The Marsh Boardwalk is a one kilometer trail which is close to the entrance of Point Pelee National Park. We stopped here first and looked out at a huge expanse of cattails that extended as far as the eye could see. The floating boardwalk is a most interesting extension into this marsh that otherwise would only be accessible by boat.
During the summer season, canoes are available for rent and fishing is allowed with a special license. We walked this area twice on the weekend and it was my husband's favourite spot in the park. He usually goes fishing for spring lake trout on Manitoulin Island the last week of April but the trip did not happen this year. Many fish were visible in the shallow water and he identified sunfish, bass and carp by sight. He was sure there were pike there as well.
We saw Painted Turtles sunning on various logs and roots and there was evidence of muskrat trails in the rushes. Water lilies and other aquatic plants were starting to grow toward the surface. Frogs were plentiful and while we saw only one garter snake, water snakes are also present in the area. I was surprised that there were few water birds other than several American Coots, a few Canada Geese and Mallard Ducks. A Raven and two Turkey Vultures flew overhead and Great Blue Herons were seen in the narrows closer to the roadway. We saw four Blue-winged Teal ducks the first day in a ditch north of the marsh. Red-winged Blackbirds were numerous and we saw one Marsh Wren near the observation tower.
The observation tower was most interesting because of the nesting Barn Swallows in the underparts of the structure. I have seldom seen these birds in a perched position but they rested on the tower and it was possible to get quite close to them. I like the composition of the picture Tim took above the marsh.
This nest was decorated by a very savvy pair of Barn Swallows who have a future in interior design. Most of the other nests were plain mud cups. I wonder who donated the feathers?
There were many benches along the boardwalk and it would have been pleasant to sit out for half a day in the fresh breeze and sunshine. If this had been the only trail in the park it would have been worth the admission price.
But there was far more to explore as we drove toward the point...