|Clear Creek Forest|
|A significant old-growth forest bordering Clear Creek, composed of Beech, Black Maple, Sugar Maple and other species, with estimated ages of at least 300 years.
|Park Name: Clear Creek Forest|
|Size: 80 ha|
|Age of oldest known trees: 300 years|
|Forest Type: Mixed Hardwoods|
|Conservation Status: Protected|
|Land Use Designation: Provincial Park
About 80 hectares of the park has remained continuously forested, the remainder is regenerating forest
|Clear Creek Forest is one of the most significant woodlands in the Chatham-Kent area, and is one of the few habitats in Ontario for Acadian flycatchers, which are listed as an endangered species in Canada. A large reserve has been protected here, but only part of it is old-growth forest. The remainder is either younger forest or fields in the process of being restored to forest. The old growth has two components. The first is a small wedge of old forest with large beech, black cherry, basswood, and sugar maple trees. This forest, found along a ridge overlooking the Clear Creek valley, probably has had some history of logging but is still an impressive forest. The other larger area of old-growth forest is contiguous to this ridge forest, but it is found on the valley slopes and valley bottom, and is dominated by black maple. There are no trails into the valley bottom, but there are beautiful views looking from the ridge into this towering forest. Some black maple also can be found growing along the ridge trail. It can be easily identified by its leaves, which are larger than typical sugar maple leaves, have distinct hair on the underside, and tend to look droopy. The forest was protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which entered an agreement with Ontario Parks for it to be managed as a Provincial Park. The information and description of this forest are from Ontario's Old-Growth Forests: a Guidebook Complete with History, Ecology and Maps|
Google Map Link: www.google.com/maps/place/42.48200,-81.73100
Other Maps: Directions: Exit from Hwy. 401 at Orford Rd. (exit #117). Turn south on Orford Rd., make an immediate right at the T- intersection and follow the main road through the Village of Highgate, you will be driving on King St., which will turn into Bury Rd. Continue past Macdonald Line, and when you get to a sharp s-curve watch for Cochrane Line veering off to the left on the last part of the s-curve (itís easy to miss this turn). Turn left (east) onto Cochrane Line and travel for approximately 3 km. Look for the trail-head within 100 m after you cross Clear Creek, just before the next road junction (42.482 Lat, -81.731 Long). Or, to access the trail at a different point, turn right at this junction onto Duart Rd. and drive for a few hundred metres until you see a pull-off with a gate, which should have a sign for the nature reserve.