Menzel Centennial is one of Lennox & Addington County’s most well-kept secrets for nature lovers. Found just west of Roblin, Ontario, it’s a 4.8 km path with an abundance of significant wetlands that makes for a visit well worth making.
Menzel Centennial provides a spectacular view of fens, swamp forest, and highlighted by a wonderful view of Mud Lake at the northern tip of the route.
History & Purpose of Menzel
Rather than re-write what the trail is all about, here is copy directly from the trail head signage that does an excellent job at describing the history and purpose of Menzel.
This nature reserve class provincial park protects a rare fen, one of the largest wetlands of this type in southeastern Ontario. Portions of the area are also recognized as a provincially significant wetland and a provincially significant area of natural and scientific interest. Extensive fens and coniferous swamp forests occupy these wetland areas. They surround a central lake and altogether occupy a large basin some 7-8 km long by 2-3 km wide. The park now covers more than 800 hectares.
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This park was established in 1993, during the 100th anniversary of Ontario Provincial Parks, to allow present and future generations of Ontarians to enjoy this natural area in as pristine a condition as possible. A substantial donation by Mr. D. Menzel was instrumental in protecting these lands, acquired through partnership between Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Parks and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Other partners played an important role and contributed toward purchase of the lands for the park, including the Ontario Heritage Trust and Canadian Wildlife Service. D. Menzel’s gift commemorates the life of his wife Oivi, whose love for nature will endure here forever.
Depending on the season, the trail may be flooded and biting insects may be abundant, so dress appropriately in order to enjoy your visit.
The stops along the way
As you follow Oivi’s Nature Trail (4.8 km return) to the central lake you will encounter many habitats and highlights marked by posts:
1. The forest returns to upland surrounding the wetland.
2. The forest belt at the wetland edge.
3. The wooded wetland, a deep swampy area.
4. The central upland area, surrounded by wetland.
5. The flowering fields in the upland area.
6. A sand and gravel area of the upland.
7. The shrub fen with its many ferns, sedges and orchids.
8. A lovely birch grove at the lakeside.