The Ballyduff Trails
The Ballyduff Trails
South Pond Farms is an access point for the Ballyduff trails. You are welcome to walk the adjoining Ballyduff Trails on
the McKim-Garsonnin property that wind through 260 acres protected by the Kawartha Land Trust.
We appreciate the work of the Kawartha Land Trust who help create awareness of the Fleetwood Creek watershed region which is connected by hills, streams and natural spaces.
Things to note before using the trails
Although the property remains private we welcome groups and families to enjoy our trails for nature walks or, in the winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. We simply ask that you:
- Park your car in the South Pond parking area
- Dogs are permitted on the trails, but must be leashed at all times. There are farm animals and wildlife, that we try hard not to disturb. Please clean up after your dog.
- CAUTION: the pond does not freeze. As you enter the trails from South Pond, stay on the path, there are steep slopes and flowing water.
- Stay on the marked trails
- Avoid littering
- Assume full responsibility for your own safety and well-being
About the Ballyduff Trails
The Ballyduff Trails wind through the 260 acres of the McKim-Garsonnin property now protected through a conservation agreement with the Kawartha Land Trust. The property is on the Oak Ridges Moraine and contains many of the features of that glacially-formed terrain: rolling hills, sand deposits, a ridge of rocks (esker) left behind by an ancient river and, not least, a wetland which is the source of an ever-bearing stream feeding into the Kawartha lakes system.
In the mid-19th century the land was settled by Europeans and cleared for subsistence farming. Remnants of old root fences and rock piles can still be found and the foundation of the old homestead is located in a thick stand of black locusts and lilacs. In later years, after tilling of the soil was abandoned, the land was used for grazing cattle resulting in some woodlot deterioration and land erosion.
McKim purchased the property in 1986 and Jean and Ralph built a squared-log home on the high ridge to the west several years later. It has become their mission to restore, as far as they are able, the
ecological integrity of this land and make it available for the enjoyment of others now and in the future.
- To that end they are:
Managing our forests according to a registered plan
- Planting white pine and red oak annually ( over 12,000 seedlings to date)
- Protecting our wetland (la source)
- Establishing a native (tall grass) prairie
- Creating wildlife habitat
- Controlling invasive species
- Maintaining nature trails for their our own enjoyment – and yours
In 2011 Ralph McKim and Jean Garsonnin signed a Conservation Agreement with the Kawartha Land Trust to ensure the protection of this land we love – in perpetuity. For now it’s theirs to share and yours to care for and enjoy!