On Saturday, September 17th I had the pleasure of biking through Rouge Park for the 5th annual Tour de Greenbelt. In the past the Tour de Greenbelt has been held in Niagara, Durham and York regions, this year the Tour made its way through Rouge Park for the first time.
With routes covering Toronto to Markham and Pickering, over 300 cyclists gathered to meander through the park and celebrate its beautiful natural heritage. Cyclists chose from 12, 25, 50, 75 and 100 km routes that all began and finished at the Toronto Zoo.
My own ride took me across the Rouge River and past reforested and protected areas that provide habitat for endangered species and wildlife. One of the stops I made on my route was at Amos Pond. The Pond is habitat for nesting Wood Ducks, Trumpeter Swans and is a popular migratory rest stop. In addition, a large breeding population of the sensitive Wood Frog lives in this swampy area.
It was amazing to be so close to Canada’s largest city, yet surrounded by wetlands, forests and nature reserves. We are lucky to have Rouge Park and provide the connection between Lake Ontario, urban areas and the countryside surrounding Toronto.
Over the next month the leaves will be changing providing a perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy the Greenbelt and what Rouge Park has to offer.
For more information about Rouge Park visit www.rougepark.com. Next year don’t miss the Tour de Greenbelt and your chance to explore the wilderness.
- Julienne Spence, Acting Communications Director