Thursday, July 31, 2014

Forks of the Credit Provincial Park, Ontario Parks

Last week we were passing by Forks of the Credit Provincial Park so we stopped in for a few hours. We didn't see even 1/4 of the park (which was sad since it cost $14 for the day) but we had a great time exploring what we got to see.
 We followed the Meadow trail around to the pond, stopping to take pictures of flowers

and hug trees along the way.
Until we reached the pond.
 It took the girls less then 30 seconds to realize how many frogs there were in the pond and began the task of trying to catch some.
 Sierra lives to catch frogs...she gets very "into" it creeping up on the frogs ever so carefully.
 I was excited to see the Northern Leopard Frogs as they are the first we have seen of these frogs this year. There were literally hundreds of them. Every step you took around the pond you had to do very slowly because there were likely a few frogs sitting along the path. See the four pictured below? Each step you took looked like this and even more frogs jumped out of your way at times.

Sierra was the first to catch one.

She got her mind set on catching a big one...

But she didn't have any luck...she did catch a few different small ones, and let them go right after she caught them.

 We also saw some of these brown frogs that looked very similar to the Northern Leopard Frogs. I think they are Pickerel frogs but I am not certain because Northern leopard frogs can be either brown or green.

Aayla kept trying and trying and trying until she finally did it! She caught a frog all by herself!

After playing here for close to 2 hours everyone was hungry so we walked the approx 10 minute walk back to the car for lunch. There were some picnic tables (a bit over grown) along the ponds edge where we could have eaten if we brought our lunches on the trail.

After lunch we walked back around the other side of the pond through the fields of milkweed.

The fields were literally FULL of milkweed and were so pretty.

There were butterflies everywhere but armed only with my phone these are the best shots I could get of the monarchs.

The view overlooking the pond was beautiful too.

We continued our walk back down to the pond.

And of course once we got there we had to stop and try catching another frog or two.

Here Sierra is illustrating how fast the frogs jump when you try to catch them.

 Hopping fast or not she still managed to catch another frog before we had to leave.

 Aayla didn't have any luck this time but she did have fun playing in the muck at the edge of the pond. The girls also saw a big black bug in the water. I didn't see it but from their description it sound like a big water beetle.

 The trails around the pond were partly mowed meadows and partly a dirt trail. Neither of which would be very wheel chair or stroller friendly if you are thinking of heading to visit this park. If your kids like to hike they should be able to complete the trek around the pond with little issues (remember there is a $14 day use fee here but there are outhouses and shaded picnic tables near the parking lot).

I would have liked to explore more of the park as I have heard there is a nice waterfall here but the girls were having so much fun at the pond that pulling them away would have just upset them and then the walk would not have been fun anyway. I am glad they had so much fun catching and releasing the frogs.

Please remember that if you go out to try to catch some frogs that you do so with clean hands and no hand cream or hand sanitizer on them. Also only handle the frogs for a minute or two as frogs breath through their skin and long term handling of them can hurt them as can hand lotions. It's great to be able to visit with the frogs and examine them but you don't want to hurt them.

A baby toad that hoped right in front of us on the trail.

 And finding a sweet little heart rock was the perfect ending to a great walk.

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