High Lonesome Nature Reserve in Pakenham – Trail Guide

There are up to 8kms of trails on this 200 acre property. The beauty is that there are a multitude of side trail loops which gives us the options to hike as short or as long as we want. If you take the outter most loops then you can hike just over 4kms in one circuit. .

"Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish."

The Low Down

  • Distance from Ottawa: 65 kms (45mins) 
  • GPS Coordinates: Unknown.
  • Address: 867 Carbine Rd, Pakenham, ON K0A 2X0
  • Directions: Hwy 417 West. Take exit March Rd. Turn left (west) on March Rd and drive straight into Almonte. As you’re leaving Almonte, turn right on county rd 29. Turn left on Clayton Rd then you’re first right on Ramsay Concession Rd 8. In 1.5 km entrance will on on the right and clearly marked.
  • Entrance Fee: Free, however donations to Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust are appreciated.
  • Parking: Small parking area, be sure not to block the property entrance.
  • Trailhead: Located at the main building (walk the road in and follow signs)
  • Number of Trails: 14
  • Total Distance of Trails: 8kms total (large loop is 4kms with multiple off shoots).
  • Elevation Gain: 61m
  • Washrooms: Outhouse at main building.
  • Cell Reception: Yes.
  • Season: All seasons. Dawn till dusk. 
  • Features: Ecological significance, interpretive signs, woodlands, old oak, ponds.
  • Activities: Hiking, snowshoeing. 
  • Dogs: Permitted on-leash. Absolutely no off-leash permitted. See the Ultimate Guide to Hiking with Dogs in Ottawa and Region.
  • Suggested Stops: Almonte or Pakenham.
  • Nearby Hikes: Mill of Kintail, Blakeney Rapids, Almonte Lagoon, Ottawa Valley Rail Recreational Trail, Burnt Lands Provincial Park
  • More InformationVisit Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust for more information and the trail map.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The fire pit near the trailhead/main building it is not for public use.  It is for authorized events only, requiring both the land manager’s approval (mmlt.ca) and a fire permit from Mississippi Mills.

Land acknowledgement

These are the ancestral lands of the Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ and Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin) people.⁠ It is important as avid hikers and stewards of the land, to acknowledge and understand the full story our surroundings along with the people that care for her, both past and present. As sourced from native-land.ca, if there are corrections please send to victoria@girlgonegood.com

Land management

High Lonesome Nature Reserve is managed by Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) The have 8 properties, of which 4 are open to the public to visit and hike. The four properties open to the public include:

Their mission is “To legally protect and steward private lands having ecological, biodiverse, aesthetic, and cultural value and to foster engagement with wilderness.”

 

What To Bring

Besides the 10 essentials and what I would normally suggest for hikes, here are the highlights for this particular hike:

  • Snowshoes in the winter and bug spray in the summer!
  • A tree or flora identification card, there is plenty to wander and observe on these trails.

High Lonesome Trails

There are up to 8kms of trails on this 200 acre property. The beauty is that there are a multitude of side trail loops which gives us the options to hike as short or as long as we want. If you take the outermost loops then you can hike just over 4kms in one circuit.

The trails mostly have mild elevation. The highest point being 61m on Sam’s Hill trail.

Lookout opportunities and points of interest include:

  • The Stripped Maple Lookout on Spring Pepper Trail (over looks Neighbour’s Marsh).
  • Ken’s Rest on Beaver Pond Trail (overlooking Beaver Pond).
  • The Old Oak on North Wind Trail.

“High Lonesome Nature Reserve lies within the Pakenham Mountain Provincially Significant Wetland Complex. It is a dense mosaic of regenerating forest, about 30 to 80 years old, with creeks wandering through the property.  These features make wonderful, rich habitat for a variety of wildlife. At least seven species at risk have already been observed on the property, including the rare Flooded Jellyskin.” – MMLT

Stops and Shops

There are plenty of great stops in Pakenham! Including Cartwright Brewery and the shops in Pakenham itself. A fantastic stop in the warmer months is right at Five Span Bridge which is one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Lanark County’. You can dip your toes in the water and enjoy a river side picnic.

Wrapping Up

It great to hike the trails over the seasons and note how they change! High Lonesome Nature Reserve offers up some great snowshoeing opportunities. In the summer, the flora and fauna come alive.

Bonus: Explore resources for your free printables – lists of the best waterfalls, tower, vista, sunrise/sunset, dog friendly, accessible, family friendly, and coffee plus hikes around Ottawa and area!

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