We headed out to explore one of the several parks in the conservation area located about 20 minutes North of where we live. Crawford Lake is special in that it’s a meromictic lake:
A 1971 study revealed Crawford Lake to be meromictic – because the lake’s basin is deeper than it’s surface area, the lowest levels of water are very rarely, if ever, disturbed by wind or temperature changes. Without an annual turnover of water, there is little oxygen present in its depths and minimal bacterial breakdown, which preserves the layers of sediment that have built up over time. This build up provides an accurate record of the human and natural history of the lake and its surroundings. Studies of this sediment revealed the agricultural history of the Iroquoian people, and the presence of a pre-contact village. – Excerpt from the Conservation Halton web site
Based on those findings, there is also a reconstructed Iroquois village on site which made us choose this area as the first to explore. The village is laid out with informative signs throughout that provided a really good glimpse into the day to day life of the Iroquois.
The reconstructed15th century Iroquoian village, is well worth an exploratory visit before you head home. From 1973 to 1987, excavations uncovered 11 longhouses on the site and various artefacts of the settlers day-to-day lives. Three of these longhouses have been reconstructed on the exact footprints of the archaeological findings. Peaceful flute music plays softly, encouraging you to wander the village and delve deeper into the history and culture of these original settlers. Learn about their daily lives through Interpretive programs, including simulated digs and presentations on life in the 15th century. – Excerpt from the Conservation Halton web site
We spent about 45 minutes exploring the village then chose to hike the shortest of the trails available (weren’t sure when the rain would start) Lake Crawford Trail (1.4 km). This trail has a boardwalk that goes all the way around the lake. Beautiful day at Crawford Lake.
On the trail….
On a related note – that last pic with the red berries reminded me of something I learned as a child about the dangers of eating berries in the wild: If the birds or other wildlife haven’t eaten the berries, it’s probably safe to assume that they’re not safe for human consumption either… Leave them alone.