Take a day trip – tiptoe through the orchids at Purdon Conservation Area

(Showy Lady’s Slipper Orchids growing at the Purdon Conservation Area in the Lanark Highlands. Photo: Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority)

The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority has opened up the highly popular Purdon Conservation Area, home to Canada’s largest colony of Showy Lady’s Slipper Orchids, for the 2020 bloom season. A small cluster of the native orchids was discovered by Joe Purdon in the 1930’s and he grew the colony to over 16,000 blooms. The visit to see these incredible beauties will promise to improve your mental and physical health. Visitors, families and kids can take a hike on a self-guided tour through an uplands forest, burn off some energy and spend time visiting a truly Canadian beaver pond.

Due to government restrictions in response to COVID-19, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) has put the following measures in place to help protect the health and safety of all visitors and staff:

  • Directional signage: A portion of the boardwalk will be one way.
  • Face masks: Given the narrow boardwalk, a physical distancing space of six feet cannot always be maintained and therefore it is recommended that visitors wear face masks.
  • The porta-potty will be opened and sanitized on a regular basis.
  • Free parking and entrance by donation

Visitors are reminded to practice physical distancing by staying at least two metres or six feet apart when possible, not to congregate in groups, and if they feel ill to stay at home. MVCA is also asking the public to plan short visits to areas that have been reopened to ensure the space can be shared with all those looking to get outside and into nature. Visitors are also reminded to obey signage, keep their pets on a leash at all times and take any garbage with them when they leave.

The MVCA appreciates your continued support and understanding as we navigate through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The typical bloom season is the third weekend of June through to early July. Orchid updates will be posted on our website, Facebook and Twitter, as well as the hotline: 613-253-1756, option 4. Purdon Conservation Area is located on 8th Concession Dalhousie, off Watsons Corners Road in Lanark Highlands.

(Purdon Conservation Area Map from Ottawa. Google Maps)

MVCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario. Formed in 1968, MVCA’s mandate is to manage the watershed’s resources in partnership with our eleven-member municipalities and the Province of Ontario.

For more information, visit www.mvc.on.ca, follow on Twitter and like MVCA on Facebook.


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