A visit to Backus Heritage Conservation Area, a 502ha (1,240-acre) site, satisfies a curiosity for both natural and social history. A heritage village that emulates southern Ontario life in the late 1800s and early 1900s forms the best-known section of the park. Now referred to as Backus Woods, the forest includes black gum, pawpaw, shagbark hickory, sweet chestnut, sycamore, swamp white oak and tulip trees among the maple, beech, yellow birch, red maple and red oak trees typical of an Ontario deciduous forest.
Stands of white pine, yellow birch and hemlock also appear. Interesting flora includes flowering dogwood and southern beech fern. Eighty species of birds–including hooded mergansers, Louisiana water thrushes, orioles, pileated woodpeckers, prothonotary warblers, winter wrens, vireos, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers–nest in the trees, while flying squirrels leap from branch to branch.
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