Uxbridge - Countryside Preserve (Hwy 47)
Meet at conservation parking lot behind the Wal Mart store at the south end of Uxbridge, off Hwy 47.
The Uxbridge Countryside Preserve is a 57 hectare (140 acre) property consisting of rolling meadowland, woodlands, wetlands and ponds owned and managed by the Town of Uxbridge, with forestry and stewardship technical assistance from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. The Preserve is located on the southern margin of the Town of Uxbridge, in an Oak Ridges Moraine Natural Core Area, near the headwaters of the Uxbridge Brook. The riparian swamps along two branches of the Uxbridge Brook have been designated Provincially Significant Wetlands. The Preserve provides passive outdoor recreation as well as diverse wildlife habitat in a semi-urban setting. It is bordered by a golf course, estate lots and a major shopping complex.
Topography in the Countryside Preserve varies from steep slopes and valleys to flat lands and gently rolling-meadows. The property’s topography offers great variety of both recreational and aesthetic interest. This property has a 6-km network of sign-posted trails for non-motorized uses such as hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The main public access for the property is provided behind the shopping complex on Highway 47 at Concession 6. A new trail extension links the Preserve to the Timbers tract of the Durham Forest to the south.
The Uxbridge Countryside Preserve is high in biodiversity that ranges from mammals and birds to salamanders. Habitats on the property range from conifer plantations and native forests, to forested swamps along the two branches of Uxbridge Brook, to extensive meadows that provide some of the best opportunities in the Region for viewing grassland-dependent songbirds, a guild of birds that is declining throughout North America. Species requiring open grasslands such as Clay-coloured Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Field Sparrow and Eastern Bluebird can be found breeding in the open meadows of the Countryside Preserve. The woodlands of the Countryside Preserve support a number of woodland breeding birds including Black-and-white Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker and Red-tailed Hawk. Mammals found in the Countryside Preserve include White-tailed Deer, Raccoon and several species of mice and voles.