Trails and Bird Watching

Lanark County Trails

Whether you prefer to visit some of Lanark County’s most beautiful sights on foot, by bicycle or on an ATV, you’ll likely find a trail to take you there. Trails and pathways crisscross this amazing region, offering access to historic sites  in small towns and gorgeous natural features alike. Take a challenging hike or a relaxing walk in nature or by waters edge. To see an introduction to our trails by the Lanark County Municipal Trails Corporation, please click the following link:  ON THE TRAILS  To see an interactive map of  Lanark County trails, please click on the following link: TRAILS

Take advantage of the wide variety of habitats for a tremendous number of bird species throughout Lanark County – from wide, open spaces to forested areas and wetlands and the edge habitats in between. Local groups, such as the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, organize outings for birdwatching. To order your free Birdwatching Journeys Guide, click HERE. Hardcopies of the brochure and guided bird tours are available from Gilligallou Birds, 14 Mill St #3, Almonte. For a schedule of organized Bird Walks with the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, click HERE

List of Trails:

Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail 

If you’ve ever wanted to travel off-road in an award-winning region, the time is now. The opening of the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail (OVRT) in Lanark County has created a transportation corridor for pedestrians, cyclists, four-wheelers, and snowmobilers travelling from Sturgess Road (just north of Smiths Falls), to Arnprior and beyond. With a multi-purpose, year-round use, the OVRT will connect three of Lanark County’s prettiest towns. Learn more at 

Almonte Riverwalk 
Starting from behind Old Town Hall, meander along the beautiful Mississippi River to a breathtaking lookout at the site of the old Victoria Woolen Mill. This lovely trail features a series of bridges over the falls and is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers and photographers. Parking and washrooms are available at Old Town Hall. 613-256-1077, ext. 24 (Mississippi Mills)

Baird Trail 
Dubbed one of the most beautiful trails around, this set of  three loops through forests, featuring boardwalks over a sedge wetland, offers fantastic ecological values and giant maple and beech trees coupled with evidence of pioneer farming and red pine plantations. Parking, picnic tables and interpretive signs on site. Located at 1024 Herron Mills Rd., Lanark Highlands. 613-267-4200, ext. 3170. View or print the Baird Trail Map.

Beckwith Park Trail – Beckwith Park, Goodwood Marsh and Nature Trail
Take a walk through Beckwith Park (east of Carleton Place off Hwy. 15) with its amazing recreation complex and meander through Goodwood Marsh, where you’ll see abundant wetland species and a variety of birds. The trail starts from behind the arena at 1319 9th Line Beckwith and joins the Beckwith Trail. Parking and washrooms are available at the complex. 613-257-1539 (Beckwith Township)

Beckwith Trail 
This gravel-topped accessible trail from Carleton Place to Beckwith Park features three branches (Shady, CJ’s and McGregor) over 3 km and connects to Beckwith Park Trail or the Trans Canada Trail in Carleton Place. See a variety of landscapes, including farmers’ fields and wetlands. Parking is available at the Beckwith arena, school, or at the Home Depot in Carleton Place. There are washrooms at the complex. 613-257-1539 (Beckwith Township) or 613-257-1976 (Carleton Place)

Bell Woodland Preserve Trails  
Explore 7.6 km of Land Trust property (Nature Conservancy of Canada) in Mississippi Mills. These nature trails on relatively even terrain are located at 1631/1633 Clayton Rd at Ramsay Con. 3B. Park alongside the road. Hikers are asked to contact NCC at 1-866-281-5331 for access. Maps and information are available when you call. 613-321-3583

Blueberry Mountain Trail & Other Trails at CliffLAND 
Experience rich biodiversity at one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County. Meadows, a cascading creek and century-old tree stands are part of the short, steep climb to the top of Blueberry Mountain. A land trust conservation easement, maps are available from Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust Conservancy. Open all seasons, at 502 Hills of Peace Rd., Lanark Highlands. Outhouse and parking available. 613-259-3412

California Road Trail 
This rough, unmaintained road starts at the junction with Snye Road south of White Lake at the end of Three Mile Bay in Lanark Highlands. It is approximately 10 km and, because of the degree of difficulty, requires four-wheel drive or an ATV to enjoy the wild Canadian Shield landscapes if not travelling on foot. Park at the beginning of the road or drive in a few kilometers and walk. There are other trails going off into the bush, which are old logging roads or trails into hunting camps – some of this is private land. Its beginning and end are marked by signs indicating this is an unmaintained road.

