|In this small patch of woods, only a half-hour bike ride from downtown Peterborough, you come face to face with maples and hemlocks between 200 and 460 years old. A few trees have signs showing their age, but the oldest are unmarked.
|Park Name: Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park|
|Size: 44 ha|
|Age of oldest known trees: 460 years|
|Forest Type: Mixed Hardwood and Hemlock|
|Conservation Status: Protected|
|Land Use Designation: Provincial Park
Most of the park is old-growth forest
|Despite its location, this seems to be among the less disturbed forest remnants still standing in southern Ontario. Many of the hardwoods have been logged on the east side of the forest but there are few signs of major human impacts on the lower west side of the Park besides a few large pine trees that were removed long ago. Excellent examples of old hemlock and maple trees are found here. The larger maples along the trail commonly reach about 28 metres in height and the hemlocks are up to 33 metres, or about ten stories tall. However, these trees are not incredibly wide, and you could walk right by them if you don't look carefully. The oldest tree aged in this forest so far was a hemlock that was only 53 cm in diameter when it died recently. But, when a tree core was extracted from it, 439 annual growth rings were counted. This tree would have started growing around the year 1550, and was around 460 years old when it died, making it one of Ontario's oldest known hemlock trees. This forest, and especially the old-growth portion, is very small, but well worth a visit if you're in the neighbourhood. Because of its location, it can be fairly busy on nice weekends. One shrub to watch for is leatherwood, which is common in this forest but generally uncommon in the region. Pit and mound topography is very well developed in this forest, even on the logged east side of the Park. When visiting Ontario's hemlock forests in late winter or spring before leaf-out, please watch for hemlock woolly adelgid.|
Google Map Link: www.google.com/maps/place/44.29700,-78.27000
Other Maps: Directions: Burnham Woods is located on the southeast corner of the City of Peterborough, on the north side of Hwy. 7 (Landsdowne Ave.), 0.5 km east of Television Rd. The trail through the Woods forms two loops from the parking area
Mark S. Burnham Trail
Difficulty(1=Easy, 10=Hard): 2
A short loop with one moderately steep hill, the trail is wide and flat. A nice walk, and though the gate is closed it is possible to park and x-country ski in winter.