When most people think of the Couchiching Conservancy, they think of Grant's Woods.
This 21-hectare parcel of upland woods is the location of our office, and a popular destination for a relaxing walk in the woods on one of the four kilometres of loop trails.
The Grant family purchased this property in 1908, and in 2002 William Grant donated it to the Conservancy in memory of his late brother Jack.
A former house on the property has been extensively renovated to create the Conservation Centre office. Thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and a legacy gift from the estate of Bill Grant, our office and gazebo are fully accessible, the office is heated and cooled geothermally, and 50% of our annual hydro bill is offset through solar power generation.
This Nature Reserve is an ideal spot for a hike, and also a perfect setting for family, engagement and other photos. For group photos, we ask that the photographer let us know the date and time to ensure we don't run into a conflict. Our parking area can fill up quickly! A donation to help protect the forest is appreciated. We ask that people do not touch the Fargo truck - that includes getting into the truck, opening the hood, standing on the roof. These seemingly minor actions degrade the truck over time, and it is not safe.
*Note that we are not accepting community room bookings during the pandemic* The Grant's Woods Conservation Centre has a community room with space for a maximum of 15 people around our moveable tables. We have a projector & screen which can be reserved, a large white board and an accessible washroom and kitchen. Please contact our Administrative Assistant (email@example.com) for questions and to book.
in memoriam benches:
There are a number of benches in the forest that have been purchased in memory of a loved one. We are at capacity for the number of benches in the forest. If you would like to make a donation in memory or in honour of someone to help protect this forest and others, please visit this page.
Best time to visit: spring for wildflowers, early summer for birds, fall for colourful trees; interpretive trails open year-round, with off-road parking
Address: 1485 Division Road, West, Orillia, ON
*The office and gazebo are closed to the public during the pandemic. Staff can be reached by email and phone, and arrangements can be made to drop off items in our mailbox*
The Periwinkle trail is also accessible.
Unique features of this Nature Reserve
- mature upland forest has not been logged for over a century
- towering canopy of Hard Maple, White Ash, Red Oak, White Pine, American Beech and Eastern Hemlock
- deep moist clay and sand soil, ideal for tall, straight, healthy trees
- nesting area for many birds including Scarlet Tanagers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Broad-winged Hawk and Pileated Woodpeckers
- Indigo Buntings and Mourning Warblers nest along woodland edges
- in the shade of the forest, Christmas Fern, Maidenhair Fern and many spring wildflowers
- small cool streams in shallow ravines collect together to form on the headwaters of the North River
- a four-kilometre network of looped walking trails, with connecting footbridges and interpretive stations