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Wainfleet Bog

 

 

 

Caption Large Left Image: Scenic view in Wainfleet Bog, Caption Top Right Image: Old railway tracks running through the bog, Caption Bottom Right Image: Grassland area in the bog  
  

General Information

The Wainfleet Bog Conservation Area covers 801 hectares (1980 acres) and was purchased by the Niagara Parks Conservation Authority in 1996. Located in Port Colborne, this conservation area is part of the largest, least disturbed peatland in Southern Ontario.
 
In the past, human actions have drastically altered the Wainfleet Bog area, reducing and fragmenting wetland habitat.  Much of the bog was once owned by a peat extraction company, which dug drainage ditches to lower the water table, allowing for easier access to the bog for peat extraction, local farming, and potential development.
 
Wainfleet bog is one of the few acidic bogs left in Southern Ontario.  Once thought to have covered 20,000 hectares (49421 acres), Wainfleet bog currently covers 801 hectares (1980 acres), which is only about 6% of its original extent.  Many rare plant and animal species inhabit the bog and depend on it for their survival, including one of the smallest populations of massasauga rattlesnake. Wainfleet bog is also a source of water and aids in flood control. Various hiking trails encourage exploration of the bog and its wildlife.
 
  


TripClip Audio File

 

 

 


DIRECTIONS

From Toronto: Head Southwest on QEW approximately 96.5km
 
Take Exit 49 for ON-406 approximately 26.2km
 
Left at E Main St approximately 1.3km
 
Right (south) onto King’s Highway 140 approximately 10.8km
 
Slight left at Main St E approximately 0.2km
 
Continue straight onto Main St E (east) approximately 2.3km
 
Slight left at Main St W (west) approximately 1.6km
 
Continue onto King’s Highway 3 approximately 1.2km
 
Right (north) at Erie Peat Rd approximately 0.7km
 
Parking for Wainfleet Bog Conservation Area is on the left
 
 
From Fort Erie: Head west on QEW towards Exit 1A approximately 1.1km
 
Take Exit 2 for Thompson Rd S (south) approximately 1.5km
 
Right (west) onto Garrison approximately 14.5km
 
Continue onto Concession 1 Rd approximately 5.3km
 
Continue onto Main St E (east) approximately 4.3km
 
Slight right to stay on Main St E (east) approximately 2.7km
 
Slight left at Main St W (east) approximately 1.6km
 
Continue onto King’s Highway 3 approximately 1.2km
 
Right (north) at Erie Peat Rd approximately 0.7km
 
Parking for Wainfleet Bog Conservation Area is on the left

ecology

The geologic process the formed the Wainfleet Bog began 430 million years ago. The underlying bedrock has resulted in salina and bertie formations deep underground. The Wainfleet Bog consists of upper silurian limestone, shale, dolostone, sandstone, gypsum and salt with a drift thickness of 30 metres. There is a southerly slope of approximately 30 to 10 metres which contributes to the area's water and soil characteristics through water seepage and weathering processes. 

In more recent times, over the past 12,000 - 12,400 years (from hypsithermic period to the present), the existence of these geologic features contributed to the surface formation of the raised Wainfleet peat deposit. As Lake Erie water levels stabilized from isostatic rebounding, a flat land profile was created. As surface waters drained in a southern direction it was also being impeded by the Onondaga Escarpment. A wetland developed in the area depression of Lake Wainfleet which is now located between the elevations of 175.5 and 178.5 metres above sea level. Having started as a pond and progressing through vegetative succession, the Wainfleet Bog formed during the past 4500 - 4700 years. The pond became a grass marsh and fen complex first, which was surrounded by a mixed deciduous and coniferous swamp. As record of this historic evolution of the Wainfleet Bog, is the presence of plant fossils in the area.

This area was once open water. Over time it was gradually filled in as plants grew and died over time. Due to the underlying saturated conditions the bog remains an acidic environment with very low nutrient levels. The result is a domed bog with unique plants that are able to withstand the acidic and low nutrient environment.

 

The Wainfleet Bog Conservation Area also helps to protect a habitat of national, provincial and local significance. A number of unique plants and animals flourish here.  The forested and shrubbed areas are home to deer, migrating birds and butterflies. The Wainfleet Bog is also home to the very rare massasauga rattlesnake

 


Recreational

Hiking, Walking, Wildlife Viewing, Snow Shoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Hunting (Check with Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority for seasons and restrictions)

 

Restrictions Include: Due to the site’s fire hazard, smoking or open flames are not permitted. Pets must be on a leash at all times. No Horseback riding permitted.


Adjacent Land Uses

Agriculture

 

Google Paths

Below is the path with destinations along the way


View interactive map and turn-by-turn directions

Ownership & Management

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Facilities

Parking, Picnic Areas (no washroom facilities present)

Address

Municipality Port Colborne

Telephone

(905) 788-3135

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 42.9097282653
Longitude -79.2954864048

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