GETTING THERE AND CURRENT TRAIL STATUS (September 2019) Downloadable current maps are in preparation. The turn off for the reserve from hwy 11 is about 109km West of Thunder Bay, turn off South for Burchell Lake (hwy 802).
Signage for Greenwood Lake starts (not very conspicuous), after about 5km watch for left turn (South) onto Burchell Lake road (naming is confusing, because the road veers away from the lake and hwy 802). Quality of the gravel road depends on how recently it was graded and how wet the season is. Watch for logging trucks, stop and give wide path to oncoming truck traffic!
Remain on the main gravel road heading S to SW to Nelson West road intersection, head West. Turn South off West Nelson road after about 6km onto Sag road. After about 6km road turns West and you will start seeing white pine crowns on the horizon, after a slight incline, you will reach level road at kilometer 10 sign, amid tall pines and your goal.
TRAIL CONDITION All trails in the reserve are best described as "tracks" - do not expect wide, gravel filled pathways! Watch your step as in places there are deep holes between glacial deposit rocks. Currently the best and easiest trail is the orange trail on the South side of the Sag road - this starts about 120m East of the kiosk. We currently discourage travel on the longer blue and yellow trails, because some maintenance remains to be done at the far reaches of each trail. Both trails start at a small clearing about 60m East of the main information kiosk - the trails split at about 100m into the forest. The blue trail will get you to Greenwood Lake, but the return loop to the East (on older maps) DOES NOT EXIST. Neither do the Red trails shown on older maps.
TRAIL MAINTENANCE REQUEST AND CONTACT WITH US: Please, feel free to pull out small seedlings of maples and firs (NOT pines) you find directly on the trails. This minimal effort saves having to cut larger trees and branches later...... Also, we (at the herbarium) would appreciate information on any interesting observations you made in the reserve during your visit (better yet, submit these directly to iNaturalist!).
SUMMER 2018 - Reviving interest in the reserve: several visits to the site took place to flag poorly marked sections of the existing trails. TB Field Naturalists re-affirmed their interest in the area. Preparations took place for the September event. Participants were: Gerry Racey, Marek Klich, Derek Papineau, Dan Duckert, Dan Paju, Ray Jones, Tomislav Sapic, Lada Malek. Also a team of junior rangers helped out.
September 29, 2018 - Commemorative event for Dr. Willard Carmean: A large group of Dr. Carmean's friends and colleagues gathered to reminisce about this remarkable man and his efforts to establish Greenwood Lake Conservation Reserve. Three of his family members also participated: Margot Thraen, Kelli Carmean and Ryan Kelly. Tributes were also given by Bruce Stonehouse and Rik Aikman. Subsequently, hikes through the reserve were led by Gerry Racey and Lada Malek. Other participants were: David Legge, Janine Reynolds,Paul Holm, Carol Hrycyszyn, Peter Knutson, Bruce Childs, Marian Childs, Mike Childs, Alan Gilbert, Sharon Gilbert, Charlie Bryan, Sara Williamson, Mike Carter, Tony Carfagnini, Jim Bishop, Doug Reid, Karen Sandy Lucas & Mason Feye, Carol Stonehouse, Nancy Serediak, Mark Serediak, Peter Wiltsey, and Leonard Hutchison.
July 11, 2019 - Search for golden saxifrage (Chrysosplenium tetrandrum) Present -Dan Paju, Sazia Barodawala, Myles Cummins, Lada Malek
Claude Garton deposited a specimen (LKHD64484) of this Arctic plant in June 1981. The location description is nebulous to say the least, and the Sag road has undergone a number of improvements over the years. The four of us searched along the road up to about 1km E of the Eastern reserve boundary with no success. There are no "run off" streams in this stretch of dry road along former air field (in places bordered by beaver ponds which may have flooded the original site). We challenge future visitors to find this plant, which does not seem to belong in this old growth forest environment!
Garton's locality description: "In mossy humus and clay along small clear run-off stream as it leaves the stand and falls down roadside bank. One patch only here. Sagnagons (sic.) L. Access Rd. of Great Lakes Forest Products limits at White Pine Reserve, 500 m E. of Greenwood L."
Yellow trail status: Subsequently, we walked (crawled?) the yellow trail, which is overgrown and missing many of the original markers. Our botanical expedition turned out to be a route finding exercise, with occasional stumbling on interesting flora. We discourage any visitors from attempting this trail unless prepared for route finding and climbing over deadfall. Trail improvements will proceed as volunteers become available - at a minimum some of the encroaching shrubs will be cleared and additional markers placed. Chainsaw work may proceed in the future. The trail W outlet onto Sag road is NOT marked and it may be even more difficult to find route in this "opposite" direction.
August 2019, Preparation for tree survey in the core of the reserve, planned for September 21/22.
MECP crew led by Laura visited and cleared some parts of orange, yellow and blue trails. With the help of Tomislav Sapic and Derek Papineau, two visits were made and two permanent sample plots established for Forest Resource Inventory were identified within the reserve. One is in the vicinity of the yellow trail and the second is right on the orange trail in the 1991 burn area. These sites were evaluated in some detail by Co-op program in 2004 and 2009 and will be examined again this September 2019. Protocols for more detailed sampling over a larger area were are being developed and tested by Derek Papineau. One planned test plot near Sag Road was measured in preparation for the September event. New observations made at the reserve are being added to iNaturalist.
September 1, 2019, Yellow trail maintenance with Mark Serediak. Starting from the West end of the yellow trail, we cleared about 2km and made the exit/entrance from the main road more obvious. The original signpost is now clearly visible. The "top" 0.5km of the yellow loop still needs to be cleared - lots of hazel and mountain maple in spots. There may be some confusing flagging tape along the wetland, the original trail followed the crest of the slope to avoid wet spots.
September 21 and 22, 2019. Research event - is there white pine regeneration? Organized by Derek Papineau, a number of two-member teams (see photo for participants) surveyed plots in the upland sections of the reserve dominated by mature white pines. Results are being compiled and will be posted here later. We hope these will serve as a baseline for continued monitoring of white pine regeneration. White pine re-growth is not likely in the absence of fire and relatively un-shaded conditions (no competition from deciduous trees).