Carbine Road Trail
Enjoy the highlands of Mississippi Mills on this trail that begins in the Carbine Road area north of the Village of Pakenham and follows the hydro line behind Mount Pakenham to Glen Creek, returning down Concession 9. Listed in Off the Beaten Path, A Discussion Paper on Recreational Trails in North Lanark by The North Lanark Community Development Group. The 9-km trail is also suitable for ATVs.

Cataraqui Trail
This four-season multi-use gravel trail stretches for 102.2 km from Smiths Falls to Strathcona as part of the Trans-Canada and Rideau trails. Revel in the history of the former railroad as you pass through or near numerous small communities along the way. Cataraqui Trail Management Board Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority 613-546-4228, ext. 304

Conboy Trail
The newest addition to Lanark County’s trail network, the Conboy Trail is set on an 80-acre woodland property and connects to the Tay Havelock Trail. It was named in honour of the Conboy family who donated the land to Lanark County in 2020, with the expressed intention of extending the public trail system for the benefit of the community. 2240 Bathurst 5th Conc. 613-267-4200, ext. 3100 (Lanark County)

Darling Long Lake Trail 
Explore beautiful Lanark Highlands along this challenging 6-km trail. If travelling by vehicle, it is only accessible using four-wheel drive or ATVs. The trailhead is located off Hwy. 511 opposite Little Green Lake Road, and there is parking at the lake access and a privy at the lake. This is a logging road and is not maintained except for forest operations. 613-259-2398 (Lanark Highlands)

Fulton’s Pancake House & Sugar Bush Trails 
Enjoy trails of varying lengths through gorgeous maple bush, then refuel with great food at the restaurant. Activities take place daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. between February and April. Groups welcome by appointment and fee applies. Self-guided tour info and maps available at the gift shop. Washrooms, parking and seasonal sleigh rides available. Located at 291 6th Concession Road, Pakenham. 613-256 3867

Gemmill Metcalfe Park Trails
These 2- to 3-km trails start from behind the arena on Bridge Street in Almonte (Mississippi Mills) and include several observation points. Birdwatchers can spot a variety of forest and water species along this river walk, including sharp-shinned hawks and merlins, cardinals, grebes and ducks. Washrooms and parking at the community centre. 613-256-1077, ext. 24 (Mississippi Mills)

George Findlay Conservation Area 
This wildlife and bird sanctuary at the edge of Carleton Place consists of one and a half acres of woodland. Named for a prominent Carleton Place resident who was a well-respected and well-known member of the Audubon Society, it is located on the 8th Line of Ramsay, south of Hwy. 19.

Kate’s Lake Trail 
This 1-km trail near Tatlock is on an unmaintained roadway on Crown land. It takes you on an easy walk through pine forests on what was an old pioneer track. It is too treacherous to drive without an ATV. Access the trail from Darling Concession 6 north of Cty. Rd. 9. The trail ends at Kate’s Lake, where you can view the water and have a picnic.

K & P Hiking Trail 
Journey along the historic abandoned Kingston to Pembroke railway on this mostly gravel, all-season 62-km trail. Drivers, cyclists, horseback riders, hikers, snowmobilers and skiers revel in its gorgeous lakes and landscapes. The trailhead is near 13780 Hwy. 509, with a parking area about 3 km south of Snow Road Station. For maps, contact Mississippi Valley Conservation. Multiple access points. 613-259-2421

Lammermoor Road Trail
Travel to the end of Lammermoor Road in Lanark Highlands (the first road north of Cty. Rd. 16 after Hopetown) to find an easy 3-km hike along unmaintained roadway through forests and wetlands. The trail ends on a high plateaus of open agricultural fields and a local cemetery. Park at the end of Lammermoor Road.

