A Photographic Tour of Coves Trail

It’s time for another edition of my photographic tours!

Today, we will be exploring The Coves Swallowtail Grove.

Swallowtail Grove is a butterfly garden containing native plants required by butterflies for food and habitat – there is an interpretive sign on site. The grove is accessible from a mowed path through Greenway Park or an extension to the paved Thames Valley Parkway Trail. (from Friends of the Coves)

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of this trail, but I laced on my cross-trainers and started what I hoped would be a great trail run. I didn’t know where this trail led or how long it would be going through a natural area, but I was happy to be exploring and running on such a beautiful day.

It turned out that this trail was only about 500 meters long.

It opened up to this grassy area with a nicely cut and maintained grass trail . . .

And then it connected to the paved Thames Valley Parkway trail.

I have run sections of this trail before but never this specific portion of it.

I really like how the trail follows along the Thames River.

You can also learn a bit about history along the way.

The “Victoria” Boat Disaster 1881

On May 24, 1881, one of Canada’s worst marine disasters occurred on the Thames River near this site. The “Victoria”, a small, double-decked stern-wheeler commanded by Captain Donald Rankin, was conducting holiday excursion trips between London and Springbank Park. On a return trip to London the boat was dangerously overcrowded with more than 600 passengers. Oblivious of the danger, the crowd repeatedly shifted from side to side, resulting in flooding and a precarious rocking motion of the boat. It finally heeled over and the boiler crashed through the bulworks, bringing the upper-deck and large awning down upon the struggling crowd. The “Victoria” sank immediately and at least 182 people, the majority from London, lost their lives.

As I got further down the trail, I recognized exactly where I was. I was on the Terry Fox Parkway portion of the Springbank Park trail.

I looped around the leash-free dog park, passed a few soccer fields and a community playground, and then made my way back to where I had started.

I took a side trail on the way back. It’s really hard to see here because not only is the trail very narrow, but it’s mostly over-grown.

There were a few places where the footing wasn’t very good and I was a little worried I’d trip and tumble into the Thames River. But I didn’t.

This little trail looped right up to the start of the Terry Fox Parkway at Horton Road.

All in all, I ran about 6 kilometers. I had a really nice run and I hope that you’ve enjoyed coming along with me for this photographic tour.

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