Maps & Physical Environment
- Trent University Nature Areas- List, map, and links to pages focused on each individual TNA
- Provincially Significant Wetlands on Trent University Property
- Historical Changes in Nature Areas
- Trails in Trent University’s Nature Areas
- Flora & Fauna in the TNAs
The Trent University Nassau Campus (in the northeast corner of Peterborough City) includes 11 distinct Nature Areas, including (listed alphabetically, and displayed on the map below). These Nature Areas encompass distinct ecosystems, identified via field surveys conducted back in the late 1980s. Select any area below for more detailed information about that area, including maps and physical descriptions. You can also view/download the map (PDF).
- Archaeology Centre Wetland
- Lady Eaton Drumlin
- Lock 22
- Ninth Line
- Otonabee Wetland
- Promise Rock
- South Drumlin
- Total Loss Farm
- Wetland Complex
- Wildlife Sanctuary
In August 2019 the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry released the Nassau Wetland Complex Wetland Evaluation Report, completed by DM Wills for the City of Peterborough. This report results in the identification of a new Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW), called the Nassau Wetland Complex, located in the City of Peterborough (some on Trent University property) and the Township of Douro-Dummer.
The wetlands identified as provincially significant include some in current Natural Areas, including the Archaeology Centre Wetland Nature Area, the Otonabee Wetland Nature Area, and wetlands that cross the Wildlife Sanctuary and Canal Nature Areas.
Click to view/download the report (PDF), which includes a map early on.
The Trent Nature Areas have changed in number and location since their inception in the 1970s.
- The Wildlife Sanctuary was the first and only Nature Area through the 1970s and 1980s.
- In 1989 15 new Nature Areas were established and identified based on field work, literature surveys, and interviews, bringing us to a total of 16 Nature Areas.
- Since then, some Nature Areas have been merged, while others have been lost or modified in area due to development and other activities.
Below is some information about these past changes and Nature Area names.
Highway 28 Wetlands
This is an old designation for part of what is now the Lady Eaton Drumlin Nature Area. It describes the wetland that runs down the east side of Highway 29 (formerly 28), west of the drumlin, and is now incorporated into the Lady Eaton Drumlin Nature Area.
Highway 28 Woods
Located on the west side of Highway 29 (formerly Highway 28), across from the Lady Eaton Drumlin, north of the residences and south of Woodland Drive, this former nature area consists primary of a deciduous forest. Trent University sold its property in this area back in the middle of this decade. As of mid-2019 the forest is still there on the west side of Highway 29.
Horsetail-Fern Meadow Wetland and Lock 22 Maple-Beech Woods
These old Nature Area designations describe part of what has come to be the current Lock 22 Nature Area.
The Horsetail-Fern Meadow Wetland included the forest and wetland along the north side of East Bank Drive between the Otonabee River and Highway 29, as well as the river that runs from it northwest to the Otonabee River, while the Lock 22 Maple-Beech Woods included the forest on the west bank of the Otonabee River across from Trent Severn Waterway Lock 22 (north of the Meadow). In the late 1990s these two Nature Areas were amalgamated into the Lock 22 Nature Area.
A further change took plate in this area in the late 2000s, where after some discussion on campus (involving among other Trent groups the Nature Areas Committee and the Environmental Advisory Board), the Robert G. Lake Hydroelectric Generating Station was constructed in 2008-9, and much of the forest was removed on the west bank close to Lock 22, especially due to canal construction that feeds water from the Lock 23 dam down to the station. There are still some maple trees in that area from that original ecosystem, between the Otonabee River and the canal, and trails are still present that allow walkers to cross the Otonabee River at Lock 22, and walk up/down the river on both shorelines, although the trail north from lock 22 on the west side of the river is a dead end (ends at Lock 23).
This area is now a part of the Lady Eaton Drumlin Nature Area, encompassing a large deciduous forest bounded by the hydro right-of-way to the south, East Bank Drive to the north and east, and Highway 29 to the west.
Snow and Biological Research Area
This Nature Area occupied approximately the same area as the current Canal Nature Area. The current name was adopted in the late 1990s.
Through the rest of 2019 we will be adding trail information and maps to each of the individual Nature Areas' pages on this website (links at the top of this page). Below are descriptions of some of our more prominent trails.
Lady Eaton Drumlin Nature Trail
This rocky, dirt trail is a steep climb up and down the drumlin. The top of the drumlin offers a spectacular view of the Trent University campus and surrounding area. Formed more than 10,000 years ago by melting ice sheets depositing glacial till, the Lady Eaton Drumlin is one of 3,000 drumlins in the Peterborough area. Be sure to visit in the fall when colours create an especially spectacular site. The trail entrance is on the west side of the road approximately 100m north of Blackburn Hall entrance at Trent University. There is a sign at the southern base of the trail.
Length: 1 km
Promise Rock Nature Trail
This trail consists of an overgrown rail bed and wooded loop trail leading to the famous "Promise Rock", a large, flat-topped limestone outlier deposited at the end of the last ice age. This rock was once a part of Cub Scout initiation ceremonies. Natural features include a stand of 100 year old white pine and hemlock trees. Beware, poison ivy is common in this area.From Peterborough take River Road north of Trent University to Trent-Severn Waterway Lock 22. Access is gained via a lane entrance at the east side of River Road opposite the Lock 22 picnic area parking lot.
Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Trail
This is a great spot to enjoy the diversity of nature and the wildlife that can be found in each of the various habitats. The Blue Trail takes you through the most diverse range of habitats - lowland forest, wetlands and upland fields. The Yellow Trail loops along an upland route with several slopes to climb. The Red Trail is short, easy and flat and takes you through lowland forest and along the edge of a wetland. The entrance is located on the eastern side of University Road, south of Nassau Mills Road. There are signs and a parking lot. Can also be accessed via the baseball diamond field on the south side of Pioneer Road, just east of Nassau Mills Road.
- Blue Trail - 3.7km
- Yellow Trail - 2.6km
- Red Trail - 1.9km
Canal Nature Trail
The longer Morton Family (Blue) Trail loops south, passing at parts along the side of the Trent Canal. The John de Pencier (Red) Trail is slightly shorter and passes through more of the inland of the Nature Area. The entrance is located opposite the parking lot to the Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Area, on the west side of University Road.
- John de Pencier (Red) Trail - 2km
- Morton Family (Blue) Trail - 2.3km
There are many significant biophysical features of interest to be found in the TNAs including a variety of interesting landforms, wetlands, habitats for rare or uncommon animal and plant species, and a variety of different types of vegetation cover.
Twelve species of plants were discovered on the Trent properties that are rare or uncommon in the southern part of Peterborough County (Ben-Oliel et. al., 1989). Several uncommon species requiring cool, moist habitats for their survival grow in the Total Loss Farm NA. The Archaeology Centre Wetland NA is home to a large variety of amphibian species and research is currently being carried out in this area by faculty at Trent University. White-tailed deer may be seen in several TNAs as well as a variety of small mammals and bird species (Jones et. al., 2002).
Later in 2019 we will be updating individual Nature Area pages on this website with species lists, and we hope to introduce some interactivity, where users can report their sightings and we can update our species lists over time. In the meantime we supply the lists below.
The bark of a tree serves the same function as your skin. It helps prevent moisture loss, and protects the tree from the elements such as insects and fire. We have many different species of trees in Trent University's nature areas. Have a look at our Visual Tree Bark Guide and take it with you the next time you go for a walk in the forest. Ask yourself "Can I name that tree?"