Mill of Kintail Trails
Explore 4.7 km of walking trails at this historic site at 2854 Conc. 8 Ramsay in Almonte (Mississippi Mills). The grounds, operated by Mississippi Valley Conservation, are open from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving. Well-marked trails take you to the mill and over the bridge. Museums, a gatehouse, store, toilets, a playground, parking and picnic area are onsite. 613-259-2421 (MVC), 613-256-3610 (Mill). Map

Mississippi Riverwalk 
This 1.89-km, stone dust, wheelchair-accessible trail in Carleton Place begins on Princess Street (arena) and winds along the Mississippi River to Anthony Curro Park. You’ll find birds and other wildlife, bridges traversing marshy areas and abundant wildflowers and foliage. Take a few side streets to connect to the Trans Canada Trail or check out the Arklan to Stone Water Gate sub-trail. Parking and washrooms at arena; play structures at park. 613-257-1976 (Carleton Place)

Murphys Point Provincial Park – hiking trails
With more than 20 km of trails, you’ll find scenic vistas, historic sites, abundant flora and fauna, varied Canadian Shield landscapes, and even one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County (Silver Queen Mine). There are varying levels of difficulty, multiple access points, parking lots, washroom facilities and links to the Rideau Trail. Located at 2243 ElmGrove Road in Tay Valley Township. 613-267-5060

O-Kee-Lee Park Trail 
This stone dust-covered 0.6 km trail meanders through a filled-in wetland area amid old willows and woodland ponds. Honeysuckle, wild grapes and mountain ash berries attract many birds. Access the trail at the end of Joseph Street across from the Carleton Place Canoe Club. Park along roadside. Picnic area and portable toilets are available at Centennial Park from May to October. 613-257-1976 (Carleton Place)

Perth Wildlife Reserve
Butterflies, birds and beautiful lookouts – see the outstanding features offered here. The Betty Wilson Nature Trail (2.5 km) leads to an observation tower at the stunning Tay Marsh, which teems with life. The Butterfly Trail (0.7 km), features plant species beloved by butterflies. Located at 100 Wildlife Road, south of Perth, there is parking, an outdoor centre and interpretive signs. 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504

Purdon Conservation Area: Two Trails 
One of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County, see 10,000 gorgeous Showy Lady’s Slipper orchids on two trails: the 400-m Orchid Trail and the 1.3-km Ted Mosquin Highland Trail loop. Located at Concession Road 8, Lanark Highlands, onsite signage tells the story of the blooms. A 400-m wheelchair-accessible boardwalk is onsite, along with pit toilets and parking. Open May 15 to Oct. 15.  613-259-2421 (Mississippi Valley Conservation)

Rideau Trail
Avid hikers have no shortage of natural and cultural features to explore on this remarkable all-season, 387-km trail between Ottawa and Kingston. With a range of rugged Canadian Shield lands contrasted with quiet meadows and farmers’ fields along stretches of roadway, this trail offers something for everyone. There are multiple access points. A Rideau Trail Guidebook is available. 613-545-0823 (Rideau Trail Association)

Riverside Park Trail
Enjoy the natural and architectural beauty of Carleton Place along this 0.5-km paved (wheelchair accessible) trail. Head out from the beach at Riverside Park. You’ll find benches, picnic tables, a playground and a boat launch at the end of Lake Avenue West. Parking is available. 613-257-1976 (Carleton Place)

Rotary Centennial Trail 
Running from just below the McNeely Avenue Bridge at Hwy. 29 in Carleton Place to the junction of Hillcrest Drive and River Road in Appleton, this 7-km accessible trail showcases varied landscapes beside the gorgeous Mississippi River. Watch for prevalent wildlife along the river and in the meadows. There are directional signs and it is open all hours. 613-257-1976 (Carleton Place)

Silver Lake Provincial Park – Marsh Trail
This easy 0.5 km nature trail crosses a marsh by boardwalk and leads to higher ground, where hikers can see the clear transition between wetland and upland forest, rich in flora and fauna. Washrooms, picnic tables, a playground, beach and parking are available. 613-268-2000 (Silver Lake Provincial Park)

Smiths Falls Heritage Trail
Follow the heritage of sensational Smiths Falls along the heart of the Rideau Canal Waterway. Sixteen pedestals have been unveiled along this historic waterway offering glimpses into the stories of Smiths Falls industry, culture and achievements.  1-888-923-4124 (Smiths Falls)

