Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rattray Marsh Conservation Area Waterfront Trail Mississauga Ontario

Rattray Marsh Conservation Area is one of my favorite walking trails in the area. It's accessible via the Waterfront Trail in Mississauga (Ontario, Canada), which connects to Jack Darling Park. Rattray Marsh is not a Mississauga park, but under the aegis of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVC). It's a haven for inner city wildlife, and a great favorite of birders and hikers, but not cyclists. The trail is a footpath through the marsh - no bikes allowed.

Rattray Marsh in Winter
A few days ago, before today's bone-chilling cold (minus 20C or 4 F) set in, I headed out to see the marsh in winter. As is the case with Jack Darling park, the footpath through this marsh receives no winter maintenance, but the snow was not deep, as you can see in the photo above. From this viewpoint, we are looking south across the marsh 'lake' to Lake Ontario

River Runs Through Rattray Marsh
The light snow marked the ice in the river, with open water around it. Likely today, with much colder temperatures, this river will be totally frozen across. I could go check, but it's too cold for me!

Animal tracks in the snow at Rattray Marsh
I am not sure what animal made these tracks. It might have been a rabbit. Closer to the river, deer tracks led down to the water's edge, where it must have stopped for a drink. Along the boardwalk rail, a squirrel had made a great set of footprints. New fallen snow is not only pretty, it provides a road map for animal traffic.

Grey Squirrel in Underbrush and New-fallen Snow
This grey squirrel blended into the underbrush and snow - his colors echoing the landscape colors. Though the day was chilly, we met a number of other walkers, as well as a photographer, all of us taking advantage of the winter sun.

Rattray Marsh Trilliums in Spring
Rattray Marsh is a great area to find Ontario's provincial flower -- the trillium -- in bloom in early spring. I took the above photo last April. Wild violets bloom around the same time as trilliums, and both white and violet blooms carpeted the hillside. I can hardly wait for Spring!

For more information on Rattray Marsh, see the CVC site.
For photos and googlemap this area and Jack Darling park in winter see this earlier blog post.