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Beaver Pond Trail

Mactaquac Provincial Park

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Enjoying the stars from the boardwalk on the Beaver Pond Trail at Mactaquac Provincial Park Gallery

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Quick Facts

Difficulty easy
Trail Type loop
Distance 900 metres
Estimated Time 30 minutes
Surface Type crushed rock, boardwalk
Elevation Change 14 metres
Features beaver pond
Trail Markers orange square with black stripe
Scenery Rating special features
Maintenance Rating well maintained
Cell Reception strong
Dog Friendly on a leash
Fees none

Description

The beaver pond trail is a short loop around an old beaver pond. There are many interpretive signs about the life cycle of beavers along the trail. On the road that crosses the pond there is a unique water control culvert that controls the level of the water in the pond. The trail is mostly crushed rock with a long boardwalk that crosses a narrow part of the pond. On the west side of the pond the trail travels through the woods but has several access trails to access the pond, with benches overlooking the pond. Near the parking lot is a shelter on the hill overlooking the pond. This makes a great place for a picnic.

The Beaver Pond Trail at Mactaquac Provincial Park

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From the Sign

BUILDING THIS LODGE WAS HARD WORK - This mound of sticks is an abandoned beavers' lodge. To build it, the beavers began by constructing a raft of logs. They piled branches and mud onto this raft. Eventually, the log structure sank to the bottom of the pond.

INSIDE THE LODGE IS A LIVING AREA - Once the pile of branches rose above water level, the beavers began chewing a tunnel from underwater. They cut at least two entrance tunnels up into the center and above water level. They then chewed out a large, air-filled living area.

Beaver lodge interpretive sign on the access road to the Beaver Pond Trail at Mactaquac Provincial Park

THE UNDERWATER TUNNELS WERE CRUCIAL TO SURVIVAL - The lodge kept the beavers warm during the winter. The underwater entrances allowed them to stay hidden under the ice, safe from predators. For food, they had a nearby storage pile of branches, also under the ice.

Directions

For directions to the park go to the Mactaquac Provincial Park page.

From the main park entrance travel north on route 105. You should see the golf course on your right. After 1 km you should see a dirt road on your left next to a parking lot and small water tower. In the off season you can park your vehicle in this parking lot and walk in to the pond.

In the summer, continue on this road for 800 meters and you will come to another parking lot. You should be able to see the shelter overlooking the beaver pond straight in front of you. Park here. The old gravel road continues past the shelter on the right and provides access the start of the trail. The road dips over a small hill where you will cross a small culvert. The trail enters the woods along the pond on your left.

The sign at the start of the access road to the Beaver Pond Trail at Mactaquac Provincial Park

The other end of the loop is 80 meters back from the parking lot. You may have seen it when you passed it on your way in.

From the Sign

BEAVERS MAKE NEW ENVIRONMENTS

The work of beavers to create ponds and meadows is very important. It means food, drink and homes for many living things.

DRAGONFLY - You may see dragonflies resting on cattails or pond lilies when they are not hunting insects or defending their territories.

FROG - Look carefully for a frog floating quietly near a pond lily, waiting to feed on passing insects.

Beavers Make New Environment sign on the boardwalk at the Beaver Pond Trail at Mactaquac Provincial Park

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD - Red-Winged Blackbirds feed on the many insects that breed in the pond. Often the Red-Winged Blackbird builds its nest among the cattail stalks. Male blackbirds perch on the stalks to watch over their territory.

DEER - Animals like deer will visit this pond at night and in the early morning to drink the cool water.

From the Sign

BEAVERS MADE THIS POND

Beavers created this pond by building a dam across a stream. After beavers left in 1985, the dam rotted away.

WHY DID THE BEAVERS LEAVE? - Eventually, the beavers ran out of food. They had chewed down all the nearby edible trees - eating the bark off the branches. They were forced to abandon their lodge here to begin another colony elsewhere.

The roadway works like the old dam, blocking the stream. Normally, once the dam rotted, the stream would be freed. The the pond would dissappear, and the land it covered would become a meadow.

Beaver made this pond sign on the Beaver Pond Trail at Mactaquac Provincial Park

From the Sign

A BEAVER SIGN

It is easy to tell where a beaver had been. The marks of their teeth on this birch tree stump are unmistakable. Beavers prefer to eat the tasty bark of slender poplar and birch trees.

BEAVERS ARE WELL-DESIGNED - A beaver's front teeth never stop growing. The four chisel-shaped front teeth are strong enough to chew down a tree. the sharp back molars grind up about 500 grams of tree bark every day.

A Beaver Sign sign on the Beaver Pond Trail at Mactaquac Provincial Park

A beaver also relies on its broad, flat tail. Eating on land, the tail enables the beaver to balance on its hind legs. While swimming, the tail helps to control the beaver's direction. When danger is near, the beaver uses its tail to slap the water - telling other beavers to dive for cover.

Beavers are also well equipped with webbed feet for swimming underwater. Flaps of skin can close to keep water out of their ears and nose.

From the Sign

Beaver Pond Trail

This 1.3 km (0.8mi) walk is easy and fully accessible to wheelchairs. Come learn about the life circle of the beaver. Observe nature's engineer along with their dams and lodges. Water-fowl, amphibians, invertebrates and marsh vegetation trhive in the pond. The connection to the Alex Creek Trail leads to another pond where beavers have become established.

The Beaver Pond Trail sign at Mactaquac Provincial Park

Trail Last Hiked: April 9, 2022.

Page Last Updated: August 8, 2013.