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Sep 5, 2013

Solitude in the City

'Spettigues Pond' - one of the Westminster Ponds in London ON

I suspect very few people are familiar with the Westminster Ponds in London ON. In fact, many Londoners are not acquainted with these ponds.

The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority manages the site. The ponds are located at the southeast corner of the city near Parkwood Hospital. An access point at the Tourist Information Centre on Wellington Road leads to 11 km of trails winding through approximately 200 hectares of  woods and natural habitat. This area is designated a Provincially Significant Wetland.

'Westminster Sumach'
For those who know, the ponds allow you to get away from the city without actually leaving the city. I have hiked these trails dozens (perhaps hundreds) of times but have rarely seen more than five or six people and their dogs. Frankly, I like it that way.

Accessible in all four seasons, the trails have boardwalks over swampy areas, staircases for some of the steeper hills and, as you can see, even docks that would allow for kayaking or canoeing on the ponds. I've not actually seen a boat on the water but I have seen people swimming at three of the ponds.

London ON has a few secrets - this is one of them.

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