Getting winter ready at South Nation Conservation areas

BROCK Conservation

With winter weather approaching, South Nation Conservation  (SNC) has begun closing its seasonal Conservation Areas and is removing safety booms and shoreline docks along rivers within the region.

SNC explains that they maintain seasonal Conservation Areas and municipal partner sites with river access officially between May and October each year and extend access into April and November when the weather and water conditions are safe for public use.

In preparation for the closure of the parks in November, SNC says water levels were adjusted on the South Nation River at the Chesterville Dam to prepare for winter operations and several safety and debris booms have already been removed ahead of water control structures. They add that the remaining booms and public docks will be removed from all sites in the coming weeks.

While the closing of seasonal river-access sites in November is a sign that winter is on its way, SNC is reminding residents that it maintains 9 public parks with recreational trails all year round, making them an ideal destination for winter activities.

The following Conservation Areas and Municipal parks and trails offer a 25 km network of winter-groomed trails and recreation opportunities for residents during the snowy season:

- Two Creeks Forest Conservation Area, Morrisburg, ON - 4km
- Robert Graham Forest Conservation Area, Glen Stewart, ON - 2km
- Warwick Forest Conservation Area, Berwick, ON - 6km
- Nokomis Park - 464 Limoges Road, Limoges, ON - 1km
- J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area, Russell, ON - 0.8km
- W. E. Burton Conservation Area, Russell, ON - 1.2km
- Russell Recreational Trail, Russell, ON - 7km
- Oschmann Forest Conservation Area, Ormond, ON - 1.2km
- Reveler Conservation Area, Crysler, ON - 3.2km

"We are proud to offer winter recreation in our year-round Conservation Areas," said John Mesman, Managing Director of SNC’s Properties, Conservation Lands and Community Outreach, "trails are groomed after every major snowfall, making the trails accessible through winter for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing."

SNC is also taking to chance to remind residents to wear proper footwear and warm clothing while using SNC trails this winter and to be cautious when the trails are slippery and wet.

For fall visitors during hunting season, SNC is reminding people that hunting and trapping is not permitted in SNC Conservation Areas with active trail networks and encourages hunters with valid SNC permits to access the over 8,500 acres of land the Authority makes available for hunting. Park visitors are encouraged to wear orange, high-visibility, and reflective clothing during fall.

"We know that these trails are loved and used by many residents in the watershed and 200,000 visitors are recorded using our trails every year," explained Mesman. "We try to keep them open as long as Mother Nature lets us, which usually leads to seasonal closures mid to late November."

With files by CFRA's Connor Ray