Friday, November 27, 2009

Lake Aquitane, Wabukayne Mississauga Park Walking Trails in the City

Lake Aquitane and Lake Wabukayne are small lakes in the Meadowvale area in northwest Mississauga. At first glance, they seem simply a picturesque addition to these city parks and a haven for urban wild life.

Lake Aquitane Sign Meadowvale Community Centre
But these two lakes serve another purpose: They collect and contain surface water runoff in this densely populated part ot the city. After heavy rains, lake waters can be cloudy with mud and silt; In winter, road salt may keep solid ice from forming.

Dock at Lake Aquitane Meadowvale 
This dock and viewing area is at the west end of Lake Aquitane. These lakes' utilitarian purpose doesn't keep them or their trails and paths from being a magnet for walkers, joggers and birders and an interesting outing for local dogs.

South Side Lake Aquitane
It had been several years since last I walked around either lake. Port Credit and the Waterfront Trail through Jack Darling Park and Rattray Marsh met all my walking needs. But then I got an email about the sighting of a Wood Duck at these lakes, and off I went.

Naturalization Shoreline Lake Aquitane
When the ducks had been amply watched, I headed off around Lake Aquitane as a glimmer of sunshine lighted the lake. Over the years, the naturalization of the lake shore had filled in, now looking as if it had always been there. How the grasses and shrubs had grown!

Dirt Trail Lake Aquitane Southeast Shore
Most pathways in the park are paved, but a few dirt trails remain, especially on the south to east side of the lake. How lucky the condo owners in this area! A lovely view that changes with the seasons. This part of Meadowvale is older, so condos tend to be much larger than modern, newer ones.

Dam at Lake Aquitane West Side
On the north side of the lake, the path runs between lakeshore and townhouse back yards until it reaches the Dam, and you realize this lake is not another pretty face. High chain link safety fencing prevents dogs and people from getting too close, and keeps the ducks cat-and-dog worry free.

Boardwalk Lake Aquitane - Mississauga Park Trail
On the west side of Lake Aquitane, behind the Meadowvale Community Centre, this boardwalk skirts the lake and runs to the dock area. When I was here, the dock was full of mallards dining on grain left by person(s) unknown. Signs in the park advise that feeding wildlife is prohibited.

A few years ago, Canada geese were a problem at Aquitane, until the coyotes moved in for a free meal. With the geese gone, so too have the coyotes moved on, though in any part of Mississauga where green belts are found, so may be coyotes.

Lake Wabukayne - Mississauga Park
From Lake Aquitane, I drove south on Glen Erin Drive to Windwood, and went left and parked on a side street close to Lake Wabukayne, the smaller of these two lakes. Rain clouds were again moving in fast, so I didn't walk the full trail around the lake. This is the view looking east to Erin Mills Parkway.

Boardwalk at south side Lake Wabukayne Park
The boardwalk and trails along the south side of Lake Wabukayne let you get fairly close to the lake. Mallards noted my arrival and began swimming towards me from the far shore in hopes of being fed. So much for obeying the Do Not Feed signs. These birds know the hands that feed them.

Leaf Motif -- Lake Wabukayne Natural Artwork
As the sky grew darker, and a few drops began to fall, I glanced down at the surface to this lovely picture: Such great natural colors and design, it would inspire an artist or textile designer.

Google map this area: See also Street View, and Walking Directions.

View Larger Map

Parking: Try Meadowvale Community Centre for Lake Aquitane. For Lake Wabukayne, try a side street close to the west end, or on weekends, try the school just north of Windwood on Glen Erin.