The Oak Ridges Moraine is a fantastic place to explore in every season. With more than 50 parks, trails and protected areas across the moraine there are plenty of places to find serenity, explore and observe nature. More than 1,200 animal and plant species can be found on the Oak Ridges Moraine, including more than 75 species-at-risk.
This photo journal was inspired by my many explorations of the moraine’s trails, fields, forests and other natural spectacles.
Under the warm sun, a hairy woodpecker seeks out insects living in a paper birch tree at Rice Lake Conservation Area.
The rolling hills and majestic forest of the Oak Ridges Moraine, seen above frozen shores at Rice Lake Conservation Area.
A blue jay surveys visitors to the cedar forest trails at the Duffins Creek Environmental Education Centre in mid-February.
Contrasting shadows captivate hikers on a sunny January hike in the Ganaraska Forest – southern Ontario’s largest forest.
Garden Hill Conservation Area hosts a broad diversity of species in its wetlands, pond and mature pine forest – and is beautiful even on a dreary winter day.
The Sugar Shack Trail in Oshawa’s Purple Woods Conservation Area.
Paper birches provide remarkable contrast with the snowy trails at the Purple Woods Conservation Area.
Looking southeast towards Oshawa and Lake Ontario from the Purple Woods Heritage Hall’s observation platform.
An eastern bluebird perching on top of a spruce, in early June, at the Secord Forest and Wildlife Area.
This common ringlet butterfly rests at Rice Lake Conservation Area.
Bobolinks tend to their nests and chicks in June, along the moraine.
Ospreys soar above the moraine, where they scoop up fish from lakes and ponds.
Beautiful streams run along the trails of the Ganaraska Forest.
Photograph by Kiril Strax.
Monarch butterflies feeding on the nectar of cup-plant flowers, in autumn on the moraine. Photograph by Dawn Knudson.
The open habitat of the Oak Ridges Moraine provides great hawk-watching opportunities during fall migration.
Photographs and text by Noah Cole.
Noah Cole is Ontario Nature’s communications assistant.