Free Guided Nature Walk – The Millennium Trail


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by | February 16, 2013 · 12:10 am

Looking ahead: A free Family Day Hike

Words by Pamela Stagg, photos by Conrad Beaubien

There were chickadees, cedar waxwings and a handsome red male cardinal bustling through the bushes and trees as Conrad Beaubien (founder of this site) and I headed out to scout the trail for the Family Day hike. This is my favourite section of the trail, with sweeping views up and down Lake Consecon – swans, too. And there’s a special surprise for children which might involve beavers. For adults, photographer Rick Matthews will be along to help you get the best pictures of this scenic hike. Because Family Day is a school holiday, we want little people to feel particularly welcome on this outing. We’re keeping it a little shorter than usual to make it perfect for beginners – Schoharie Road (County Road 1) to Lakeside Drive. That’s about 2 km.

Along the way, naturalist Terry Sprague and I will be pointing out the history and wildlife of the area. We will meet at Hillier Hall, which opens at 9:15 for tea and coffee. (Afterwards, there will be delicious home-made goodies.) The bus will leave at 10:00 sharp to take us to the Trail and will collect us again after the hike. On this short outing, there won’t be a washroom or picnic table on the way. Please dress for the weather – layers are always a good idea. Thanks to the Hillier Recreation Committee, The Wellington Times, Hillier Creek Estates Winery and Prince Edward County for supporting this event. Terry Sprague and I are looking forward to sharing this part of the trail with you.

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A sneak preview of this Sunday’s hike

Words and photographs by Pamela Stagg The scent of lilacs and the sound of bird song will greet those of you who join us for a free hike on Sunday. This is Prince Edward County at its prettiest.

Our walk will take us along the section of the Trail which will be improved and upgraded, thanks to the generosity of Wellington Rotary. In Wellington, there’s a fascinating cross-section of the rural, industrial, residential, creative and historical – even a glimpse of the new Duke Dome. The half-way rest stop will be right by this old station. You’ll see how Wellington grew up around the station.

After our midway break, we’ll head out to the country again, for lovely views of local farms and even a glimpse of the lake in the distance.

The walk is approximately 7 km, with guides Terry Sprague and Pamela Stagg. We’ll meet at Hillier Hall, which will be open at 9:15 for coffee and nibbles. Then at 10:00 sharp, we’ll head out to the Trail by shuttle bus. The bus will meet us at the end of the walk and take us back to the hall for well-earned refreshments. And this is all free, thanks to our sponsors.

Come out and enjoy the Trail!

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Stringman Returns!

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Hiking the Trail – Consecon Street to Conley Road, Wellington.

Words and photographs by Pamela Stagg


January 7th, 2012 – What a change from last winter! A year ago, when I started hiking the trail, there was so much snow drifting acrossConley Road, I didn’t dare drive my car up to the trail. This year, no snow anywhere.

One thing hasn’t changed: this is still a very popular section of the trail. Dog-walkers and families are out for a stroll in the springlike weather. Groups of ATV riders pass me with smiles and waves.

This section of the trail encompasses history, entrepreneurship, sports, homes and farms. Old warehouses show theWellingtonof the past; today they house barrel-makers and glass-blowers – new County businesses. In town, houses back onto the trail. Chickadees and bright house finches flutter around bird feeders and a dog barks from someone’s backyard. Duke Dome is up ahead. And there’s lovely open country, the corn stubble burnished gold by the afternoon sun. In places the trail is littered with nibbled corn cobs. Are raccoons or geese to blame, I wonder?

The only thing less than ideal on this section of trail is the footing. East of the Duke Dome, large chunks of gravel call for sturdy boots or tires – and a certain amount of patience. Fortunately, the pretty scenery is worth the effort.

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A Sneak Preview of Sunday’s Free Hike – November 6th 2011

Words and photographs by Pamela Stagg

This Sunday (November 6th), legendary County naturalist, Terry Sprague, and I will lead a free hike from Hillier Hall to Danforth Road. Here’s a sneak preview of the beautiful countryside we’ll be covering.


Niles Corner to Danforth Road. This is a great time of year to hike the trail. The trees are (mostly) bare, which means you’ll see lovely views of the countryside from the old railroad bed. And while the flowers are almost over, there are captivating seeds and berries all along the trail.

This section highlights traditional agriculture and the new County crops – corn for biodiesel and grapes for our wonderful wines. Then there are wide sweeps of Terry’s favourite marsh.

All along, you’ll see remnants of the old railroad that helped shape our County.

So come join us for a special walk to celebrate the nature and culture of PrinceEdwardCounty’s storied path. At the end of the hike, a shuttle bus to take you back to Hillier Hall, where refreshments will be available before and after the hike.

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Walking the Trail – October 18th, 2011

Words and photographs by Pamela Stagg

 October 18, 2011. Fort Kente Road to Smoke’s Point Road. Ta-dah! At last I can say I’ve hiked the entire Millennium Trail.

My friend Marilyn joined me for this momentous hike – and what a day it was. At first, I thought it would be an ordinary walk, pleasant, yet nothing special. Then we reached the huge marsh betweenHarbard Roadand Smoke’sPoint Road. And there in front of us where four magnifient great egrets.

As we admired the lovely birds, I heard what I though was a Wilson’s snipe calling above. Sure enough, there it was, zig-zagging above the cat-tails.

Then we left the marsh and its inhabitants behind. Before I knew it, we were at the Smoke’sPoint Road. The great adventure, which began in the snows of February, had reached its end. What a wonderful way to celebrate the rich history and heritage of the County.

Normally, I’d comment on the surface of the trail but today, I was walking on air.

I’ll continue to hike and blog on the spur line.


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