Lower Trent Conservation is celebrating its 50th anniversary! To commemorate this milestone occasion, we have released our ’50 in 50′ historical blog series. This special series features 50 articles highlighting some of the achievements, milestones and events of the past 50 years. We hope you enjoy them!
In 2010, the view got a lot better from Sager Conservation Area. A new, taller lookout tower was built providing scenic panoramic views of the Trent River valley along with skyline glimpses of Quinte West, Consecon, Belleville, Campbellford, and Marmora. Landmarks up to 30 kilometres away can be viewed on a clear day.
Sager Conservation Area is located on a glacial feature known as Oak Lake Island, a series of large drumlins that formed an island in glacial Lake Iroquois. The drumlin in the Conservation Area is one of the highest points of land in the area, and provides an excellent point from which to view the surrounding countryside.
A short 1 kilometre trail starts at the base of the drumlin and climbs steeply to a 9 metre high lookout tower. There’s a total of 97 steps on the trail plus another 48 steps on the tower – a bit of a hike, but the view is worth it! Once you reach the top, interpretive signs tell a story about some of the natural and cultural features of the area.
The property, located just south of Stirling, was purchased from the Sager Family in 1971. The unique viewing experience from the top of the drumlin was the inspiration for erecting a low observation deck in 1972. In 1976, the observation deck was replaced by a wooden tower to increase the visitor experience and expand the vantage point. After 33 years of use, the wooden tower was removed for safety reasons. In 2010, with the support of Trenval Development Corporation, the Parrott Foundation, RBC Foundation, Township of Stirling-Rawdon, City of Quinte West, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the surrounding community member donations, Lower Trent Conservation was able to build a higher tower made from steel and recycled plastic lumber.
Sager Conservation Area has been recognized as a landmark of significance along the new tourist route ‘Ontario Champlain Scenic Route’. The Provincial government has created a 1,500 km tourist route closely aligned with the footsteps of explorer Samuel de Champlain’s historic journey along the Ottawa River to Georgian Bay, and through the Severn and Trent Rivers. The 1,500 km route will shine the spotlight on Francophone culture and heritage, and will highlight local culture and heritage, culinary experiences, and outdoor attractions. The route will officially launch in 2018.