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Odell Park – Botanic Gardens

Length: 3 km loop trail, with side trails
Directions: Odell Park is a large 330-acre public, free-access park that extends from the lower sections of Fredericton up the ridge to the ‘top of the hill’ on the Southside of Fredericton. The northwest side of Odell is an old farmstead that still retains open areas that are managed as part of the Fredericton Botanic Garden. This 50 acre part of Odell Park can be accessed from Prospect Street at the top of the ‘hill’, or from Cameron Court, off of Hanwell Road, approximately ¾ down the ridge. Both of these entrances also lead into the forest (see ‘Odell Park Forest’).

Difficulty rating: Easy. The main trail is wide, flat and well maintained, with a gentle slope. Traction is good because most of the trail is covered with stone or wood chips, and on other trails, the grass is mowed. A map of the trails can be seen at both main entrances, and on various webpages (search ‘Fredericton Botanic Garden’).Habitat: The Botanic Garden part of Odell Park is an old field, interspersed with manicured flower and shrub gardens. The edge contains immature and mature trees dominated by ash and maple species, Basswood, Alder, and White spruce which becomes part of the Odell Park forest on the Eastside, and a housing subdivision to the North. A small brook runs through the northern edge and the site is less manicured along this side. Several ponds can be found halfway along with the property, each with emergent vegetation, mainly cattail.

Birding: The site is good for open and semi-open bird species found in meadows, and along forest edges. Many species can be seen on the site during migration, and the open areas make for easy viewing. The Creekside, Woodland Fern, and Rosewood Trails are more forested walks that have good numbers of breeding Red-eyed vireo, American redstart, Yellow warbler, Black-and-white warbler, Yellow-bellied sapsucker, Veery, Grey catbird, and Cedar waxwing. The more trails through more open areas yield Ruby-throated hummingbird, Eastern phoebe, American goldfinch, House finch, Tree swallow, Northern flicker, Song sparrow and American robin. Eastern bluebirds are reported in some summers. Chimney swift and bald eagle often fly overhead, and the ponds occasionally have Black duck, Mallard, Common yellowthroat, and Great blue heron.

Downy Woodpecker

Photo by David Lilly

American Redstart

Photo by David Lilly

Yellow Warbler

Photo by David Lilly