maplecross nature reserve at hope bay

Credit Isobel Ralston

Map provides approximate location.

MapleCross Nature Reserve at Hope Bay

Hope Bay, ON

Bruce Trail Conservancy – 2024

187 hectares

Property Description

The remarkable MapleCross Nature Reserve at Hope Bay has been created and will be protected forever as part of our growing conservation corridor. This expansive nature reserve is located 2 km east of Hope Bay, adjacent to Neyaashiinigmiing (Cape Croker Reserve) on the majestic Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula.

With a large intact Sugar Maple deciduous forest, the MapleCross Nature Reserve at Hope Bay is a haven for a wide range of birds, including area-sensitive species such as American Redstart, Black-and-white Warbler and Ovenbird. This dense, untouched woodland is equally important to mammals, such as the elusive Fisher and Black bear, who require large areas of interior forest (an increasingly rare habitat in Ontario) for their long-term survival. The natural Escarpment features within this nature reserve also provide habitat for several rare and at-risk species including Butternut, Eastern Wood Pewee, Woodthrush, and American Hart’s-tongue Fern.

The entire property is underlain by karst, a topography that has been formed from the chemical weathering of dolostone, which plays an important role in the purification of water. These karst areas also host a wide variety of unique ecological niches, and act as natural sinks for carbon dioxide, a valuable feature that supports climate change mitigation.

The securement of MapleCross Nature Reserve at Hope Bay will preserve a local wildlife corridor that connects several protected lands covering hundreds of acres. This property is abutted by a landscape containing several Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSIs), and creates a naturally vegetated forest corridor stretching 49 km from Barrow Bay to Wiarton.

Securing large, undisturbed tracts of land on the Niagara Escarpment like this one at Hope Bay is an increasingly challenging yet crucial undertaking in the Bruce Trail Conservancy’s efforts to protect sensitive habitats and biodiversity, address the effects of climate change, and create a permanent home for the iconic Bruce Trail. 

Content and property pictures courtesy of Bruce Trail Conservancy.

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