New in 2023, Stepping into Nature is a free, self-guided walking tour of the Minden Riverwalk trail from the Haliburton County Master Gardeners.
We officially launched Stepping into Nature on May 26th. Many thanks to Haliburton County Warden Liz Danielson, Minden Hills Mayor Bob Carter, U-Links Director Andy Gordon and HCDC Program and Operations Coordinator, Heather Reid, for joining us on Friday along with about 40 guests.
What is Stepping into Nature?
The Haliburton County Master Gardeners researched and prepared a self-guided walking tour of the remarkable flora and fauna along the Minden Riverwalk trail. Called “Stepping into Nature”, the Haliburton County Master Gardeners developed this free, multi-media walking tour with photos, detailed descriptions of plants, insect information and gardening tips. We’ve even included audio stories, all accessible via a smartphone app called PocketSights, and have signs to guide and inform you along the way.
How do I access it?
You can access the Stepping into Nature tour from your PC or mobile device at any time via the web here. While you are walking along the Minden Riverwalk trail, you can follow along with the self-guided tour by downloading the PocketSights app and searching for “Stepping into Nature”. You can also scan the QR code on any of our signs or posters to immediately access the tour - it’s easy!
The Haliburton Master Gardeners partnered with researchers from Trent University through U-Links to conduct scientific collection and analysis of some of the insects that are found along the Minden Riverwalk along with a detailed assessment of the plants found along the Minden Riverwalk. Researcher Caleb Brown and his team brought nets and collecting gear to the Riverwalk and gathered insects ranging from the pest insect, the Japanese Beetle, to the native Twelve-Spotted Lady beetle, a valuable predator in our gardens, and to pollinators like the Monarch Butterfly.
If you’ve got questions about how to deter the Canada Goose from setting up its nest on your waterfront property, we’ve got some detailed recommendations in our walking tour. Are you trying to decide how to naturalize your shoreline? We’ve got some tips and explanations for you as well.
If you want to plan and plant a pollinator garden, there are several native flowering plants, shrubs and trees that support healthy pollinator ecosystems thriving along the Minden Riverwalk. Joe Pye Weed, Yarrow, Bee Balm and Woodland Sunflower flower at various times throughout the growing season, attracting and supporting pollinator insects who will feed both as larvae and in their adult (flying) form. Vital to the natural food web, “keystone” plant species are found along the Riverwalk, including Serviceberry, Goldenrod and Willow trees. You will find detailed information on these and about 40 other plant species in the Stepping into Nature walking tour.
A combination of practical recommendations to address common landscape problems and field research to understand the flowering plants, shrubs, trees and grasses growing along the Minden Riverwalk, the Stepping into Nature walking tour was supported by a Local Initiatives Program grant from the Haliburton County Development Corporation.
We are grateful for the support of the Town of Minden Hills and U-Links. Generous community donors have also made this project possible - thank you!