CA, Ontario: Autumnal postcards – John Earle Chase Memorial Park

September thoughts are lingering more than the month itself. Who needs to go to St. Moritz or Vermont to see autumnal landscapes, when they are right here, around the corner?


I have never thought to have a whole park for myself, but certainly this is not a park marked on the Google map yet, but a hidden gem since 1995. Hmm, maybe the park hasn’t had a proper sign since 1995, but anyway, Google, where are you? I’m sure that people would love to know about this park!

John Earle Chase Memorial Park-the trail map on the left, Google map on the right

The John Earle Chase Memorial Park is a 400 acre site that was farmed by successive members of the Chase family until they donated the land to the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW), Parks Canada, in 1995.

The standing one, tall and free

Ralph and Evelyn Chase were the last two family members who lived on the property, and they graciously donated the land to the Crown, to honour the memory of their brother John Earle Chase, who was killed in World War II, and couldn’t make his return back on his native lands – his burial place is actually in the Commune of Agira, in the center of Sicily.

A peacefull path

Following another condition from Chase family to return the land to its natural state and keep it open to the enjoyment of the public, we found this park a bliss, a quiet place to admire the nature, to relax all our senses, breathe peacefully, and connect with Mother Nature.

Boulder covered by moss
Some Sphagnum (peat) mosses can absorb up to 20 times their own weight in water. In World War I, Sphagnum mosses were used as first-aid dressings on soldiers’ wounds, as it is said that these mosses absorb and retain liquids much faster than cotton, are cooler, softer, and they are less irritating. It is also claimed to have antibacterial properties. Native Americans were one of the peoples to use Sphagnum for diapers, among other purposes. There are approximately 12,000 species worldwide.

Moss close up

Kawartha Land Trust partnered with Parks Canada and Municipality of Trent Lakes to protect and enhance this site, and with the help of Buckhorn Trails Association, and the population assistance, the park was cleared and marked back in 2018, while new trails have been opened as well.

2 hours North East from Toronto, the park is located on the North shore of Gannon’s Narrow (the strait that links Pigeon Lake to Buckhorn Lake).

White aster
White aster – The name Aster comes from the Ancient Greek word aster, meaning “star”, referring to the shape of the flower head. The genus Aster once contained nearly 600 species in Eurasia and North America, but after research on the genus during the ‘90s, it was decided that the North American species are better treated in a series of other related genera. After this split there are roughly 180 species within the genus, all but one being confined to Eurasia.
White baneberry
White baneberry is also known as “doll’s eyes” because of its white berries with prominent black spot that look like eyes of porcelain dolls. All parts of white baneberry (especially berries and roots) are poisonous.
Bumblebee feeding from a sea aster flower
The sea asters are blooming well in the fall, and are a good source of nectar for late butterflies, and Bumble Bees who will hibernate over the winter. There are about 400 different type of bees, and 16 Bumble Bee species, in Ontario.

The yellow trail is the shortest one. There are two openings to the lake, where we could spot a nice view of the lake shore, admiring the changing colours of the trees along the shoreline.

Colourfull trees

People fishing on Pigeon Lake

Have a wonderful season!

~ visited in September 2019


2 thoughts on “CA, Ontario: Autumnal postcards – John Earle Chase Memorial Park

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