Meadowlily Woods is only one of several natural jewels that exists in what is known as The Forest City, London, Ontario.
I hit the trails this past weekend for a run and took my camera along to share the beautiful views with all of you. I hope you enjoy this visual tour of my run.
The 44 ha site contains marshes and floodplain woods along the Thames River, old fields, shrub thickets and mature woodlands on higher, rolling land, and some active and retired agricultural fields.*
I started my run from the entrance point right on Meadowlilly Road. There are several different ways to access the four kilometres of trails here.
I ended up running a lot more than four kilometres. I got a little turned around on my run and needed the map to find my way back to entry point 3 where I started.
The scenery was just beautiful so I really didn’t mind getting a little lost in these woods. After all, it was a beautiful day for a run.
This is Eagle Bridge and it cuts across a steep valley.
I loved running along the trail and catching glimpses of the Thames River. I had to hike down to the bank to take this shot.
At this point in my run, I am actually outside of the trail system. I looked at the trail map and figured out that I was at access point number 4.
I love a trail that has hills sprinkled throughout it. This one had its fair share of them. I really enjoyed dipping down the trail across this bridge and then back up an incline on the other side.
This bent tree that tries to block the path was quite interesting.
All in all I think I ran six kilometres as I tried to find my way back to my starting point. It was a gorgeous run and I would recommend this trail for anyone who wants to take nice leisurely stroll or a tranquil trail run.
Here is some more information about the wildlife in the area.
Over 110 species of migratory and breeding birds have been observed in the Meadowlily Woods area. Due to its large size and location along the river, the forest supports forest interior and area sensitive species such as Pileated Woodpecker and Ovenbird. Other nesting species include Red-tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Belted Kingfisher, four species of woodpeckers, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and American Goldfinch.
The animal life is typical of the London area with Raccoon, Coyote, Eastern Chipmunk, Red Fox, White-tailed Deer, Grey Squirrel, Woodchuck and Beaver.
The many wet habitats are home to Green, Wood and Leopard Frogs, Spring Peeper, Eastern Redback Salamander, Painted Turtle, and Eastern Garter and Northern Brown Snakes.
The meadows provide nectar-producing flowers for butterflies and moths. Giant and Tiger Swallowtails, Hickory Hairstreak, Clouded Sulphur and Spring Azure are among the species recorded in the area. Dragonflies, damselflies and many other species of insects can be found by the river.
*information taken from http://www.thamesriver.on.ca/wetlands_and_natural_areas/meadowlily.htm