Tay-Havelock Trail 
Popular with ATV users, this multi-use 8.3 km stretch within Lanark County along abandoned rail bed can be accessed south of Hwy. 7 at Glen Tay. There are multiple access points as it links with many other legs of the Trans Canada Trail for a journey through gorgeous countryside. 613-478-1444 

Tay River Pathway 
Located on the western outskirts of Perth behind the Lanark County Administration Building and adjacent to the Trans Canada Trail, this 1.5-km loop trail provides a lovely accessible outdoor experience. It passes the Round Garden, which is a unique garden designed for all the senses, as well as community gardens and a white pine reforestation. It is suitable for wheelchairs and includes several park benches. 613-267-4200 (Lanark County)

Tay River Towpath Trail 
Immerse yourself in Perth’s 200-year history along this 10-km stretch of the Rideau Trail on natural and paved surfaces. Travel either upstream or downstream from the hub at the Tay Basin, using the “navigational trail markers” to guide you, much like buoys in the Tay River. Look through circular viewfinders in each marker to sight the next one and chart your course along the trail. Trailhead at junction of Thom and John streets. 613-267-3311

Temple’s Sugar Bush 
Explore the history of sap collection while observing the many species of flora and fauna that call the maple woods home at Temple’s. There is a brochure to accompany this 15- to 25-minute interpretive walk. Restaurant opens Feb. 28 to April 25. There is parking along with a restaurant and washrooms at 1700 Ferguson’s Falls Road, Lanark Highlands. 613-253-7000

Thompson’s Black Rock Walking Trails
Discover the tranquil beauty of the maple forest while taking in our self-guided walking tours along the shores of scenic Clayton Lake.  Trails are marked and maps are available at the store located at 745 Black Rock Lane, Lanark Highlands,  613-256-1020

Trans Canada Trail
When completed, this recreational corridor is expected to be the longest trail of its kind in the world, covering more than 22,000 kilometres across Canada. In southern Ontario more than half of the trail has been built along abandoned rail lines. It is a multi-use trail featuring a wide ranging terrains and landscapes that offer many natural and cultural attributes.

Trans Canada Trail No. 06-0052-01 – Carleton Place Trailway 
The 7-km Trailway is part of the Trans Canada Trail linking the Lanark Link and the Ottawa-Carleton Trailway sections. It serves as the gateway to the National Capital region. The picturesque route starts at Coleman and Hooper streets in Carleton Place and follows Bridge and Mill streets  and the beautiful Mississippi River to give walkers, hikers and cyclists a peek into 19th-century historical perspectives. Roadside parking is available. 613-257-1976 (Carleton Place)

Trans Canada Trail No. 06-0051-01 – Lanark Link 
This 105.7-km section joins the Cataraqui and Glen Tay to Blairton Station trails to make for a scenic journey for multi-users in all seasons. In Lanark County it takes you through the historic communities of Carleton Place, Almonte, Lanark, Perth and Smiths Falls. There are multiple access points to this gravel trail. 613-267-4200 (Lanark County)

Trans Canada Trail  No. 06-0312-01 – Ottawa-Carleton Trailway
Access this trail from the Rental Village parking lot in Carleton Place or at Ashton Station, north of Hwy. 7 near the feed mill, and take this gravel trail for a short jaunt along abandoned railway line right into the Nation’s Capital. This is a great way to zip from the city to the quiet countryside and enjoy rural Lanark County along the way. Cyclists can continue down Coleman Street to the Information Centre in the Old Train Station. 613-257-1976 (Carleton Place)

Webber Woods of Wolf Grove Trails 
There are two main trails (2.3 km) on this Nature Conservancy of Canada property west of Almonte at the end of Ramsay Concession Road 4B. Offshoots lead to private land. Part of the ecologically significant Wolf Grove Wetland Complex, hikers are treated to fantastic examples of diverse hardwood forest and wetlands (which sometimes flood the trail). Notify the NCC for access, maps and information. Roadside parking. 1-866-281-5331 (NCC)

Wheeler’s Sugar Camp Trails 
More than 15 km of various trails meander through maple woods, hills and historic buildings, including a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. Open during business hours, all seasons. Parking at camp. There is a restaurant with washrooms, a playground, farm animals and seasonal activities. In winter, there is access to the K&P snowmobile trail. 613-278-2090