|Comox Valley Nature Viewing Guide|
|Cumberland Marsh and Cumberland Community Forest|
|Cassin's Vireo: |
Bill Heybroek drawing
|Cumberland Marsh: Krista Kaptein photo||Wood Duck: Terry Thormin photo|
|Large freshwater marshes and forested areas provide Cumberland Marsh with a rich and diverse habitat for plant and bird life. Once the site of Cumberland’s historic Chinatown, the area is now comprised of the 40-hectare Coal Creek Historic Park and the 60-hectare Community Forest. A walk along the marsh trail reveals the presence of beaver activity, the seasonal appearance of dragonflies and butterflies, as well as the possibility of seeing a Black Bear. Nesting Red-breasted Sapsuckers, Wood Ducks and Canada Geese are in the area at various times of the year. Wetland areas feature a profusion of cattails and water lilies, while wild ginger, black twinberry, red osier dogwood and other shrubs and plants can be found among the Douglas-fir, redcedar and yew trees of the Cumberland Forest.|
|Geographical Description||Marsh and woods east of Comox Lake. Cumberland Marsh drains into Perseverance (Coal) Creek, then westward to Comox Lake; wetlands by Community Forest drain east into the Trent River system. Interconnective drainage between the wetlands.|
|Area/ Trail Length||40 ha. Coal Creek Historic Park; .8 km (one-way) trail from Jumbo’s Cabin to Japanese #1 Town site; |
60 ha Cumberland Community Forest; 1.2 km (one-way) trail from Jumbo’s Cabin to Sutton Rd.
Marsh: flat trails, coal slack hills at west end.
Forest: some hills, bridges.
|Habitat||Freshwater marsh, 2nd growth forest, meadow at Chinatown site, revegetating coal slack hills.|
|Highlights||Extensive freshwater marshes; Beaver activity; nesting sapsuckers, Wood Ducks, Canada Geese in spring; yew trees; wild ginger in spring; ethnobotanical plants.|
|Best Season||Spring for forest flowers & nesting birds, autumn for bears.|
|Main Access||Parking below Jumbo’s Cabin at 2425 Comox Lake Road,Cumberland. (across from west end of Dunsmuir Ave)|
|Secondary Accesses||South end of Sutton Rd at Comox Lake Rd (parking 2 blocks north at CRI 2665 Dunsmuir); .77 km west from Jumbo’s Cabin along Comox Lake Rd.|
|Cautions||Marsh trail may be wet; Bridges in forest may be slippery when wet; Off-road vehicles occasionally on coal hills.|
|Jurisdiction||Village of Cumberland.|
|Mammals||Beaver, Black-tailed Deer, Black Bear.|
|Birds||Wood Duck , Mallard , Common Loon , Bald Eagle ,Virginia Rail, Rufous Hummingbird , Red-breasted Sapsucker , Downy Woodpecker , Olive-sided Flycatcher , Hammond's Flycatcher , Cassin's Vireo , Warbling Vireo , Steller's Jay , Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow , Pacific Wren , Marsh Wren , Golden-crowned Kinglet , Hermit Thrush , American Robin , Varied Thrush, European Starling , Orange-crowned Warbler , Yellow-rumped Warbler , Townsend's Warbler , Common Yellowthroat, Spotted Towhee , Song Sparrow , Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) , Western Tanager , Black-headed Grosbeak , Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird , Purple Finch , Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Bufflehead, Ring-necked Duck, Belted Kingfisher.|
|Amphibians||Pacific tree frog.|
|Fish||Coho salmon, cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden, sculpin in Perseverance Creek.|
|Insects||Butterfly List for Cumberland Marsh|
|Trees||Pacific ninebark, red-osier dogwood, cascara; bigleaf maple, black cottonwood, red alder, Pacific crab apple, willow sp. |
Forest: western hemlock, Douglas-fir, western redcedar, western yew, red alder, bitter cherry, Douglas maple.
|Shrubs||Black twinberry, hardhack. |
Forest: Oregon grape, red huckleberry, salal, salmonberry, kinnikkinnick, Saskatoon, red elderberry.
|Flowering Plants||Cattail, water lily, skunk cabbage, sundew in marsh. |
Forest: Bleeding heart, trillium, palmate coltsfoot, cleavers, wood violet, mint, vanilla leaf.
|Ferns, Lichens, Mosses||Bracken fern, sword fern, deer fern, licorice fern. Step moss, lungwort, beard lichens, pelt lichens, Ramalina sp.|
|Lichen List for Cumberland Forest|
|Other Species||Witches broom (parasitic on Douglas-fir)|
|Invasive/Non-native species||Invasive: Scotch broom, Himalayan raspberry, knotweed sp., periwinkle. |
Non-native: forget-me-not, plum & apple trees from mining settlements.
Ethnobotanical non-natives: horseradish, goutweed, Fuki (Petasites japonicus)
Bullfrog; painted turtle, red slider turtle.
|Plant List for all Areas||Plant List by Zone|
|Mushrooms||False morel (brain mushroom)|
|Geology||Low marsh areas are glacial sluices, higher ground e.g. Comox Lake Rd is an esker. Bituminous coal deposits.|
|Regulations||Mountain bikes use trails. No ATVs on trails.|
|Facilities||Parking areas; Picnic shelter; picnic tables; Occasional benches; interpretive signs; historic signs.|
|Other Features||Historic artefacts from townsites & mining activities; Informal disc golf course at Chinatown site (former shooting range of Fish & Game club); 31 commemorative Japanese cherry trees planted at #1 Japanese townsite.|
|Other Connections||Forest trails connect with Cumberland mountain bike trails; Approx. 1.6 km west from Japanese townsite to Comox Lake.|
|History||You will be able to Click here for the Conservation History.|
|FMI||Cumberland Community Forest Society|
|Cumberland Community Forest Map|
|Cumberland Mountain Bike & Trail Map|
|Perseverance Creek Mapping and Inventory Project|
|Perseverance Creek Wetlands Map|
|Cumberland Mountain Bike & Trail Map|
|© 2011 Comox Valley Naturalists Society|