Trails Open London

Celebrate Trails Open London with free, fun, family events

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The London Heritage Council coordinates the annual “Trails Open London” event weekend. Trails Open London promotes trail use, natural heritage conservation and stewardship, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, and environmental education. Trails Open London allows Londoners and tourists to experience programs and activities presented by various environment and healthy lifestyle focused organizations.


Registration for Trails Open London 2018 is now open!

Are you an environmentally-focused organization or community group and want to help Londoners celebrate Earth Day like never before? Help our community embrace its amazing natural heritage and submit your application.


celebrating Our Natural Heritage with free, fun, family events

Celebrating our Natural Heritage will bring London’s environmental organizations together to celebrate Canada 150 and the re-opening of the Westminster Ponds / Pond Mills Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) main trail. The improved trail enhances accessibility and protects the natural heritage of London’s largest publicly owned ESA. This is a Trails Open London event and will provide people with an avenue to celebrate Canada’s rich natural history during its 150th anniversary of Confederation.  

On October 14th, 2017 from 10am-4pm, the London Heritage Council and the City of London, along with its partners, will provide activities and educational programming for the public to engage in and learn about the Westminster Ponds ESA and London’s natural heritage in celebration of the re-opening of the Westminster Ponds Main Trail.  It will celebrate Canada’s natural history and instill the value of preserving Canada’s natural heritage on the next generation of Canadians. It will allow Londoners to engage with and understand the vast biodiversity of Canada. 

  • 10:30am - Opening remarks by Mayor Matt Brown
  • 10:35am - Greetings by local politicians
  • 10:50am - Commemorative tree planting 
  • 11:00am - Guided walk through the improved trail led by Ecologist Linda McDougall from Environmental & Parks Planning, City of London
  • 11:00am-4:00pm - Family friendly activities (see below)

At approximately 200 hectares, Westminster Ponds / Pond Mills Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) is the largest publicly-owned ESA in London. The ESA is significant for its size and for its great variety of natural habitats within the boundaries of a major urban centre. The site is also designated as a Provincially Significant Wetland.

The ESA is located south of Commissioners Road and east of Wellington Road, adjacent to the Tourism London Information Centre (696 Wellington Rd), and extends eastward to Pond Mills Road. Parking is available at the Tourism London Information Centre (see map below).


Things to do!

  • Join the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority to plant native trees at Westminster Ponds Environmentally Significant Area!  We will also have displays and demonstrations about how we manage environmentally significant areas in London. Tree planting will occur from 10am-12pm.
  • ReForest London is a local registered charity that aims to enhance the ecological and human health of the Forest City through the benefits of trees. Our booth will feature knowledgeable volunteers who can share information about our various programs, including our Park Naturalizations and Neighbourhood ReLeaf programs, and the many ways people can get involved. We will also have information about the benefits of trees, why to plant native and how to care for trees. In addition, we will be giving away 150 native seedlings in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, to help reach our goal of planting one million trees in the city.

  • Canadian Raptor Conservancy will present “Birds in Flight” at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  A fun, entertaining and educational presentation with live, free-flying birds of prey!  This is a unique chance to get up close and personal with a variety of raptor species.  We at Canadian Raptor Conservancy believe that we protect what we know.

  • Want to learn about the world of six-legged critters? Maybe looking for a bit of extra protein to snack on for the day? Come check out the London Bug Day booth at Westminster Ponds! We’ll have plenty of insects for you to hold, identify, and some you can even eat! Don’t forget to bring your running shoes; we’ll be leading you on a wild insect hunt through the woods! Can’t wait to see you there, we’re hopping with excitement!

  • Hike with Thames Valley Trail Association at 1PM. Come join us on a one hour hike to experience Westminster Ponds ESA, see first-hand how invasive species are affecting the ESA, and what London is doing to remove and control these invaders. 

  • Join St Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre to learn how indigenous native plants are critical in creating and maintaining healthy functioning natural ecosystems. Interact with the staff and learn how they truly connect us with the diverse places we live on this earth. Learn about how they  provide wildlife habitat and maintain important food webs as well as provide important ecological services.  Native plants will be available for sale.     


Thank you to the Government of Canada for providing Canada 150 funding for this event. 


celebrate Earth Day + Trails Open London with free, fun, family events at St. Julien Park.


Trails Open 2017 will bring Londoners together to celebrate our trails, parks, natural heritage and environment on Earth Day (April 23rd) at St. Julien Park (40 Elgin St.) from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. This event (in partnership with Earth Day, London Clean & Green, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, and the City of London) will be a Canada 150 London Signature Event.

Come to St. Julien park and join us for a day of environmental discovery - meet a fluvian geomorphologist and learn how cities shape our rivers, learn about London's amazing bike trails, experience hands-on science projects.