Want to get a shot of the elusive cardinal? Or have an opportunity to feed some birds? Check out cranes in their natural habitat rather than the zoo? A visit to Hendrie Valley in Burlington, Ontario, to hike and walk along its marsh boardwalk just may be the thing.
Managed by the Royal Botanical Gardens and with over 50 hectares of marshland, Hendrie Valley is a beautiful, lush spot teeming with birds including friendly nuthatches and chickadees. You can also spot chipmunks, rabbits, turtles and even beavers.
Aside from the many birds, also noticeable are the numerous cameras. People love coming to Hendrie Valley to take photos of not only the birds and animals, but also the landscape. It’s naturally pretty and one of the things I love about having the RBG within the city of Burlington.
Walking through Hendrie Valley you can easily forget you are in an urban area. However, there are spots which have been marred by colourful (and admittedly artistic) graffiti.
A Place to Visit With Kids*
This is a place to take kids, as long as you keep an eye on them. Parts of the boardwalk do not have railings so clumsy toddlers prone to falling down should be in a stroller.
It’s also a place where kids can learn about patience and the value of being quiet. During one of our hikes at Hendrie Valley, we had many nuthatches and chickadees on the trees lining the trails. They aren’t shy about visitors. They will come to visit if you stick your hand out, hoping that you will have some birdseed for them. Just be very still and quiet.
Tips for Visiting Hendrie Valley
Things to take with you while visiting Hendrie Valley:
- A small snack and water
- A good camera with a zoom lens for all those bird photos!
- Comfortable walking shoes – it’s not a strenuous hike, but there’s lots of exploring to do
Directions: To get to the trails, you can park just west of the Royal Botanical Gardens (680 Plains Road West, Burlington, Ontario) on the north side.