Newmarket - Jokers Hill (Bathurst St)

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Newmarket - Jokers Hill (Bathurst St)

Region/Township: Newmarket
ORTA Map Number: ORTA Map 3
Coordinates: 44.041408, -79.504148
Meeting Place/Parking:

Meet at road side parking on dead-end street west of Bathurst, 1.3 km north of Mulock Dr. north of town houses.

Terrain: Hilly
Difficulty: Moderate
General Description:

The Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill, is a biological field station belonging to and managed by the University of Toronto. It occupies roughly 348 hectares of old fields, wetlands, grasslands, and forest lands in King Township, on the western portion of the Oak Ridges Moraine and close to the town of Newmarket, Ontario. The site has been called "an island in a sea of development"; its diverse ecosystems are home to many species of plants and animals.

Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill (KSR) is the site of many ongoing research projects, including studies in forest ecology, soil ecology, biological invasions, plant defences, fungal biodiversity, pollinating insects, plant reproductive ecology, and ecological impacts of global change. Over its first 15 years of operation, KSR scientists published more than 65 reports on research conducted at the Reserve. These researchers were from all three University of Toronto Campuses, plus the University of Guelph, York University, and the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and from abroad, Cornell University, University of Pittsburgh, Université de Paris and Université de Bordeaux.

Thornton Bales Conservation Area is famous for its steep slopes and rugged beauty. This Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) is part of the Oak Ridges Moraine, and has an elevation that drops 54 metres from its southwest corner to its northern boundary. Nicknamed "The 99 Steps," this conservation area is best suited to people who are in good physical condition and enjoy a challenge. Water bottles and comfortable footwear are strongly recommended for hikers targeting these woodland trails. Among the wildlife that can be found in this ravine-like setting are pileated woodpeckers and white tailed deer. The Koffler-Bales side trail provides access from Thornton Bales Conservation Area to the University of Toronto’s Koffler Scientific Reserve at Joker’s Hill.

17080 Bathurst St
Newmarket, Ontario L3X