Cumberland Nature Trails (The Ravine)The Bilberry Creek Ravine areas between Cumberland and Gloucester were used for many years by farmers and local residents and later by the urban residents; the various wagon trails and foot paths were worn into the landscape by this use.
In 1980 the Queenswood Heights Recreation Association formed a separate sub-committee to develop a system of trails in the Cumberland Bilberry Creek ravine area.
With the rapid development of Queenswood Heights and later the Fallingbrook area the trails were extended along the escarpment south of St. Joseph Blvd. and along the river in Chatelaine Village.
We encourage you to use these trails, but ask that you please respect the environment and take some time to become familiar with the rules surrounding usage of the trails.
It was felt that by improving and connecting existing footpaths and adding bridges trails would be developed that would encourage more adults and families to use these areas for enjoying and learning about our natural surroundings – and at the same time reduce damage and vandalism that was occurring in these areas.
In 1984 the Township formed a committee to develop a policy for uses of Conservation lands and approved the policy in March 1985. In 1988 a Township wide Nature trails sub-committee was formed under the Cumberland Township Recreation committee. This Committee, composed of volunteer Township residents advises and assists the Township in the development, maintenance and protection of the natural areas within Cumberland.
The Cumberland Nature Trail committee formed the Friends of Petrie Island in 1997 and this group has developed a picnic area, trails and interpretive programs on the Islands.
NATURE TRAIL DEVELOPMENT
- 1980 1.5 K of trails were developed in the Ravine and along the Township boundary by the Q.H.Recreation Association.
- 1983 A $36,000 Canada Manpower grant improved and extended the Nature Trail system.
- 1984 Escarpment trail started.
- 1988 Work on rural trails in Cumberland village were started.
AT PRESENT there are:
- 2.7 K Chatelaine Village
- 5.5 K Queenswood/Fallingbrook Escarpment
- 9 K Ravine – Township Western boundary (Q.H.)
- 2 K Cumberland Village
Future trails will connect urban and rural trails to Cumberland.
The major conservation areas include –
- Bilberry Creek Ravine: 30 acres (estimates)
- Escarpment land – urban: 20
- rural land : 10
- Ottawa Riverfront lands : 50
- Cumberland forest : 200 (Managed by Ontario Govt.)
- Petrie Island : 100 (Owned by Region)
- Cardinal Creek area : 50 (Privately owned)
- Storm water Management areas : 20 (Zoned conservation but actually passive parks)
By Al Tweddle