We couldn’t have picked a better autumn morning to visit Rouge Park; 18°C mostly sunny.
At the trail’s entrance the information sign indicated our walk would take 45 to 90 minutes. We spent two hours slowly walking along the 3 km trail taking in views of old growth cedar trees, wildflowers, and mushrooms on the forest floor.
Here we walked through a corridor of ancient cedar and pine trees. The pathway was soft underfoot, the result of decaying plant materials over the course of many decades.
At this point we were greeted by a chippy. It’s surprising how few chipmunks and squirrels we saw compared to city neighbourhoods. It becomes evident that the better the food supply the greater the population of these little guys.
Exiting the forested trail we crossed over the West Duffin Creek and followed a footpath dividing a farmer’s soybean field from a field of wild flowers.
We spotted a path at the edge of the field of soybeans and had a closer look.
We opened up one of the soybean pods. This crop was looking rather dry and it’s getting late in our growing season. It tasted okay, kind of like a chickpea. If the crop had been harvested earlier it would have yielded edamame.
A hawk was flying overhead and I don’t think he wanted soybeans but maybe he was hoping we would scare a field mouse out into the open.
From the open field we re-entered the forest. Again we saw cedar and pine trees but now we were at a slightly lower elevation with a less well drained ground surface. The ground level vegetation was typical; ferns, bulrushes and a variety of other grasses.
Near the end of our walk we arrived at this small pond and waited a while hoping a duck or goose would drop in. We kept a sharp eye out for maybe even a frog at the water’s edge. In the end, not even a minnow was seen.
We saw mushrooms growing from within soil and decaying trees. Have a look at the tree stump covered with whitish blobs. At first glance one might think it’s another mushroom but it isn’t, it’s jelly slime mold. https://www.britannica.com/science/slime-mold
This is the northern boundary of the Rouge National Urban Park. It’s located on Concession Road 2 just south of Webb Road in Uxbridge, Ontario. Parking is free.
You can download the Rouge National Urban Park app and explore this and many other trails.
“Consider each step you take as a destination to new insights into the environment surrounding you.”