More outdoor time this weekend! We didn’t venture too far this time around – headed along Bath Road/Hwy 33 past Amherstview. We ended up at the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority’s newest conservation area, Parrott’s Bay, for a leisurely stroll around a surprisingly large wetland. Our exploration was much less intense than last week. In fact, I wore boat shoes and jeans (in retrospect, it was way too hot for them). Still, some absolutely beautiful encounters with nature.
The conservation area was small enough for us to do a loop within about an hour (click here for trail map). From the parking lot on Hwy 33, we headed first to the lookout. It was a fairly short jaunt to a cute little gazebo overlooking the entire wetland.
We backtracked to where Trail 1 and 2 split, and headed north along Trail 2. The trails for the most part are well marked, but I would still suggest keeping a map with you (or a photo of it on your device). We continued on Trail 3 towards the bridge and were pleasantly surprised with what a nice walk it was. At the bridge, you get a view of the wetland to one side and Taylor Kidd on the other.
The best part of the trail came directly after this bridge, when we headed into what seemed like a fairly mature forest with very tall trees and a high canopy. It reminded us of being in the forests in BC!
We marvelled at the fact that we were still in Ontario and ventured on along Trail 4, then Trail 5. This place has an undisturbed quality to it, and perhaps doesn’t get as many visitors as some of the CRCA’s other properties. Most of the trails were in wooded areas, though a few sections wound through clearings. The boardwalk that is supposed to connect Trails 5 and 6 didn’t seem to exist, and the path was a little damp there, but it was nothing compared to the mud that we had trampled through last week. The trail eventually led us out to Bayview Drive, linking us up with Hwy 33. Despite having cars whizzing by us and only a shoulder to walk on, we found ourselves enamoured by the beautiful houses on the other side of the street. We made it back safely to our car, and headed on home.
Quite different from the conservation areas we frequent in Kingston, Parrott’s Bay is definitely a place we will be returning to. Next time, we might park at the lot along Taylor Kidd and explore some of the trails we didn’t get to on the north side of the conservation area. Either way, it’s a beautiful place.
One last picture for the post – pristine views of the lake on one of the most scenic drives around town.