Discovering Nature in the North

The Link, Summer 2017
| by Greg Webb |

In its fourth season presenting the Nature Discovery Tours series, the Bancroft & District Chamber of Commerce (BDCC) continues to partner with the Bancroft Stewardship Council (BASC) and various community volunteers to ensure the expertise of each tour is paramount.

The tours are scheduled to run throughout the year. This summer, take a guided tour of the North Hastings Community Fish Hatchery. This state-of-the-art fish culture facility raises a genetically unique strain of lake trout, as well as brook trout, for stocking into local lakes. Learn about the life cycle of a fish, the various stages of the fish-rearing process and what you can do to help enhance local fisheries. The tours are guided by volunteers who work at the hatchery.

“…presenting the Nature Discovery Tours series…”

The Forestry Tour is also part of the summer schedule. Freymond Lumber specializes in running this tour which starts at the lumber yard and takes the guests through a guided tour of the log yard, sawmill and chipping facility. You will see logs from the local forest manufactured into lumber, wood chips, sawdust and bark.

In July, Join Betty Coutu, a member of the Bancroft Field Naturalist Club for a Chimney Swifts (birding) presentation and private viewing of this endangered bird species which nests by the hundreds in select, protected chimneys. They are only present in the area at certain periods during the year.

Also in July, new this year to the Nature Discovery Tour series is the Local Indigenous History Tour. The Algonquin people and their ancestors have inhabited the Ottawa River Basin, including local tributaries such as the York and Madawaska rivers, since time immemorial. Join local Algonquins to learn more about their culture through a guided interpretive walk at Eagles Nest Park. Along the trail you will also learn the ways in which the natural and geological history of the area shaped the culture of the Algonquins indigenous to this landscape.

In July and August the BDCC for years has run its famous Rockhound Mineral Collecting tours. The tours are led by a geologist who will explain the best method of collection for the specific site, help to identify the minerals found and provide information on the geology of the area. Participants will become aware of interesting natural features, native animals and invasive or indigenous plants.

February typically kicks off the year with the majestic Elk Tour, starting with a presentation by Elk expert and enthusiast, Barry Wannamaker. The successful local restoration program and the current status of elk management are discussed, followed by a guided tour through elk country to view their typical habitat. Don’t miss this one next year!

For more information please contact the chamber at 613-332-1513, ext. 213 or visit