Prolonged Two Creeks trail closure continuing

Pictured above the cautionary flooding signs went up on the Don Graham trail of the Two Creeks Forest Conservation area in early April and those signs and the closure will likely remain in effect for several more weeks. (The Leader/P. Shaver photo)

SOUTH DUNDAS – One of this area’s most popular nature trails – Two Creeks Forest – has already been closed for over a month and will stay closed for several more weeks. The extended duration of this ongoing closure likely has something to do with recent deforestation of nearby lands.

Contacted by The Leader regarding the closure, SNC spokesperson Shannon Gutoskie said that South Nation shares the public’s eagerness to reopen this conservation area which welcomes thousands of visitors every year.

Two Creeks Forest is a 450-acre significant natural heritage site, located between Morrisburg and Iroquois.

Seasonal closure of Two Creeks forest is not out of the ordinary.

“Two Creeks Forest is seasonally wet and we typically need to close the park for a few weeks every spring due to flooded trails,” said Gutoskie. “However, we have needed to keep the Conservation Area closed since the beginning of April as a majority of the trails have remained under water.”

She went on to explain that SNC currently has a water safety statement in effect due to the high water levels and the high amount of rain received last week and this weekend.

“Considering the low-lying area of the Two Creeks Forest, the rainfall has contributed to additional water along the trails,” Gutoskie said.

What is out of the ordinary this year is the deforestation of nearby private property that has taken place in recent months.

Pictured above, the swath of private property adjacent the Two Creeks likely contributing to additional water within the conservation area. (The Leader/P. Shaver photo)

Gutoskie said that SNC is aware of the deforestation that has occurred on private property adjacent to the conservation area, and along Highway 401. “Our regulations staff are currently investigating the impacts to nearby Provincially Significant Wetlands and watercourses,” she said.

Gutoskie explained that forests provide many economic, environmental, social, and cultural benefits, including water absorption and flood and erosion control.

“Considering the large area that has now been cleared, it is likely that the deforestation has contributed to additional water within the Conservation Area,” she said.

SNC expects that the trails at the Two Creeks Forest Conservation Area will need to be closed for several more weeks until conditions improve and it’s safe to reopen the site to the public.

Until Two Creeks can be safely reopened to the public, SNC officials are recommending that visitors instead explore Robert Graham Forest Conservation Area which is located in South Dundas along County Road 18 west of Glen Stewart.

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