Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area

Location: Kingston, Ontario
Region: Southeastern
Character: Day-use Area
Length/Size: 394 hectares

Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area
By Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority

Take advantage of many opportunities for nature appreciation, education and recreation at this 394 hectare site throughout the seasons. There are areas of marsh, field and forest habitat and excellent outdoor recreation facilities.
Located just north of Highway 401 and Division Street in Kingston, Little Cataraqui Creek is very accessible to Kingston residents and visitors to the area. The daily entry fee is:

$5.50 for adults
$3.00 for children 12 and under
maximum fee of $14 per car
Annual passes are available for $80.00 per year and provide unlimited access to Little Cataraqui Creek and Gould Lake Conservation Areas.

Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area is also headquarters for the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority. Our Administration Office and Main Workshop are located there and the Outdoor Centre is the base of operations for our education programs.

Nature and environmental programs are offered on weekends during the fall, winter and spring. Check out upcoming Events, or call the information line at (613) 546-4228 ext. 500 for updates.

Seasonal Activities
Winter is the most popular time of year at Little Cataraqui Creek. We have facilities for cross-country skiing, skating and snowshoeing. Equipment is available for rent at the Outdoor Centre. We even offer cross-country ski lessons.

In the early spring we operate a demonstration sugar bush. Maple Madness is one of our most popular programs. It takes place during March/April each year.

In the summer, we operate a summer day camp with a focus on nature and outdoor skills for children aged six and up.

We also offer canoe and kayak rentals. Rates begin at $7.00 per hour. For more info call (613) 546-4228 ext. 221

Fall activities include a Fall Colours Weekend each Thanksgiving as well as other nature and outdoor recreation type of programs.

Outdoor Centre
The Outdoor Centre is the base for CRCA conservation education programs and summer day camps. Facilities include a snack bar, observation tower, washrooms, and two large meeting rooms. The facility is available for rent. For more information or to make a booking, call (613) 546-4228 ext. 222. Cross-country ski, snowshoe and skate rentals are also available at the Outdoor Centre.

Cross-Country Skiing
13 km of trails are groomed when conditions permit; please follow proper skiers' etiquette. Ski rentals are available at the Outdoor Centre.

Kingston's largest natural skating rink is maintained on the reservoir when conditions permit. Warm up facilities and a bonfire pit are located near the rink. The skating rink can be rented for private functions. To make a booking call (613) 546-4228 ext. 222.
Maple Madness
In the early spring, learn about the process of sugaring off from sap to syrup. Special activities like musical entertainment, puppet shows and guided tours are available. Tractor-drawn wagon rides take you back to the sugar bush. Pancakes and maple syrup, are all part of a recipe for a good time. Maple Madness is held each March/April.

In 1966, the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority proposed the development of a reservoir to augment water flow and control flooding, To fulfill these purposes, 299 hectares (565 acres) in part of Lots 19-20 in Concession III and Lots 21-25 in Concession IV, in the Township of Kingston, were acquired from six landowners at a cost of $118,000.

The total cost of the scheme was estimated to be $219,000 with the Authority's allotment of $54,750 being supplied in the proportions of 82 per cent by the City of Kingston and 18 per cent by Kingston Township. The remainder of the total cost was to be provided by the Province of Ontario.

The construction of the dam and reservoir, at a cost of $80,400 would facilitate the maintenance of ground water, control erosion and potentially allow for recreational development.

Specifically, the proposed size of the reservoir was to be 40 hectares (100 acres) with a storage capacity of 121 hectares-metre (300 acre-feet).

Application for approval of the scheme was made to the Ontario Municipal Board in November of 1966. Subsequently, approval was granted in December of the same year.

In 1967, additional land was proposed for acquisition peripheral to the area purchased for the development of the reservoir. This consisted of 164 hectares (405 acres) of rough pasture. The land situated within part of Lots 19-23 and 21-25, in Concessions III and IV respectively, was considered an ideal setting for a conservation area. The aims of conservation could be realized in this region, through the implementation of reforestation, gravel pit reclamation, wildlife habitat improvement and erosion control.

This area's proximity to Kingston was considered to enhance local recreation potential while ensuring the existence of a major green belt on the outskirts of this urban centre.

The total costs for this scheme were estimated at $180,230. The Authority's apportionment was to be divided between the two benefiting municipalities, the City of Kingston and Kingston Township, in the proportions of 82 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

Historically, mixed farming pursuits predominated in the rural neighbourhood where this property is situated. However, flooding and strip development posed a deterrent causing the land to be left idle or used for rough pasture.