Anyone from the Niagara Region has probably heard of Woodend Conservation Area as it’s a popular destination for school field trips. The area was originally settled by United Empire Loyalist families (those who followed the Royal Standard and settled in Canada during the American Revolution) towards the end of the 1700s. In 1796 the land belonged to the Van Every family who built the dwellings you still see today. These are now being used as an environmental education centre by the Lincoln County Board of Education. The area is officially owned by Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority who purchased the land in 1974. Since then they have developed numerous programs aimed at conserving, developing, and managing the natural resources within the Niagara Peninsula.
As Woodend is located along the Niagara Escarpment, the Bruce Trail runs through the area in addition to their two trails: the Hardwood and Silurian Trail. You can also find the Wetland Trail which runs behind Niagara College’s Teaching Winery. This trail is part of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail, a 32km long trail dedicated to Laura Secord herself and traces her path as she delivered the life-saving message of the Americans attack to the British and Canadian forces during the war of 1812. If you’re interested in Laura’s journey, I found a great article explaining it here. To top it all off, the Trans Canada Trail can also be found in the park – it’s a hiker’s paradise!
The photos I took are from all over the park, but they’re mainly focused on the Bruce Trail and the Wetland Trail. It’s a beautiful area that’s open all year round, making it open to winter hiking and cross-country skiing. Since the area’s woods are quite thick there isn’t much wind but gusts can appear while in the clearings. It’s a beautiful area and I highly suggest checking it out when you have the chance!