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Natural Heritage Features

Local histories document that the First-Nations people had settlements at Puslinch Lake, Arkell Springs and Morriston Pond. Due to early traffic between these three sites, arrowheads, scrapers, flint shards and other artefacts have been found on Township farms, especially in the early days of pioneers walking behind the plough. Occasional pieces can still be found.

Water was important to the next settlers in Puslinch too. Their grist mills, lumber mills and woolen mills relied on water to power the operations. The mill pond was created at Aberfoyle when Mill Creek was dammed. A dam on Irish Creek, a tributary of the Speed River in the northwest corner of the Township, created water power for Holm's Mill. In Arkell, the Caulfield woolen mill and later lumber mill relied on water from the Arkell Spring grounds.

The Aberfoyle Mill has been repurposed as a fine dining establishment, but early mills like the Caulfield/Cook's Mill burned to the ground. The waterways that supported these early mills are still of importance today. The Arkell Spring grounds are a major water source for the City of Guelph. Puslinch Lake, a kettle lake, is a popular recreational site with a restaurant on the old marina grounds drawing visitors to the area. Mill Creek that runs from Aberfoyle across the southern part of the Township is stocked with fish by the Grand River Conservation Authority. A program called the "Mill Creek Rangers" offers young people the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of ecology and the biodiversity of our environment.

At the suggestion to Puslinch Council by local historian Marjorie Clark, signage was posted by the Heritage Committee throughout the Township in 2013 to mark these natural heritage features.