By Jenn Watt
Kilometres of hiking trails, mixed forest, wetlands, open field and a picturesque waterfall will be accessible for the general public when Barnum Creek Nature Reserve opens on Friday, Oct. 16.
The 500-acre property, donated to the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust by Leopoldina and Margaret Dobrzensky in 2018, has been undergoing trail work in preparation for the day it opens to the public and now includes a kiosk, signage and marked trails.
A grand opening for the property is happening the day prior, by invitation only due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We are thrilled to see the spirit of our donation come alive,” the Dobrzenskys said in a statement distributed by the land trust. “We hope the joy and peace it has given our family is passed on to others who visit the land and enjoy all it has to offer.”
In addition to the 500 acres, the Dobrzenskys have also entered into a conservation easement agreement on an additional 100 acres. Some of the Barnum Creek property is still private and not available for public use.
Aside from providing access to the property for the community’s benefit, the land trust also manages and protects its properties in perpetuity.
Barnum Creek is one of five land trust properties in Haliburton County and is the third one to be opened to the public. The Dahl Forest near Gelert includes walking trails, while Norah’s Island on Kennisis Lake (accessible only by boat) permits day use such as picnics.