Eight sturdy souls braved the cold weather on January 14 for a wonderful winter hike on the new Crazy Horse Trail with Jakob Mueller as leader. The 6.5 km trail winds through the Carp Hills off the March Road. These hills are the remains of an ancient mountain range and run from Fitzroy Harbour to Kanata. They are mostly granite and provide unique habitats, surrounded by the Ottawa limestone.
There were few birds present so we focussed on other organisms and signs of life. The trees provided a chance for many stops and discussions. Hardwoods like Red Oak, White Ash, Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Ironwood and Basswood were observed as were the more unusual “Blue Beech” or “Musclewood”, which is really more closely related to the Birches. Conifers such as , Red and White Pine, White Spruce and Balsam Fir were seen also.
White-tailed deer tracks and snowshoe hare tracks and scat were abundant but we failed to see the creatures who left them. Fisher tracks were also observed in one location. They were seen to be quite recent ones of an animal bounding over the snow.
Sadly, most of our group had just left the parking lot when a Cooper’s Hawk flew over and landed in a nearby tree for three of us to admire!
The snow with its beautiful crystal formations around the open water provided many opportunities for picture taking but spring and summer are also excellent times to walk this trail.
Online you will find The Crazy Horse Trail Interpretive Guide at carphills.com for more information.
Thanks to Mark Guzewski for the photos.