A Couple Of Nature Hikes On The Cranberry Trail In Callander Ontario

A Couple Of Nature Hikes On The Cranberry Trail In Callander Ontario

Previous Post
Next Post

After arriving at the Terrace Suites resort in Callander Ontario, I quickly settled in my room. I was eager to explore this resort community overlooking Lake  Nipissing. I  asked the  friendly proprietor about any hiking trails in the area and she recommended the nearby Cranberry Creek Trial.  It was a short drive  on some rural roads and near  a golf course. I arrived at the trail mid-afternoon. It was sunny and warm with temperatures in the 80’s as I began my hike. 

The trail was wide and well maintained.

And, even on this warm afternoon, there were a lot of folks  hiking and biking on the trail. 

The trail first took me through a lush  hardwood forest of large black ash, silver maple , paper birch, American basswood  trees, and, a lot of  trees I hadn’t seen before,  such as  the  big-tooth aspen trees.  The canopy of trees  provided shade from the strong afternoon sun with some rays filtering through the leaves and creating pleasant contrast as I walked the trail. 

There were dense patches of sensitive ferns,

bracken ferns, and,

interrupted ferns growing along the trail. I was familiar with all of these ferns from my hikes near my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

Bunchberry dogwood flowers, 

meadow buttercups, 

and, appropriately named  , Canada mayflowers were blooming all along the trail. 

The trail continued into a mixed spruce, cedar and oak forest, There was a small wetland along the trail,

covered with blooming water arum flowers. 

Here I saw these dragonflies engaging in some afternoon amorous activities. 

However, because of the warm afternoon temperatures, there wasn’t a lot of other wildlife activity along the trail. I saw this veery singing on a branch along the trail, 

a few American redstarts, 

 an eastern phoebe and 

this eastern  chipmunk on my five mile hike. 

I also saw this edible  oyster mushroom., 

some star flowers, 

and these pretty bluebead lilies. I had never seen them before.

After about 2 1/2 miles the trail took me to the shores of Callander Bay on Lake Nipissing. 

 I enjoyed the view of this historic and scenic lake  and reflected on the  Native Americans, the explorers, the fur traders, the lumbermen and the settlors who stood here before me.

This lake was used  by all of these  groups as a means of getting from the Great Lakes to the Ottawa River and the Atlantic Ocean, 

After taking in the view of the lake I began  my hike back to my Jeep. It was a long day, I had hiked three miles in the morning, and drove 4 1/2 miles so I was tired and hungry when I finished my five mile hike.  I enjoyed the hike and decided I would return early the next morning.  I thought there would be a lot more bird active earlier in the day. .Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website  with some more photos from my afternoon  hike. Callander Ontario afternoon hike June 6 2023.  

I returned to my room, showered and changed and drove a few miles to the 1866 Lake House Bistro. I was told this fine dining establishment was one of the best in the Callander  area.  I drove to  the small community  near the lake and  I soon found  out the recommendation was right. I entered  the  historic building and was greeted by a pleasant young lady. She recommended the cream of green bean soup to start . I never had this  soup before and it was delicious. 

For my next course I had a baby arugula Caesar  salad and it was even better than the soup. 

My main course was amazingly delicious. I had the North Saskatchewan Arctic Char pan fried with Ugly Barn Farms mushroom risotto, green bean almandine, crispy skin, cranberry compote, tarragon cream reduction. It was by far the best meal I had on this trip and  in a long time before that.  

I was  full after the meal, but it was so good I had to try the desert. And I am glad I did. My server  highly recommended the salted caramel beignets served with  famous Belly vanilla ice cream. They were heavenly delicious. I was very full when I left. 

I returned to my room, just in time to change, edit a few photos and watch the setting sun. I was soon asleep looking forward to my early morning hike and then my first visit to Niagara Falls. 

I slept well and was up early.  There was no view of the rising sun from my room , so, after a cup of coffee I drove back to the Cranberry Trail as the sun rose in the east.

I followed the trail seeing the trees, wildflowers and scenery as the day before. But I was treated to a chorus of  song birds singing on this lovely June morning. 

I first  saw a chestnut sided warbler and  then 

another veery, I had seen one on hike here the previous afternoon.

 I continued my hike to a observation  platform overlooking the surrounding wetlands and here I sawsome cedar waxwings, 

a hairy woodpecker, 

I returned the trail and saw a mourning warbler, a new sighting or “lifer ” for me.

and a beautiful Blackburnian warbler. 

a few swamp sparrows,

a purple finch 

and, appropriately , a Canada warbler.   I now admit it, I have became a “birder” . I have always loved  seeing birds ad hearing their songs on my hikes but, since I got my digital camera about 10 years ago, and my zoom lenses, I have come to love and appreciate these beautiful, but often unnoticed residents of our woodlands.  I  especially love the migratory birds.  I love learning about them and  their long distance migrations, Many of these birds shown here will spend next Winter in the tropical and sub-tropical forests of Florida, the Caribbean, Central and South America. It is amazing and I am glad I can see and share some photos of them. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds I saw on  my five mile hike. Callander Ontario morning hike birds. June 7 2023. 

I walked out to scenic and historic Lake Nipissing again,

enjoying the bluebead lily 

and water arum flowers along the way. I wish I had more time to look for the many birds I heard in the trees along the trail. It was a :birders” heaven. However, once again I had to get back on the road. I had another long drive ahead of me.  

So I quickly walked back and finished my five mile hike, seeing and hearing many of the birds above and this red squirrel.  I enjoyed  my hikes on this trail and  the many birds and wildflowers I saw. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my hike.  Callander Ontario morning hike June 7 2023.

I returned to the Terrace Suites resort and quickly showered,  packed and was on the road again.  I wasn’t even in Callander  for 24 hours, and I didn’t see much of the community , but I loved this resort town. And I didn’t  to spend much time in the large room in this beautiful resort.   Maybe some day I will return.

I was soon on the road driving south on scenic and rural Route 11. I again passed lakes, forests and occasional small towns. There were even some hills to cross. I drove about an hour hour when I saw this a sign for Sherri’s Diner  along the highway. I had to leave the highway and drive down a long hill to get  to  Sherri’s Diner. I loved the place. 

I as greeted my the owner, a nice woman who just purchased this old eatery. I had a nice chat and sat in a small room with a large table of  older local folks chatting about their lives. It enjoyed the experience and the breakfast prepared by the owner. I love this local owed restaurants.I still had was about three hours from Niagara Falls. It was a pleasant drive for the first 1 1/2 hours . Then I hit Toronto traffic and the smoke from the wildfires in Quebec. The smoke obscured the sun and it bothered my sinuses and lungs even in my car, I was worried it would interfere with my first view of famous Niagara Falls. However, when I arrived in the town the smoke had cleared up. I drove to the Hilton Fallsview Hotel  and checked.  I entered my room d would soon  see the  famous falls for the first time. This was the view from my room. I couldn’t wait to get outside and see it close up

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach of us more than we can ever learn from books.” –John Lubbock

This is my first post