Boyd Conservation Area is located in the city development in Woodbridge, which means it’s the last bit of greenery left in the area. The Conservation Area has two main trails along with a few unlabeled ones. The first trail is William Granger Greenway, which is 9 km in length, and the second is Pierre and Janet Berton, which is almost 1 km long. The other trails are between 1.5 and 0.5 km long. The trails at Boyd Conservation Area have natural surface consisting of gravel and dirt.
According to the York Region Trail Guide, “the area has a hiking trail that circles the conservation Area and offers views of the Humber River.”
Both trails are easy walks. The Berton trail, which is hidden and more peaceful, is flat, while the Granger trail has a few slopes. You can enter the Granger trail from Rutherford Road, so the beginning of the trail has a lot of noise pollution. The noise disappears as you get deeper into the trail.
These trails have unique characteristics that can easily be missed if you don’t pay attention. For example, the Berton trail has hemlock trees, which grow very slowly and can live up to 800 years. It is also home to some unique animal species that you may not see elsewhere. “If you take a moment and watch, there is a lot of wildlife,” says Grant Moravek, assistant supervisor at Boyd Conservation Area. You may come across animals like foxes, wild turkeys, white tail deer, ducks, hawks, rabbits, squirrels and beavers. Moravek says spring mornings are the best time to spot wildlife.
The Berton trail is his favourite between the two. “We are surrounded by houses as well as a couple of main roads, but when you get deep in the bush, … you don't really hear the road,” he says.
The Granger trail is beautiful in its own way. It has a wider path than the Berton trail. If you pay attention you will notice a tree nursery on this path. According to the Pierre and Janet Berton Trails Dedication booklet, the Granger trail “runs parallel to the East Humber River and connects forests, wetlands and meadows.”
The Conservation area has water taps, which come handy if you have your own refillable bottle. It also has various picnic spots, which are also helpful after a long walk.
I walked both trails at noon on a hot summer day. I was dressed in leggings and a long, full-sleeved shirt. However, I still came home with a lot of bug bites all over my body, which means bug-spray is necessary.
The trails are open for pedestrians for free throughout the year, but the park has an admission fee during the spring and summer if you are driving.