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Fort Creek Conservation Area

PUBLIC NOTICE:

Trail Closed Due to Unsafe Conditions

fort creek

 

 

A section of the Plateau Trail that connects to the East Side Loop has been closed.  Trail users should be aware that the foot bridge on that trail has been removed due to safety concerns. 

For more information see Media Release below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fort creek pathSo Much To See

The Fort Creek Conservation Area is owned by the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority and was purchased to address flood control concerns experienced by businesses and residents living downstream. The Fort Creek Dam was constructed between 1968 and 1971 and has a reservoir of approximately 3.24 hectares (8 acres).
 
In addition to its primary purpose of flood control the Fort Creek Conservation Area also provides the ancillary benefit of green space, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat. In the summer hikers can enjoy the diversity of scenary and trail difficulty level or have lunch under the pavilion. Offering a delightful diversion in the winter visitors can go snow shoeing, tobogganing or cross country skiing. The conservation area covers approximately 77 hectares (191 acres) and is situated off of Second Line, east of Peoples Road. This area creates a sense of tranquility in the heart of the city and is a small example of the beautiful Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest and wetlands.
 
** Please Note: Trail users should be aware that a section of the Plateau Trail that connects to the East Side Loop is closed until further notice due to safety concerns. 
 
John Roswswell Hub Trail
 
The Hub Trail is a 24 km multi-use non-motorized trail system for various types of users, such as cycling, walking, in-line skating, cross country skiing and is wheel chair accessible. The trail connects many significant points of interest including the waterfront walkway, Bellevue Park, Algoma University College, Sault College, the new hospital and Fort Creek Conservation Area.
 
Prior to the construction of the HUB trail, the Sault Naturalists of Ontario and Michigan conducted a Biological Invfort creek bikeentory in the Fort Creek Conservation Area in order to identify any Species At Risk. As a result of this investigation a report was prepared by Don Hall and Marjorie Hall and later submitted to the SSMRCA titled Fort Creek Hub Trail – Biological Inventory.
 
For more information on the Hub Trail please visit the City of Sault Ste. Marie website.
 

The Watershed

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA), completed the Fort Creek dam and reservoir in 1970 to prevent frequent flooding of the city’s west end. The SSMRCA also purchased land around the reservoir to control development and protect forest and vegetation in the area. Forests are a natural flood control measure slowing the melting of snow in the spring, allowing water to penetrate the soil and to recharge groundwater.

Wildlife

Along the hiking trails, you may spot beavers, skunks, hares, and various mice and moles. You may also notice tracks from the more shy mink or fox. Birds include the ruffed grouse, woodpeckers, ducks, great blue herons and ravens. Native songbirds to the area are the yellow shafted flicker, red-winged blackbird, black-capped chickadee and the American robin. By the reservoir you may see cormorants and raccoons. Water inhabitants are minnows, catfish (not native), painted and snapping turtles, insects and leopard frogs.

Vegetation

Reforestation has been undertaken in the Fort Creek Conservation Area which lost many trees to logging and natural impacts such as fire, wind, disease and beavers. Local Boy Scout groups and school children have in the past planted trees in the Spring. Usually pine, cedar and spruce have been planted, although trees native to the area also include balsam fir, poplar, aspen, white birch, yellow birch, red maple and sugar maple. Some of the plants that can be found in the area are fireweed, twin flower, wild lily of the valley, common buttercup, starflower, white sweet clover and American vetch.

An Outdoor Classroom

The SSMRCA encourages schools and other groups to make use of the Conservation Area to teach children about nature. Besides the reservoir, there are two ponds in the early stages of growth. Children can see how pond life develops and how the surrounding vegetation turns bare ground, overtime, into mature forest.