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TRAIL INFORMATION

The Hurst Lake Road (HLR)
Trail Photo

Key Map - Hurst Lake Road

Highlights / Points of Interest:

The Layered Forest
Evergreens and fewer hardwoods; Spruces and cedars that dominate the moist forests. The "herb layer", dominated by plants and wild flowers such as maple seedlings, trilliums, solomon's seal, ferns, and other low growing plants. Birds like the Ovenbird live on or near the ground among plants this size. The canopy layer, typically made up of beech, maple and yellow birch trees. Watch and listen for birds such as the spectacular Scarlet Tanager. The "understorey", made up of saplings of the big canopy trees, as well as a number of different shrubs and small types of trees such as ironwood. A number of birds live in this middle layer. One of these is a tiny orange and black warbler called the American Redstart. This bird spends its winters in the forests of South America.

The Narrows:
A slow moving creek joining Minnie Lake to the west with Holland Lake to the north east, surrounded by wetlands.

What Can You Find in a Wetland?
Wildflowers, Shrubs, Everygreens, Spring Peepers, Bullfrogs, Great Blue Herons, Osprey.

Camp 5A of the Laking Lumber Company

Hurst Pavalion and Campsites
Holland Lake Campsite.


Average Hiking Time (Distance):
From Hurst Lake Gates on Kennaway Rd.:

• to JC Trail/Narrows - 10 minutes (0.4 km or 0.25 mi);

• to Cooper's Loop Trailhead (South) - 25 minutes (1.1 km or 0.68 mi);

• to Hurst Lake Pavilion, Gibson Trailhead & Cooper's Loop Trailhead (North) - 55 minutes (2.4 km or 1.49 mi).

Descriptions & Directions:

This trail follows along the Hurst Lake Road, which is a private road used by the camp for maintenance and emergency access. The road, like the lake, was named after Fredrick C. Hurst, first Haliburton Camp Committee Chairman.

There are no trail markers along this road but you won't have any trouble finding your way. Junctions with the JC, Cooper's Loop and Gibson Trails are all clearly marked with signs and trail markers.

From the north side of Kennaway Road, the camp road / trail winds through a deciduous forest composed mainly of sugar maple, yellow birch and a few beeches. After about one half kilometre, the trail opens up onto a slow moving creek joining Minnie Lake to the west with Holland Lake to the north east. On the left, just before the road starts down to this creek is the start of the JC Trail, which leads to Minnie Lake, the foot of Pikes Peak and eventually to Drag Lake. This creek is a typical low energy creek, much altered over time by the work of beavers, that can be found throughout the Canadian Shield. These wide, marshy areas, known as wet-lands, are full of different kinds of plants and animals and are very valuable for wildlife.

What Can You Find in a Wetland? - The creek slowly winds its way through a wide mat of grasses, sedges and bulrushes. Here and there, you might be able to spot the odd wild flower, such as the deep blue flowers of Pickerel Weed (which flowers in August) or yellow and white water lilies out in shallow water, or Blue Flag (which flowers in June) along the edge. Where the land gets a bit higher at the edge of the stream, shrubs like Sweet Gale (the crushed leaves smell sweet) and Speckled Alder have taken root. A little higher still, behind the marshy areas, evergreens such as white cedar and white spruce form the boundary between the stream bed and the forest.

If you are lucky enough to be here when the frogs are calling, listen for loud peeps of the spring peepers, or the booming "jug-o-rum" of the bullfrog. Watch for Great Blue Herons stalking the shallows for fish and frogs, and keep your eyes open for Osprey, which only eat fish, as they fly over the creek.

As we leave the creek, to the beginning of the Moore Lake Road (The CL Trail), the trail goes through two types of forest. Where the ground is a bit lower, it is also wetter, and moist areas tend to have more evergreens and fewer hardwoods. Watch for the spruces and cedars that dominate these moist forests.

The Layered Forest - The other type of forest, on higher ground, is our old friend the maple forest. One of the characteristics of this type of forest is its tendency to form distinct layers. Along the ground is what is called the "herb layer", dominated by plants and wild flowers such as maple seedlings, trilliums, solomon's seal, ferns, and other low growing plants. Birds like the Ovenbird live on or near the ground among plants this size.

At the very top of the forest is the canopy layer, typically made up of beech, maple and yellow birch trees in this forest. Watch and listen for birds such as the spectacular Scarlet Tanager, which can be found making their living high up in the canopy.

In between the top and bottom layers is the understorey, made up of saplings of the big canopy trees, as well as a number of different shrubs and small types of trees such as ironwood. A number of birds live in this middle layer. One of these is a tiny orange and black warbler called the American Redstart, which the South American Indians call "the candles of the forest". Like many other birds we see in our forests in the summer, this bird spends its winters in the forests of South America, away from the cold and snow of the long Ontario winters. If only we could all be so lucky!

About 500 metres from the Narrows, a short trail to the right leads to the Holland Lake campsite.

After another 50 metres, the Cooper's Loop Trail to Moore and Mislaid Lakes, starts on your left.

The Hurst Lake Road continues to wind around Holland Lake to the right and then back to the left to Hurst Lake. On your left rise some striking rock cliffs set about 75 metres (243 ft) back from the road. Beyond Holland Lake, you will pass through a sandy open area where camp 5A of the Laking Lumber Company was once located. More recently it is used as a gravel pit to maintain the road. You will cross two streams along the road, the second of which has a bridge and is know as the "River Cry". It flows down through a maze of boulders from Hurst Lake and means you're almost there! The road now curves up and to the left where it forks (both routes meet at the top) and when you reach the high ground, you'll be at the main Hurst Lake camp site and shelter located on a pine-covered rock over- looking the lake.

Down and to the right leads to another fine campsite on the point and to the Gibson Trail.

Down and to the left (and back across the "River Cry") is the northern trailhead for the Cooper's Loop Trail.

 

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