Loring Deer Yard Trails
The Deer Yard features 3.6 km of trails on Crown Land that wind around stunning wetlands. From May to November, the trails are maintained by volunters of the Loring-Restoule Business Association who hold a Land Use Permit for the area encompassing the Deer Yard Trail. Along this easy walk, you'll find interpretive signage to learn more about the area, and the original viewing station which is a great spot to view wildlife, and maybe spot a deer. The Trail is maintained by volunteers, sections of this trail remain wet most of the season, so be sure to wear footwar that can get muddy or wet. While not actively maintained in the winter months, the trails are a great place to snowshoe.
Why So Many Deer?
During winter, white-tailed deer concentrate in the Loring-Restoule area from up to 90km away. Upwards of 10,000 deer can overwinter in the area making the region home to the largest herd of white-tailed deer in Ontario! By banding together in this natural "deer yard", deer are able to create and maintain a network of trails. These trails provide access to feeding areas and bedding sites and allow deer to escape predators. Many of these trails follow the same routes year after year. Coniferous or evergreen trees provide valuable cover for deer, intercepting snow and blocking wind. The snow depth under conifers is much less than under hardwoods, making travel much easier. Deer feed on twigs and buds during winter and live off fat stored while they are on their summer ranges. In days gone by the community chipped in to feed the deer, but recently the MNRF has decided they prefer people to not feed the deer.