Blueberry Mountain at cliffLAND

Blueberry Mountain at cliffLAND

Blueberry Mountain at cliffLAND has a wide variety of habitats from pine and hemlock ridges, cedar groves, scenic outcrops, waterfalls, creeks that feed the Clyde River and the Mississippi watershed, ponds, marshes, and a bog that hosts abundant wild cranberries. A botanist who visited the property twice has already identified 53 species that are considered uncommon in Lanark County; 20 species that are considered sparse; 13 that are considered rare; and two which have not previously been reported in this county. At least 12 Species at Risk have been observed on the property to date.

Visit the Clifford Family Protected Wilderness website here http://cliffland.ca

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Site Details

Total area: 1250 acres

Address: 502 Hills of Peace Rd, Lanark, ON K0G 1K0

Parking:  Limited parking at the start of the trail.

Total Length of Trails: 5 km (return) of marked trails to the lookout. If you wish to explore other trails on the property, guided tours are available by calling Howard or Jean Clifford at (613) 259-3412.

Terrain/Accessibility: A gradual climb through forest and beside a waterfall, with a short (185 m), steep climb to reach the lookout.  It is suitable for hiking or snowshoeing.

Dogs: Permitted. Must be kept on a leash and waste picked up and removed.

Please sign the liability waiver form located at the Welcome Kiosk. (Not necessary during COVID-19).

History

The Land Trust negotiated its first Conservation Easement Agreement with the Clifford Family in February 2009 on an exceptional pristine wilderness property near Flower Station, formerly known as the Alba Wilderness School. It is the second largest legally protected area in Lanark County, after Murphy’s Point Provincial Park. The Agreement stipulates that the landscape will be permitted to develop naturally into a mature old growth forest and activities such as logging, hunting and trapping and the use of motorized vehicles will be restricted.

Blueberry Mountain was voted by county residents as one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County and is climbed by over 2000 visitors each year, both young and old. Some of these nature lovers have been inaugurated into the 80 Plus Club and there are two youth clubs as well, one for under 5 years and one for under 12. The property is gaining a reputation of becoming a recreational and nature mecca.

Nature Highlights

CliffLAND is open to the public to come for hikes or to be used by groups for nature education. A network of hiking trails on the property lead to such scenic natural features as Blueberry Mountain and Pike’s Peak, two of the highest elevations in Lanark County.  As you hike up the mountain trail you follow a picturesque waterfall which tumbles down a series of rock cliffs.

The forest includes maple, beech, oak, spruce, pine and cedar.  There is a 150-year-old pine grove and an old cedar grove which includes an ancient tree over 300 years old.  Also found on the property is the secluded Mann Lake, inaccessible by road.

In some places, particularly cliffs and rock barrens of various types along the trail to the top of Blueberry Mountain, trees have not become established.  In these areas certain plants that live in areas not shaded by trees can be found.  On the top of Blueberry Mountain, for example, there are indeed blueberry plants (Vaccinium angustifolium).  Near the blueberry shrubs, other cliff and rock barren plants can be seen, such as Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).  Closer to the edge of the cliff, and even growing out of cracks, is Bristly Sarsaparilla (Aralia hisipida). Also growing here is quite a special fern, Rusty Woodsia (Woodsia ilvensis). Less conspicuous plants include Bastard Toadflax (Comandra umbellata), Pinweed (Lechea intermedia) and Cow-wheat (Melamphyrum lineare). There is even a wild orchid, Slender Ladies’ Tresses (Spiranthes lacera).  The dry conditions here cause plants to grow very slowly.

 

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