Thunder Bay Field Naturalists Release Updated Nature Guide

By Matt Prokopchuk

Lovers of the outdoors have a new resource to help them search out the best places to visit that the Lakehead has to offer, as well as help them learn more about the surroundings.

The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists have released an updated, second edition of their nature guide, building on the first one published in 2008. The new book features 30 sites geographically ranging from the Greenwood Lake Conservation Reserve near Shebandowan in the west, to the Casque Isles Trail in the east which links Terrace Bay, Schreiber, and Rossport; sites around Thunder Bay include the Cascades and Hazelwood Lake Conservation Areas, Sleeping Giant and Kakabeka Falls Provincial Parks, Anemki Wajiw (Mount McKay), and Mink Mountain, among other, less celebrated destinations. Each entry contains information about the site itself, how to get there, and what one can expect to find when they arrive, including facts about native plants and wildlife.

“People are getting a little tired of being cooped up and it’s increasingly acknowledged that walking in a forested area in particular is of value to both mental and physical health,” says field naturalists member Bruce Thacker on the guide’s importance, especially today. “We need that kind of thing all the more right now.”

The guide also includes full feature pages with information on things like area geological landmarks, such as the Gunflint Formation, wetlands, and native species like various salamanders, butterflies, and orchids. Visually, it contains a number of maps and striking photos. The field naturalists were helped by representatives from a wide range of institutions, including various universities, conservation groups, and government ministries. Thacker says Fort William First Nation was also invaluable in providing traditional knowledge and information about sites like Anemki Wajiw and Nanaboshoo (the Sleeping Giant).

“We here in Thunder Bay are hugely lucky with the natural areas that surround the city,” Thacker says, adding that people in larger centres like Toronto largely have to venture much further afield to find something comparable. “We’re really hoping this guide will motivate people to get out into nature.”

“A walk in a natural area can be very soothing but it can also be stress-relieving and healthy for individuals.”

The 2021 Thunder Bay Nature Guide is $25 can be purchased at the field naturalists’ website at