Brooklin Lions Wilderness Trail > Trail Guide > Post 5

Revised Sept. 15/00. The latest version of the guide is always available on

Post 5: Hibernaculum

Snakes and other reptiles may not be everybody’s favourite animals. But they are fascinating when you get to know them. Reptiles are cold-blooded and have scales on their skin. Ontario’s only lizard, the Five-lined Skink, is not found in the valley. The Midland Painted Turtle and the Common Snapping Turtle have been sighted. Snake surveys include the Eastern Garter, the little Northern Red-belly, and the Northern Brown. Milk snakes have been reported nearby. All these snakes are harmless and do not bite unless you pick them up and mishandle them.

To the east, on the nearby forested valley slope is a hibernaculum for snakes. Constructed with the assistance of the Toronto Zoo, it is comprised of broken concrete, logs, brush, and well drained soil which will allow snakes an increased opportunity to get below the frost line for the winter. During the first year, instruments were placed at depth to record the fluctuations of temperature and humidity. The study will help to determine the effectiveness of human constructed hibernacula. Sloped to face the south, the hibernaculum will hopefully increase the survival rate for snakes during our cold winters.

Hey Kids!


If you are with an adult look for snakes in April and May near water. That’s where they like to hang out in the spring.


Snakes, as do other reptiles like to bask in the warm sun. Why?


Snakes and other reptiles are getting ready for winter. Where do you think they would hibernate?


There are no reptiles around now. Use your memory. How many different kinds of reptiles can you name?

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