Hurricane Igor damage still visible at Castle Hill

Parks Canada is offering an explanation as to why the grounds around a national historic site on the Avalon Peninsula appear unkept.
A tourist's complaint about the grounds around Castle Hill prompted Parks Canada's quick response. (CBC)

Parks Canada says damage from Hurricane Igor is to blame after complaints that a National Historic Site's grounds on the Avalon Peninsula appear unkept.

Former Placentia resident Ron Miller told CBC News earlier this week that the grounds around Castle Hill in the town are in deplorable condition.

Miller said during a visit he saw numerous trees down across trails at the 17th century fortress left by French settlers. 

"Some cleanup had been done, I guess. I mean there's one picture on our Facebook page where you can see the trunk of the tree is actually sitting on a path with all its weight there," Miller said.

"There seems to be a lot of danger involved, along with the fact that it's just been neglected."

Miller added there was also missing signage.

Parks Canada acknowledged that there are downed trees on the trails surrounding Castle Hill, but added there is a good reason why.

Parks Canada spokesperson Glen Keough said hundreds of trees were blown down during Hurricane Igor three years ago, and they haven't removed them since on purpose. 

"A natural process is for trees to succumb to wind or disease or that type of thing. They then fall to the floor, help rejuvenate that forest — that's how those forests are rejuvenated," Keough said.

"As a policy we don't go into areas like that — we don't remove all of the downfall that are there," Keough said. 

As for missing signs, Keough said some signs are being re-done and will be back in place next year. 


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