Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: August 2021
Clear Creek Forest is a protected nature reserve that is located outside of Chatham. It is under the administration of the nearby Rondeau Provincial Park and contains a deciduous forest. The forest here is home to many species-at-risk and features a 300-year-old beech tree that is believed to be Ontario’s oldest. Clear Creek Forest also contains evidence of native inhabitants and an archaeological site.
To access Clear Creek Forest, there is a small parking lot along Cochrane Line and Duart Road that can accomodate a handful of cars. There are two short trails on either side of the road. We first explored the trail on the northern side of the road where we parked.
After walking around the red gate, we had two choices: there was a wide path to the left and to the right. We first followed the path to the left, which starts off promising as it looks like it follows along an old road, but this essentially leads to nowhere. So we turned around and walked the other way. We had better luck on this path and after a few hundred metres, it leads to a decommissioned quarry.
Afterwards we walked back to the road. We crossed to the other side and found the other trail a few hundred feet up the road. The path loops through the forest and is relatively flat and wide.
Along the path we passed a Nature Conservancy monument. The Nature Conservancy of Canada, along with Ontario Parks, worked together to secure Clear Creek Forest and turned it into a provincial nature reserve.
After walking through some tall grass, the trail comes out to the road where there’s another sign to indicate that this is the Clear Creek Forest. We walked a few hundred metres along the road to get back to the parking lot. We definitely had to do a tick patrol afterwards.
We hopped back in the car and headed towards Port Burwell to continue our road trip around Lake Erie.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here