C. Thompson and Hambly Properties

The C. Thompson and Hambly Properties are located within the Georgian Bluffs region 10 km (6 miles) east of Wiarton on the plateau above Skinner’s Bluffs cliffs. The properties feature amazing views of the turquoise waters of Colpoy’s Bay to the north and the wetlands of the Slough of Despond to the southeast. The 45 hectares (113 acres) of escarpment plateau lands are dominated by hardwood broadleaf forests and host several rare woodland species. Visitors can hike the escarpment cliff for 1.5 km (0.8 miles) on the property.

This property was acquired by the Ontario Heritage Trust as part of a long-standing relationship with the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC), with the aim of creating a permanent conservation corridor along the Niagara Escarpment. Since the 1980s, the Trust and the BTC have secured 1,800 hectares (4,447 acres) of environmentally sensitive lands along the Niagara Escarpment – including 116 properties and 15 easements taken by the Trust and transferred to the BTC that host over 130 km (80 miles) of trails.

Heritage value

These properties are part of the provincially significant Skinners Bluff Life Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) that contains rare plant species – including hart’s-tongue fern, butternut, drooping sedge and roundleaf ragwort. The majority of the property is a cliff ecosystem with a unique, mature red oak-dominated forest community, and unusual species like the leatherwood shrub in the vegetation beneath the forest’s main canopy. Biodiversity on this property is high due to the variable climate, physiography and large number of intact natural areas in the vicinity.