|Vancouver Island Nature Viewing Region|
|Comox Valley Area|
|Wildwood Marsh and Wildwood Interpretive Forest|
Bill Heybroek drawing
|Wildwood Marsh: Krista Kaptein photo||Hooded Merganser female: Krista Kaptein photo|
|Situated in Dove Creek just outside of Courtenay, Wildwood Marsh and Wildwood Interpretive Forest protect a beautiful wetland and a large forested area with a salmon stream. Wildwood Marsh, a short walk from Wildwood Road, is an important wintering area for Trumpeter Swans and Canada Geese. The marsh is alive with birds at all seasons, and is also home to Beaver. The adjoining Wildwood Interpretive Forest, between Burns Road and Piercy Road covers an area of 276 hectares and includes sections of old railway grade, as well as some logging roads. The southern part has mature second growth Douglas-fir, western hemlock and Sitka spruce. The northern section was logged and replanted in the 1990’s. The forest provides habitat for Black Bear, Cougar and Black-tailed Deer and many woodland birds including Pileated Woodpeckers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Pacific Wrens and Varied Thrush. Hiking, biking and horseback riding are permitted on the trails.|
|Geographical Description||Marsh at the headwaters of Smit Creek, which drains into the Tsolum River; Forest to the west of marsh, with wet areas draining both to the north ( Dove Creek ) and south (Browns River ).|
|Area/ Trail Length||Marsh: 14 ha. marsh, 200 m rough trail. |
Forest: 276 ha., 3 km. trails, mostly flat.
|Habitat||Freshwater marsh, 2nd growth forest.|
|Highlights||Waterbirds at marsh, variety of habitats.|
|Best Season||Winter for waterbirds, year-round for forest.|
|Main Access||Marsh: 200 m south from junction of Wildwood & Burns Rd. |
Forest: Piercy Rd. 50 m east of Hydro Right-of-Way; Burns Rd. 1 km west of junction with Wildwood Rd.
|Secondary Accesses||South end of Wildwood Rd; west end of Forest Hill Rd.; west end of Brazier Rd.|
|Cautions||Trails can be wet in winter & flood occasionally; trails may be unsafe during strong winds.|
|Jurisdiction||Marsh: Comox Valley Regional District (Area C) Nature Park. |
Forest: Comox Valley Regional District, Crown land forest.
|Mammals||Black Bear, Black-tailed Deer.|
|Birds||Marsh: Northern Shoveller, Mallard, Canada Goose, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Eared Grebe, Ring-necked Duck, Belted Kingfisher.|
Marsh & Forest: Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Pileated Woodpecker, Steller's Jay, Common Raven, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Pacific Wren, Spotted Towhee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Dark-eyed Junco, Pine Siskin .
|Amphibians||Pacific tree frog.|
|Trees||Marsh: redcedar, bigleaf maple, cottonwood, red alder. |
Forest: western hemlock, Douglas-fir, redcedar, bigleaf maple. Red alder, cottonwood, white pine in wet areas.
|Shrubs||Oregon grape, salal, red huckleberry, salmonberry, trailing blackberry, baldhip rose, twinflower. Hardhack in marsh.|
|Flowering Plants||Vanilla leaf. Cattail in marsh.|
|Ferns, Lichens, Mosses||Sword fern, bracken fern. |
|Invasive/Non- native species||Holly, evergreen blackberry.|
|Mushrooms||Polypore sp., witches butter.|
|Regulations||Forest: Share trails with bikes & horses. No camping, no fires, no motorbikes. Dogs allowed off-leash. Trails closed 11 pm- 6 am.|
|Facilities||Trail signage in Forest, bench near big cedar.|
|Other Connections||To Hydro right-of-way trail. North end of Wildwood Trails connect to One Spot Trail.|
|FMI||Comox Valley Regional District Parks: Wildwood Marsh|
|Comox Valley Regional District Parks: Wildwood Forest|
|K'omoks Important Bird Area|
|Tsolum River Tributaries Map|
|Fish Species in the Courtenay River Estuary and Baynes Sound 2001 pdf|
|© 2018 Comox Valley Naturalists Society|