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8. Deacon

Conservation Reserve OverviewEnterance to trailBeaudrys Creek | A pretty creek along the trail.Habenaria psycodes | An orchid along Beaudrys Creek.Hairy Solomon's Seal | A nice plant along Beaudrys Creek.Ebony Jewelwing | A damsel along Beaudrys CreekFragrant Sumac | A plant on the hillside.Woodland Sunflower | A flower of the upper elevation.The view toward Golden Lake | Looking south.View toward Round Lake | Looking west.Harebell | A flower on the rockey hilltop.A garden of Lichens

The Deacon Escarpment is accessible by a foot path and is worth the climb.  The view is great.  This is Crown land and is known as the Deacon Reserve Conservation Escarpment (2,200 hectares).  The escarpment rises over 150 metres from the Bonnechere River valley.  Talus slopes, southerly exposed ridge tops and hummocky forested uplands, undisturbed oak savannah and numerous small lakes, ponds and wetlands make up the landscape.  If you're handy with a map (topographic map: Golden Lake, 31 F11) compass and GPS unit, there is plenty to explore.

  Numerous wildlife species are also found within the reserve.  Large and small mammals such as bear, moose, deer, fox, wolf, coyote, fisher, marten; aquatic animals such as mink, otter, muskrat and beaver.

 

The rocky and sometimes steep trail starts from the intersection of Tramore and Kilby Roads.  The trail is not obvious and begins behind the green Kilby Road sign.  Beaudrys Creek, which starts behind Camboose Mountain and spills down to Kilby Road, forms tiny chutes and waterfalls and runs along a short section of the trail.  Some plants of interest along this section including Smaller Purple-fringed Orchis (before mid July), Blue Skullcap and Fragrant Bedstraw.

The trail curves and levels out on the way to the top, where patches of Woodland Sunflower blanket the bases of rock outcrops.  Listen for Dark-eyed Junco, Hermit Thrush and Eastern Wood-Pewee.  Red Cedar

(Juniperus virginiana) grows along the face of the escarpment, rare this far north in Ontario.  Prairie Warbler, which finds this habitat suitable, can sometimes be heard in the Red Oaks and Red Cedar along the cliff face.  Due to the updraft created by the steep slope, raptors, Common Ravens and Turkey Vultures are often seen circling above the escarpment and sometimes soar by at eye level when you are enjoying the view from on top.

Some plants found in the middle to upper slope are: Fragrant Sumac, Wood Lily, Early Saxifrage, New Jersey Tea, Rusty Woodsia and Mackay’s Fragile Fern.  The Deacon Escarpment is full of surprises for everyone.

 

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