Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area in Kawartha Lakes reopens with new bridge

Kawartha Conservation invites families to celebrate with Father's Day scavenger hunt, colouring contest, and more

Following several years of only being able to access the boardwalk through an out-and-back hike, a permanent bridge has now been installed at Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area in Kawartha Lakes to complete the 3.4-kilometre trail loop. (Photo: Kawartha Conservation)
Following several years of only being able to access the boardwalk through an out-and-back hike, a permanent bridge has now been installed at Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area in Kawartha Lakes to complete the 3.4-kilometre trail loop. (Photo: Kawartha Conservation)

Kawartha Conservation is inviting the public to visit the newly reopened Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area in Kawartha Lakes this summer, with a series of events and activities taking place in June.

Located south of Janetville, Pigeon River Headwaters is a 125-hectare (308-acre) property that lies partially within the Oak Ridges Moraine. It has 3.4 kilometres of trails, including the Upland Forest Trail (461 metres), Oak Ridges Loop (847 metres), and the Pigeon River Trail (2.9 kilometres), featuring a scenic outlook along the boardwalk and lots of opportunities to watch birds in the forests and wetlands.

However, for several years, the boardwalk on the Pigeon River Trail was only accessible through an out-and-back hike. A permanent bridge has now been installed to complete the 3.4 kilometre trail loop.

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“This bridge installation has been a long time coming,” says conservation areas technician Melissa Creasy-Alexander in a media release. “A lot of time and work went into this project and we’re excited to be able to open the entire loop and welcome the public back to Pigeon River to explore and enjoy it the way it was meant to be enjoyed.”

Coinciding with Father’s Day on Sunday, June 19th, Kawartha Conservation is hosting a series of family-friendly events from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. including a scavenger hunt and the announcement of the winners of a colouring contest.

“We’re looking forward to having staff on hand, some information booths where the public can talk with staff, ask questions, and learn about our programming,” says director of stewardship and conservation lands Kristie Virgoe. “It’s always a great day when we can engage and interact with our community.”

PDF: Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area Trail Map
Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area Trail Map

The colouring contest includes categories for children four to six, seven to nine, and 10 and older. Colouring sheets are available online at www.kawarthaconservation.com or at the Kawartha Conservation administrative office located at Ken Reid Conservation Area (277 Kenrei Rd., Lindsay). Completed sheets can be dropped off a the administration office or scanned and emailed to csnider@kawarthaconservation.com by Thursday, June 16th.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming kids and families to Pigeon River to enjoy some fun with our scavenger hunt and being outside exploring the Pigeon River Conservation Area,” said Carolyn Snider, Administrative Support Conservation Programs. “I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the wonderful entries for our colouring contest and awarding some great prizes to participants.”

Prizes for the colouring contest have been donated by local businesses including Seven Forty Six, Lindsay Home Hardware, Lindsay Drive-In, Lindsay Golf and Country Club, and Kawartha Dairy.

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Other events taking place at Pigeon River Headwaters in June include a two-hour birding hike from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 5th. Kawartha Conservation’s resident bird expert Rob Stavinga will introduce participants to birdwatching, covering topics including locating, identifying, and observing birds in the Kawartha Lakes. The event is free but is limited to 20 participants and advance registration is required at www.kawarthaconservation.com.

On Friday, June 10th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., certified forest therapy guide Kristie Virgoe will lead participants in an engaging and interactive forest bathing experience. Sponsored by Kawartha Credit Union, the cost is $10 per registrant, with proceeds supporting the Canadian Mental Health Association. Register in advance at www.kawarthaconservation.com.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve been able to do at Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area,” Virgoe says. “For some people, it might be one of the lesser-known conservation areas in our watershed, but for those who know about it, it’s definitely a favourite.”