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East Coulson Swamp Reserve

Coulson Swamp
Coulson Swamp Upland Forest - photo by Harold Atwood

Margaret Atwood donated this special property set within the forested hills of the Oro Moraine to the nature Conservancy of Canada. An additional 7 hectares were purchased to consolidate a large block of forest habitat around the Reserve by linking to adjacent properties owned by the County of Simcoe and the Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club. The Couchiching Conservancy signed a stewardship agreement in 2003 for the 35 hectares with the Reserve.

Unique features of this property

  • part of the East Coulson provincially significant wetland is located within this property
  • surrounded by upland forest as well as headwaters for the Coldwater River
  • important to the water recharge of the Oro Moraine
  • home to forest interior birds such as Scarlet Tanager, Wood thrush and Black-throated Green Warbler
  • nesting area for Red-shouldered Hawk
  • vernal pools provide ideal conditions for many species of frogs and salamanders
  • good diversity of vascular plants and butterflies

Best time to visit: spring and summer

Location

From Orillia, take HWY 12 N and turn left onto 15 Line N. Then right onto Bass Lake Side Road. There is a “jog” at 13 Line N (turn left and then right back onto Bass Lake Side Rd). Follow until you come to the closed Line 9 parking area at the side of the road. Park at the big steel gate.

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