One of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities is coming to the Ken Reid Conservation Area — a nine-hole disc golf course.
“When we started having conversations about Ken Reid and our conservation areas, it quickly became apparent that our local demographics were changing and regionally, peoples’ interests were changing,” explained director of stewardship and conservation authority lands Kristie Virgoe. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we saw a significant increase in visitors to our conservation areas, and as things have started to return to a more pre-pandemic normal, we wanted to look at ways to keep those individuals engaged and visiting our green spaces.”
The course, expected to open before the end of the year, connects to the agency’s evolving focus on engaged communities that “love, respect and appreciate our natural environment.”
“Those words mean something, and they mean something different to everyone,” said Virgoe. “We have a lot of visitors who enjoy the quiet and solitude or visiting the trails or the lookout, we have people who enjoy the off-leash dog park, or bringing their binoculars for birdwatching, school groups who learn about bugs and trees and climate, or people who love to walk, bike, hike or just sit and read a book … Being able to introduce people to nature in a way that is relevant to them and connects with them is critical, and that is how we decided upon the introduction of a nine-hole disc golf course.”
The Ken Reid disc golf course will be a four-season attraction that can be used for tournaments or for individual play. Designed by Fluent Disc Sport, the course will be integrated into parts of Ken Reid’s escarpment loop and grasslands area.
“With common goals like ‘Nature for All’ and the protection, preservation, and promotion of our natural resources, conservation areas and provincial parks can be ideal homes for disc golf courses,” explained Fluent disk sport designer Kevin Farley.
Although similar to traditional golf, it doesn’t need any of the things that play the biggest role in its environmental footprint, notes Farley. Rather, disc golf prefers landscapes that conservation areas and provincial parks try to promote, healthy natural surroundings.
As an added feature, each hole will provide information on a local bird species and connect golfers to the more than 170 species of birds that visit or live at Ken Reid.
For more information visit www.kawarthaconservation.com.