Reclaiming the woods: trail strategies for the Golden Horseshoe’s historic mining roads
Abandoned mines can appear dramatic, as streams flow orange with colored sediment and disfigured tailings piles and open pits create a surreal topography. Anyone who happens upon these areas knows immediately that something is awry. Most reclamation efforts focus on ameliorating the environmental problems associated with these visually striking consequences of mining: heavy-metal exposure, acid mine drainage, groundwater contamination, and so on. From an ecological perspective, such efforts are undoubtedly the most important, but in many places the effects of mining extend well beyond the polluted rivers and rocky mounds that catch the casual observer’s eye.