The Lizard

Status: Open

This property is open for the public to enjoy and appreciate. Before visiting, please review the GBLT Visitor Guidelines for maintaining the environmental integrity of the property.

 2.8 acres (1.1 hectares)
Location: Cognashene
Year Acquired: 2001


Jim Cooper – Lead Steward
Peter Cooper
Rob Woodrooffe
Ian Melhuish

Property Info

The Lizard Island is a uniquely shaped island found on the western edge of the Cognashene community. For its small size, approximately 1 hectare, it provides habitat for a great diversity of species, including more than 105 plant species. The island is primarily open bedrock with several depressions and large crevices where rainwater collects and a variety of wetland species flourish. As a result, despite the small size of the island, a range of species with different habitat affinities occurs. In addition to the dominant open rock barren community type, The Lizard is home to small, isolated bogs, raised ponds, coastal meadow marsh and small pockets of White Pine, Red Maple and White Birch. Diversity is especially high in the coastal meadow marshes which provide habitat for a small population of the Great Lakes endemic, Stiff Yellow Flax (Linum medium var. medium). This is a provincially rare species, which thrives on the natural water fluctuations of Lake Huron, emerging in sandy and rocky shorelines during low water years. This island was generously donated by the McCarthy family who were part of our dedication ceremony which took place during the summer of 2003.


A First Visit

The Lizard was the first property I visited after joining the GBLT. There was no “work” reason for the visit. I’d been by many times, had even flown over it, and just wanted to finally walk it.

The shape and height of the band of rock that constitutes The Lizard is really striking, at the north end of the island you feel as though you’re walking an elevated runway.

There had been a good two inch deluge of rain the night before my visit and the raised pools were draining down the sides of the island. Over what must be geological time, runoff has carved its own courses into the steep granite on its way out of the pools to the lake. It was fascinating and really beautiful. The Lizard has its own waterfalls after a rain.

– Brooks Greer


Hurontario was my camp as I grew up and ended by being a counselor! Now we have a cottage, on an island, 15 minutes from Honey Harbour. I remember being on canoe trips and lying at night in my sleeping bag looking at the millions and millions of stars and wondering what other living forms might be in the universe. Now, I can do the same every night when we’re at the cottage. It is a magical place!

– Rob Woodrooffe