South Drumlin Nature Area
The South Drumlin Nature area is a large drumlin with a deciduous forest that follows along the Trent Canal, and features a robust trail network. It is so-named because, like the Lady Eaton Drumlin Nature Area, it is on a drumlin- an elongated teardrop-shaped hill of rock, sand, and gravel that formed under glacier ice approximately 10,000 years ago.
- Read more on drumlins on the Glacier Landforms: Drumlins web page by the National Snow & Ice Data Center.
- Read more about the last glaciation across North America on the Wikipedia web page Last Glacial Period
The South Drumlin is about 830 meters long x 300 meters wide (at greatest extent), and rises about 20 meters above the surrounding landscape. It is one of several drumlins on campus, with the Lady Eaton Drumlin Nature Area occupying another of the larger ones.
A) Satellite Imagery
1. Created in ArcGIS Pro (click to view full size). The red outline in centre of figure delineates the nature area boundary. This nature area is bounded by a residential community to the south, the Trent Canal to the east, Nassau Mills Rd. to the north, and the Greenway Trail to the northwest-west. The Nature Area itself mainly includes a hardwood forest, seen in this winter photo.
2. Via Google Maps (shows latest satellite image available via Google Maps; will not show boundary).
Location and Use
The South Drumlin Nature Area is located in the southwest region of Trent University's Nassau Campus, between the Rotary Greenway Trail (to the north), Nassau Mills Road (to the northeast), the Trent Canal (to the east), and a residential community to the south. It is used for recreation on its many trails.
Trails, Access, and Points of Interest
This Nature Area has several trails, including one following along the Canal.
The main access is via Nassau Mills Road, where one can park on the road shoulder just northwest of the bridge that crosses the Canal and walk into the Nature Area.
A second point of access used to be available off of the Rotary Greenway Trail, but it is unclear if this is still available. Earlier in 2019 construction of the Nassau Mills Guard Gate completed (see also this notice from the Trent Lands Plan site), which has affected access to this Nature Area. The trail in the South Drumlin Nature Area running along the west bank of the Canal used to continue under the Nassau Mills Road bridge over the Trent Canal, reaching the point/peninsula where the Trent Canal splits off from the Otonabee River flow. From there one could get on the Rotary Greenway Trail and travel into Peterborough or cross the footbridge across the Canal, travel through Trent University and continue north to Lakefield.
The Guard Gate work does seem to have included trails to get around the Guard Gate, but I have yet to walk it.
The site is a drumlin, somewhat flatter than the Lady Eaton Drumlin, with old field uplands to the south and west. The drumlin's north (stoss) slope is steep, while the south (lee) slope is a more gentle incline. The entire area is fairly well drained, except for some areas right by the Canal.
Ecosystems and Species
The primary ecosystems in this nature area include:
- deciduous forest: mainly Sugar Maple - White Ash
- decidious woodland: Aspen
- sparse mixed woodland: mixed species
- old field: grasses
The forest is an early successional deciduous forest, and it presents a good colour show in autumn.
The trails are used fairly frequently for walking and cycling. Also, poison ivy is found along portions of some of the trails, especially where cover is light.
Nature Area History
A few cottages were once situated near the base of the slope in the northeast quarter of the drumlin.
More Updates to Come!
Stay tuned for updates as we add maps and physical descriptions of the Nature Areas.