The rare Charitable Research Reserve is a great place to hike at any time of the year. Use of the trails at rare is open to the public and free of charge – interested visitors can hike along the River Trail, Maple Lane Trail, Grand Allée Trail, or Springbank Farm trail (see the trail map and relevant parking information here).
I most frequently hike along the River Trail because is runs adjacent to the Grand River and passes by the 1840’s Slit Barn (located at 768 Blair Road), Bald Eagle roosting areas, and alvars. Visitors hiking through the property should be sensitive to the diversity of the flora and fauna present – rare contains (see this link for the full details):
- 18 species of amphibians and reptiles
- 225 species of birds
- 65 species of butterflies
- ~24 species of fish
- 23 species of mammals
rare also contains outcrops of upper Middle Silurian Guelph Formation dolostone (a magnesium-rich limestone); impressively, these rocks are ~420 million year-old (rare Geology, 2013). People with an interest in plants will be particularly entranced by the lengthy list of species present in the rare habitat (see the full list here).
Office address for rare: 1679 Blair Road Cambridge, ON N3H 4R8 (latitude: 43.383742, longitude: -80.385099)
A few videos to illustrate the interesting topography and species (e.g. Red-Tailed Hawk) that you can enjoy along the trails at rare: