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CONSERVATION

The Bruce Trail is more than just a footpath. It plays a vital role in protecting and preserving one of Canada’s most important natural environments.


The Bruce Trail Conservancy mission is to create a secure and permanent conservation corridor, containing a public footpath along the Niagara Escarpment, in order to protect its natural ecosystems. As one of Ontario's largest land trusts, we have been responsible for the preservation of 10,000 acres of land since 1974. We have protected a diverse array of landscape types - wetlands, karst topography, open meadows, caves, towering scarp edges and lush forests. This work has been instrumental in the Niagara Escarpment being named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations in 1990.


Thank you to all our Donors who have given so generously to our land acquisition campaigns and helped to preserve these irreplaceable treasures!


Success! Take a look at some of our newly protected properties within the Sydenham section:

Silent Valley

Silent Valley is a place of cultural, geological and biological diversity that calls for exploration. For decades the trees on this land were harvested. Now this forest is regenerating, and this nature reserve's diverse habitats - ponds, meadows, forest and cliff - can once again thrive.

Where is Silent Valley (map)? (44.555691, -80.750767)

Several Side Trails have been built on this property to help explore and learn (reference BTC Guidebook - Map 30).

Read the Owen Sound Sun Times article "Grey County's Silent Valley has stories to tell" by Joe Weppler (includes six pictures).

Learn more about Silent Valley by reading the book! It may be purchased locally from any SBTC Board member, or online through the Bruce Trail Conservancy.

Book review by Sandra J. Howe | Book review by Bill Nelson

Fossil Glen

Fossil Glen is a 68-acre gem approximately 6 km north of Owen Sound. It has many unique wonders:

‣ The unique moss and fern covered dolostone ridge, which supports a community of Eastern White Cedar and Mountain Maple. This ridge is host to fossils that are 430 million years old.

‣ The impressive display of ferns including: Walking Fern, Mackay's Bladder Fern, Bulblet Fern, Goldie's Wood Fern, Narrowleaved Glade Fern, Marginal Wood Fern, Spinulose Shield Fern, Intermediate Wood Fern and a healthy population of Hart's Tongue Fern (a provincial and national Species of Special Concern)

‣ The protective canopy of Sugar Maple, Hemlock, White Ash and American Beech trees that are approaching Old Growth condition

‣ A coldwater, groundwater spring from the Escarpment face that empties into a pond providing excellent habitat for waterfowl and amphibians

Where is Fossil Glen (map)?  parking 44.649464, -80.964433

The Main Trail has been re-routed through this property (reference BTC Guidebook - Map 33).

Ferns of the Sydenham section

Some hikers are familiar with a pamphlet available in Grey and Bruce Counties entitled FERN CHECKLIST. On the back it states, "Welcome To Owen Sound. The Fern Capital of Ontario" and was written by Nelson (Nels) Maher. The 38 fern silhouettes with both common and scientific names is wonderful to have on a hike especially in the Sydenham section of the Bruce Trail.

There are numerous fern books on the market. One worth consideration is A Guide to the Ferns of Grey & Bruce Counties authored by the Bruce-Grey Plant Committee, Owen Sound Field Naturalists.

Featured Fern Website
Ontario Ferns by Walter Muma - This site is a well illustrated and organized inventory of the ferns of Ontario.

Ontario Ferns by Walter Muma


There are links to other sites Mr. Muma has created such as Ontario Wildflowers (check out the Fringed Polygala, the rare white form, Ontario Trees, The World of Mosses and more.  The "In Memory of Robert Muma" (Walter's father) section includes a very interesting profile of Robert Muma - well worth reading.

Links to a Few Fern Websites