In the depths of cold December weather, it’s always nice to start planning spring and summer hikes. If this is something you’re currently attempting, I would strongly recommend the Jackson-Gunn Old Growth Forest for its spectacular and sensitive beauty. Remember to reduce your impact while hiking in this area – respect what you’re stepping on and try to stay on the established path. Only 0.07 percent of southern Ontario’s original old-growth forest (i.e. trees over 120 years old) still remains standing and Jackson-Gunn is an incredible example of this dwindling landscape (Long Point Basin Land Trust, 2013).
In December 2004, the Long Basin Land Trust secured Jackson-Gunn – an area of land which has never been cleared and looks much the same today as it did 600 years ago (Long Point Basin Land Trust, 2013). The forest is a Beech/Sugar Maple community and many of the trees are older than 280 years (Long Point Basin Land Trust, 2013). The forest is recognized as one of the most significant old growth forests in the Carolinian Region (see this factsheet or the Carolinan Canada Big Picture Network). Trees in this area have suffered through every kind of weather event, from ice to wind storms, and the feeling in the forest is one of timeless, persevering beauty (Long Point Basin Land Trust, 2013).
The Jackson-Gunn Old Growth Forest is located near Houghton Centre in the south-west part of Norfolk County. Access is gained from the Lower Sideroad between Regional Road 28 and the 4th Concession (latitude: 42.607674; longitude: -80.645302).