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Frequently Asked Questions

What is rare?

The rare Charitable Research Reserve is a 1,200+ acre urban land trust and environmental institute in Waterloo Region/ Wellington.

Is rare an acronym?

No. In 2004, the Cruickston Charitable Research Reserve was renamed rare as an acknowledgement of the reserve’s history and its mission to discover the most inclusive practices and answers to environmental issues, stewarding the reserve’s diverse network of natural landscapes for ecological integrity and future generations.

Are the trails open to the public?
Yes. The trails are open to the public free of charge from dawn to dusk. The Grand Trunk Trail (part of the Cambridge Riverbank Trail system but crosses the rare property) is open all year. The Cliffs and Alvars Trails are open from mid March to mid November. Visit our trails page.
Can I take pictures at rare?

Photos by individuals enjoying the views and wildlife on these lands is encouraged as long as photographers remain on the designated trails, and do not disrupt sensitive landscapes, habitats, or research projects happening at rare. We invite photographers to share their experiences at rare across their social media platforms, tagging @rare_sites.

While our trails are open and free for the use of the public, the property is also available to rent for events. Photographers are asked to connect with rare to discuss opportunities for photo shoots — wedding, engagement, family portraits, etc — to ensure that there is no disruption to scheduled events, and to ensure everyone is aware of where they can and cannot go across rare’s properties.

Further details can be found here

Can anyone attend hikes, workshops or lectures?

Yes. All of the events listed in our Events Calendar are open to the public for free or for a nominal fee.

Can I use my bike or bring a stroller on the trails?

Due to the fragile ecosystem we work hard to preserve, bikes and strollers are only permitted on the Grand Trunk Trail, Maple Lane, Grand Allee, and Deer Run trails.

How is rare funded?

We are a charitable organization that relies on grants, individual donations, foundations and corporate support.

Where is the best place to park if I want to hike at rare?

Trail Head parking is accessible off of George Street or at 768 Blair Road (at the rare ECO Centre).

What is the old stone barn on Blair Road being used for?

The Slit Barn was renovated to provide a three-season facility for rare events, education programs and private rentals. Along with the adjacent Resource House, this area is known as the rare ECO Centre, the hub of our Every Child Outdoors environmental programming.

What is Springbank Farm?

Springbank Farm is the site of 110 community garden plots, two food bank gardens and an educational demonstration garden.