Stepping into Nature - Minden Riverwalk

A walking tour of the flora and fauna along Minden's Riverwalk

Stepping into Nature - Minden Riverwalk

Minden, Ontario K0M 2A1, Canada

Created By: Haliburton County Master Gardeners

Tour Information

Located in the Haliburton Highlands, straddling the Canadian Shield and "the land between", is the village of Minden. The Haliburton County Master Gardners, in collaboration with Trent University through U-Links, have researched and documented the plants and insects found along the Minden Riverwalk Trail in this multi-media walking tour.

Over the spring, summer and fall of 2022, a team of Master Gardners walked the Riverwalk Trail repeatedly to identify, inventory and document the plants found along this trail. Ranging from hardy native plants, trees, grasses, shrubs and flowers to unwelcome invasive species, the diversity of this treasured trail is remarkable.

Designed to be accessible, this tour is best enjoyed with your five senses. Stop and listen to the insects, the wind and the water and enjoy the audio tracks in this tour. Smell the intoxicating scent of flowers on various plants along the trail. Enjoy the vibrant colours throughout all of the seasons and reach out and touch petals, stems, trunks and leaves (but watch out for the busy bees and wasps!). We've even noted some edible plants, so selective tasting may be possible.

Be present and take your time to notice the smallest of details as you step into nature with the Haliburton County Master Gardeners.

We are stewards of this land for future generations and acknowledge that Haliburton County is located on Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig territory and the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig and Chippewa Nations, collectively known as the Williams Treaties First Nations. The knowledge gained over thousands of years has been generously shared by First Nations peoples and has helped inform our work on native plants.

This project is supported by the Haliburton County Development Corporation, U-Links, generous community donors and the Haliburton County Master Gardeners. Thank you to all of our donors and volunteers!

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Did you know that the Canada Goose is not native to the Haliburton region?  Even though you may see them at this point on our walking tour, historically their nesting grounds were limited to the Arctic tundra, to the Western Prairies and t... Read more
While you stand and admire the Logger’s Statue, take a minute to look around you at the plants along the riverbank and the insects moving through and on the plants. Maybe the Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) is in bloom, with its pink ... Read more
The rainbow bench at this tour stop is in honour of Sinclair Russell who is remembered for his many contributions to Minden including co-founding Minden Pride. He is described as being a flamboyant and creative man. We can see many of these... Read more
Native grasses, sedges and rushes Minden is located in the Haliburton Highlands, a region of some of the last intact forests of Southern Ontario. As you move northward in this region, the grasslands of Southern Ontario slowly give way to t... Read more
Do you see the White Pine, White Spruce and Red Maples at this tour stop? These trees are excellent representatives of some of the native trees that grow in the Haliburton Highlands. They are native because they evolved with the land and p... Read more
You can see some “pollination powerhouse plants” along the riverbank here. In addition to the yellow Goldenrod (Salidago species) and White Panicle Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum), Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) can also be seen... Read more
Just before you get to the entry to the marsh boardwalk, there’s a lovely stretch of riverbank with Wild Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa), which has pale purple flowers in summer, Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea), Meadow Rue (Thalictrum da... Read more
Behind you are 400 meters of boardwalk that takes you through a marsh of Cattails (Typha latifolia), grasses and Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), and brings you to the Cultural Centre on your left or the fair grounds on your right... Read more
Pause here to look at the varied collection of flowering plants along the riverbank. What colours do you see? Purple, red, white, yellow – depending on the time of year, flowers will have emerged:  Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divari... Read more
Linden trees or rather their genus Tilia, have about 30 different species of trees or bushes native to most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The tree is known as Linden for the European Species and Basswood for the North American speci... Read more
Did you know that beavers like to eat the bark, buds, leaves, twigs and roots of alder trees? We’ve got a healthy, mature Speckled aka Tag Alder (Alnus incana) at this stop along the Minden Riverwalk – not unsurprising since Speckled A... Read more
There are a number of species of Serviceberry found in Ontario:  Saskatoon Servicberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) near the Ontario-Manitoba border, Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) native to southwestern Ontario and Smooth Serviceber... Read more
Plants have roots that intertwine, roots that mat together, roots that penetrate deeply and anchor around rocks, and roots that prevent soil from washing away.    Nature has done a pretty good job holding things together since the last i... Read more
At another stop, midway down Invergordon Street, we learned about “keystone” trees and how important they are in our diverse, healthy forest ecosystem. We also learned not to panic when we see caterpillars and insects eating leaves and ... Read more
A forest is made up only of trees, right?  Wrong!  A forest has layers, including the understory. This stop has many examples of understory bushes, small trees and flowering plants, all critically important to the forest ecology. The herb... Read more
There are more than 25 different species of Goldenrod found in Ontario with varieties that grow in almost any conditions. They have bright yellow showy flowers from August to September and are prized as ornamentals by European gardeners. ... Read more
If you are lucky enough to be sitting on this bench in late July through September, you will see brilliant red flowers growing along the shoreline.  These are the native Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia cardinalis)  that grow best in consistent... Read more
The small flower of this Native Rose (Rosa blanda) has a simple, wide open shape with five pink petals and upright stamens loaded with pollen and nectar.  This feature allows bees and other pollinators to land easily. Many of the hybrid ... Read more
Standing on the path at the Clergy House on Water Street, you will notice a couple of beautiful native shrubs: Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) and Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum). You will undoubtedly also notice the highly invasive Ja... Read more
You’re almost at Bobcaygeon Road! Take a moment at this bench on Water Street and admire the large patch of White Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). With fern-like leaves and lots of clusters of white flowers, this native perennial also has s... Read more
What can you do on your property for groundcovers? While turf grass is used in many places along the riverbank as a ground cover, we can see the native Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) at this stop. This is an excellent groundcover for... Read more


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