Journeys in ancient and old growth forests
Peter's Woods 
This is a small remnant of maple-oak-pine forest, probably typical of what the majority of the Oak Ridges Moraine was once like. Historically, some large white pines were selectively logged from this forest, but otherwise an unusually intact forest.
Park Name: Peter's Woods Provincial Nature Reserve 
Size: 33 ha
Age of oldest known trees: 470 years
Forest Type: Mixed Hardwood, Hemlock, and White Pine 
Conservation Status: Protected 
Land Use Designation: Provincial Park 
Most of the park is old-growth forest 
At first, the trail crosses an old field that is rapidly being reclaimed by nature, and follows the fence-line of this field where now a young forest of birch and poplar is growing. Before long you find yourself in a forest of mixed ages, made up of sugar maple, red and white oak, and white pine. When you first arrive at the old growth you'll be greeted by a white oak near the trail that is over one metre in diameter. Elsewhere in Peter's Woods, another white oak has reached a phenomenal 118 cm in diameter and 34 metres in height. These oaks were aged by biologist Norman Martin at up to 460 years old, and are unusually wide for this forest. In addition, some maples that you could almost put your arms around are up to 470 years old, and many of the larger ones are over 30 metres (nine stories) tall. The largest trees are the giant white pines that are scattered throughout the stand. Some are over a metre across, 37 metres tall, and at least 280 years old. This type of hardwood forest with old white pines intermixed throughout was common in southern Ontario, but in most forests the pines were selectively removed in the 19th century or before. The hike through Peter's Woods is a beautiful, but fairly short summer ramble. The coming of winter to this forest creates a whole new perspective. Once the ground is thoroughly frozen and has a good cover of snow you can leave the trails and explore. You'll find that you can continue for a little while to the east, where the character of the woods changes somewhat, with large hemlocks becoming common. Peter's Woods is part of the Rice Lake Plains portion of the Oak Ridges Moraine. When visiting Ontario's hemlock forests in late winter or spring before leaf-out, please watch for hemlock woolly adelgid.
Latitude: 44.12300           Longitude: -78.04400

Google Map Link:,-78.04400

Other Maps:   Directions: From Hwy. 45 (between Cobourg and Norwood), travel east on County Rd. 29 (Oak Ridges Rd.) for 3.2 km. Turn right on McDonald Rd. (opposite a small cemetery) and drive 2 km. The parking lot for the Nature Reserve is at the end of a small lane on the left that is clearly marked

Hiking Trail:
  Peter's Woods Trail
  Length: 1.0km
  Difficulty(1=Easy, 10=Hard): 2
  An easy trail but with some hills