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This hike winds along a variety of trails through the beautiful Bois-des-esprits. An 'add-on' loop through the upscale neighbourhood of Royalwood, gives us a 7 km route.

Note - Walks may be cancelled due to high windchill factors or other extreme weather conditions. Please check the online event calendar the morning of the event.

Bois-des-esprits - This 117 acre urban forest contains five different ecosystems - river-bottom, wetland, oak forest, aspen forest, and grassland and is considered a vital part of the 27 km Seine River Greenway, the ‘heart and lungs’ of the parkway system.  It is the largest remaining riverbank forest in the city and is situated on the frontline of urban sprawl. What makes it so treasured is that it is still ‘virtually undisturbed.’

One special feature of the woods is a series of oxbows or abandoned riverbeds.  These can be identified as U-shaped low lying areas along the trail. Oxbows were formed when a sharp bend or loop in the river eroded over time until the narrow neck of land between the two banks finally cut through creating a new straighter river channel. These abandoned river beds become highly productive river-bottom and wetland habitat supporting a rich variety of vegetation and wildlife. They are a favourite resting spot for the 20-30 whitetail deer that call the Bois home.

some points of interest -

A three-metre tall wood spirit entitled 'Woody' guards the Bois-des-esprits forest.  It was carved from a giant dead elm tree by Walter Mirosh and Robert LeClair of Les Gens de Bois and at a special aboriginal ceremony was given the name “Mhtik”.

You’ll find many carved owls and wood spirits along the trail.   Self-taught Metis carver Murray Watson has transformed dead branches and stumps in the forest into works of art for visitors to enjoy.  Join the treasure hunt in searching out these mysterious carvings hidden away in the Bois.

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