Cape Hurd - Barney Lake
Barney Lake Nature Reserve is located on the Northern Bruce Peninsula, just a 5-minute drive from Tobermory. It is over 400 acres and was acquired by EBC over a number of years beginning in 2002. After acquiring the lake as part of a 300-acre purchase from a family in Owen Sound, we eventually added the 50-acre Meyer property by purchase, the 42-acre Hackney property with support from Nature Conservancy, and the Hobson property right to the shore with a donation from Emily Hobson and support from Environment Canada in 2015. This allowed us to protect the land from Barney Lake all the way to the Lake Huron shoreline. The funding received also helped us develop trails on the property which leads you not only to the lake but also through alvar, wetlands and ultimately to the rocky Lake Huron shoreline.
The Cape Hurd area is a biological hot spot and is currently being threatened by cottage development. EBC, along with other organizations have grouped together to prevent development from encroaching any further. We now own over 1,000 acres in this area, including the majority of Barney Lake as well as the surrounding provincially significant wetland. Barney Lake Nature Reserve contains a number of threatened and species of special concern such as the Canada Warbler and the Hills Thistle which grows on one of the rarest habitats in North America - alvar. Alvar landscapes look like barren expanses of land with exposed limestone bedrock, shallow soils and scattered shrubs, trees and grasses like ancient cedars. This rather desolate-looking habitat attracts a vast array of invertebrates, mammals, birds, reptiles, and plants including the Massasauga Rattlesnake!
Enjoy a short hike! Access the site by following Cape Hurd Road. Starting from Highway 6, follow Cape Hurd Road west. Just before the road veers north, pull to the south side of the road and park there to see Barney Lake. You can drive a few hundred meters and around the corner, park off the road and enjoy the beautiful walk past alvars and wetlands and through Balsam Fir to the windswept Huron shore. The trail can be wet in places for much of the summer.
Parking is limited, with space for up to 2 cars in front of the gate.