The leaves fall and what was once hidden is now displayed majestically.
Don’t dismiss the month of November as an indifferent time to be outdoors; Try exploring areas like the Niagara Escarpment for something to look at.
Here in Ontario, the Niagara Escarpment runs from Niagara Falls along Lake Ontario through the Niagara Peninsula, then turns sharply left at the town of Milton before continuing toward Georgian Bay.
The natural and ecological elements of this strip are so special that it was declared Worldwide biosphere reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1990!
The Escarpment’s forests, wetlands, cliffs and grasslands are home to more than 300 species of birds, 52 mammals, 100 types of fish and 30 reptiles and amphibians. Holy biodiversity, Batman!
Two parks lie right along this line: Forks of the Credit and Mono Cliffs provincial parks. Both are a great place to see the Escarpment up close.
Both day-use parks have parking and restrooms. You can purchase a day-use pass (which covers everyone riding in your vehicle) at the self-service machines at the pay station. Forks of the Credit has approximately 10 km of hiking trails of various levels of difficulty and Mono Cliffs has approximately 19 km.
More than 11,000 years ago, after the last glacier retreated north, layers of sedimentary rock in this area eroded, creating escarpments in which the softer layers undermined the harder layers above (dolomite and limestone). ).
In addition to the rock, sand and gravel that glaciers dumped on the area, large chunks of ice also created nearby Kettle Lake (McCarston’s Lake), which has no inlet or outlet.
Don’t just look up when walking along the escarpment. Take a look below and keep an eye out for the 44 different species of ferns that are still visible in autumn. Mono Cliffs is one of the few places you’ll be able to see stag’s tongue ferns, as they are rare in North America (and are listed as a “special concern” in Ontario).
Forks of the Credit and Mono Cliffs are open year-round. They are great assets for protecting the park’s important geological and biological resources, while offering visitors the opportunity to explore.
Pro tip: Head to these two parks to enjoy the “shoulder season,” when there are no bugs, crowds, or leaves to block your view.
And as you plan your winter adventures, remember that these parks are also great places for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.