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Outdoor Hiking Trails in London, Ontario – Westminster Ponds


  • By Tourism London
Family holding hands while walking a boardwalk in Westminster Ponds Environmentally Significant Area in London Ontario
Westminster Ponds - @annielaurenphotography Instagram
 
Nature lovers & hiking fans don’t have to travel far to enjoy one of the largest publicly owned Environmentally Significant Areas (ESA) in London. Located South of Commissioners Road & East of Wellington Road, adjacent to the Tourism London Welcome Centre, the ESA extends eastward towards Pond Mills Road.
 
Westminster Ponds is approximately 200 hectares with six major ponds, 11 km of managed trails and variety of natural habitats that makes it one of London’s hidden gems! Depending on how much time you have, make sure you stop by our Tourism London Welcome Centre to get the latest information on London and surrounding areas
 

OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATION

London is located in the traditional territory of the Attawandaron, Haudenosaunee, and Lunaapeewak peoples. Archaeological digs have uncovered artifacts from First Nations campsites that date back 4,500 years.  
 
Did you know that European farmers first titled the area along Commissioners Road in 1810? The railway track that cuts across the ESA was constructed in 1915 as part of a line from London to Port Stanley, Ontario. In the 1940’s, several veteran’s residences & other facilities were built north of Saunders Pond, as part of Westminster Hospital. In the 1960’s, part of the area was used as a sanitary landfill site (Upper Thames River Brochure).
 

TEACHING OPPORTUNITY 

The Meeting Tree is one of three Heritage trees in the City of London, officially recognized under the Forests Ontario Heritage Tree program. This 675 year old tree that stands about 10 stories high is the site of the annual Emancipation Day Celebration. It is believed that this tree was a meeting place during the mid-1800’s for those seeking freedom & traveling along the Underground Railroad.

BROCHURES & ACTIVITY

View a digital copy of the trail map here: http://thamesriver.on.ca/wp-content/uploads//ESAs/2019-WestminsterESA-brochure.pdf

BINGO! Check out ReForest London's BINGO sheet that can be used for any of London's walks or hikes. Print it at home and use it in your neighbourhood (or wherever it's safe to wander outside)!  DOWNLOAD HERE.

Looking for other trails and information about natural spaces in London, Ontario? CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.



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