of the village of Washago to the Conservancy. This precious tract of green space is now known as the Alexander Hope Smith Nature Reserve, in memory of her grandfather, one of the early settlers in this area.

The Reserve is located in the core of The Land Between and showcases the diverse habitats found in the transition zone along the southern edge of the Canadian Shield. This property provides vital habitat for species in danger of disappearing. Species such as the Blanding’s turtle, milksnake, eastern hognose snake, and the five-lined skink, Ontario’s only lizard which are found in this region.

Visitors are welcome to walk the newly created trails or canoe Boyd’s Creek.

Click here to see the trail map.

Location

Directions begin in downtown Washago (corner of County Road 169 and Muskoka Street): Drive north on Muskoka Street 1.7 km to Cooper’s Falls Road; turn right onto Cooper’s Falls Road and go 1.7 km to Riverdale Drive; turn right onto Riverdale drive and go 2.9 km to end of road (this road is shaped like a “J”… follow it to the dead-end cul-de-sac). Trailhead sign is on right, just prior to cul-de-sac. Park on road side or in cul-de-sac.

Alexander Hope Smith Nature Reserve II

The second part of the Alexander Hope Smith Nature Reserve was secured in 2008, and it is currently owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust, and managed by the Couchiching Conservancy. This property, along with the southern portion, protects 90.4 hectares (223.4 acres) along Boyd’s Creek, east of Washago.

Although the property was a working forest until 2008, it contains significant wetland communities as well as moist deciduous forests and open rock barrens. There are no walking trails on this portion however it is open to the public. Visitors can enjoy a canoe or kayak paddle along Boyd’s Creek.

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