Surrounding North Bay, Nipissing is forests, trails, lakes and waterfalls. We have so many outdoor spaces to discover and explore. Laurier Woods Conservation Area (co-owned by North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority and Friends of Laurier Woods) is just one of these places, and this one is something extra special because here, the Forest comes alive. Literally. Laurier Woods is home to Forest Talk Radio, an app that lets you listen in on the secrets and conversations of the trees and creatures that call this woodland home. Just pull up the app on your phone, put your headphones in and now you’re part of the ecosystem.
Among these beautiful trails, creatures and plants all work together to thrive and grow to their greatest potential. Let us take you through this extraordinary wonderland and see what we can discover and learn about small ecosystems that pack a huge impact!
As you first step into the trail of Laurier Woods, you may not understand the magic of the place just yet, but as you walk deeper into the canopied woods, you’ll feel something special in the air, and smell it on the breeze; a pure green life force that takes your breath away.
And now, wait… is that a slight buzzing in my ear? It’s not your imagination-its the bees!
Photo courtesy of North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority
Laurier Woods is home to a beautiful man-made beehive that is meant to help those fuzzy fliers maintain a healthy colony. Scared of bees? Don’t be! They provide us with 35% of our food and without them, you wouldn’t be able to pick spring flowers or eat honey ever again! I mean – we can’t have that! By looking at a safe distance you’ll be able to see the complex lifestyle of the bees – which includes the worship of a singular Bee Queen who rules over the rest of her workers. Did we mention she’s a Queen? Talk about girl power. As you pass by the hive, make sure you give a proper, royal bow.
A unique feature of Laurier Woods is its water ecosystem, home to a variety of plant life and aquatic animals. Hoppy the Frog and his gang of Tadpoles in just one group you may happen upon. They come out every spring and if you get down on the boardwalk and look super close, you may see them swimming around and eating up all the mosquitos (Thanks Hoppy, we’d rather you eat them than them eat us!). Hoppy and his many amphibian children rule over the pond and keep the bug population down, creating a healthy oasis perfect for plant growth and clean air.
As you make your way across the boardwalk towards the trees, make sure to ribbit and crock loudly to Hoppy and the gang thanking them for keeping Laurier Woods healthy and pest-free.
Now you have finally reached the forest where the trees call out to you in their windy whispers, rustling your hair and turning you in circles. The wind is carrying secrets – and if you listen quietly, just for a moment, you may hear the calls of the forest hidden in the wind.
Did you know that trees are connected by a series of roots deep underground and that’s how they communicate!? Tough Bark, an old, strong oak tree, and White Wood, a lean birch tree, talk to each other from across the forest that way all the time. Not only do these remarkable trees give us oxygen to breathe, but they also provide homes and food for the creatures along the trail. Take Acorn the Squirrel for example. She lives in the treetops and runs along the branches, watching over all of us as we jump and skip along the tree-lined walkways. Acron and her squirrely friends make sure we know they’re watching us so that we don’t leave any of our garbage behind when we visit their home. Forgotten trash could make her family sick and poison the ground that gives life to the parts, plants and animals in this wooded paradise.
Photos courtesy of Liz Lott
The creatures and plant life who live within the Laurier Woods Conservation Area hope you come to visit and listen to nature with Forest Talk Radio. And always remember to take time and smell the flowers — there is so much magic waiting for you to discover and you never know who will come and say hello.
Arts & Culture proudly supported by Creative Industries.