Windy Ridge Conservation Area is an ideal spot for a relaxing walk, hike, cycle, or snowshoe in the open air. This conservation area features a panoramic view from the lookout perched atop the area's tallest ridge. Directly below lies the Fleetwood Creek wetlands, where the Pigeon River and Fleetwood Creek join. Fleetwood Creek wetland is home to a wide variety of vegetation and was named an International Biological Program Site. Visible on the southern horizon sits the Oak Ridges Moraine, a protected greenspace. A view of ancient glacial activity unfolds to the east in the form of the Hogsback or Omemee Esker.
In 1999, Hugo Germeraad donated 35 hectares (87 acres) to Kawartha Conservation, ensuring the land would remain in its natural state for generations to enjoy. In 2004, Ontario Heritage Trust and Ducks Unlimited provided assistance in securing 49 adjoining hectares (122 acres) from the Tuckerman family. Kawartha Conservation manages this parcel on behalf of Ontario Heritage Trust.
On the Trail
A multi-use loop trail of 1.3 kilometres begins with a gentle climb, then winds south for a short walk to the spectacular lookout. From there, the trail leads downhill to the valley floor and right to the waters edge, before looping back through an open meadow to the parking area.
Outside of the conservation area, but running adjacent to the western border of Windy Ridge, is the popular multi-use Rail Trail system. The two trails don't intersect due to wetlands lying in between, but each is accessible to the other from Mount Horeb Road.
A picnic shelter just off the parking area provides an enjoyable spot for a meal or a rest. Picnic tables are also located atop the lookout and at the marsh area.