Kate’s Lake in Mississippi Mills: Hiking Guide

Kate’s Lake is one of those hikes that you definitely should take a look through the hike guide before venturing out. The two trail options to reach the lake are unmarked and cell reception is spotty at best. 

The hike itself is easy and beautiful wandering through nature on wide trails. It’s an easy going day and can be combined with other local hikes or small town stops to make it a full day adventure.

The Low Down

  • Distance from Ottawa: 83 kms (1hr 15mins) 
  • GPS Coordinates: Unknown.
  • Address: Concession Rd 6 North Darling, Clayton, ON K0A 1P0
  • Directions: Take the 417W and exit at March Rd. Head left (southwest) on March Rd through Almonte and continue South as it turns into Wolf Grove Rd.  Take a right (west) on Tatlock Rd (County Rd 9). Follow Tatlock Rd through Clayton, and eventually take a sharp right on Concession 6 Rd North Darling.  The parking is the pull off across from 1040 Concession 6 Rd North Darling. 
  • Entrance Fee: Free.
  • Parking: Limited parking on a pull out 20m ahead of New Road (Trail Option 1).  There is no parking at Trail Option 2, you need to hike in. 
  • Trailhead: Unmarked, please see pictures and descriptions below.
  • Number of Trails: 2
  • Total Distance of Trails: up to 6kms out and back trails.
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal.
  • Washrooms: None. Leave No Trace toileting guidelines must be used. Leave no trash or waste behind.
  • Cell Reception: One little bar at best. 
  • Season: All seasons. Take note that this is a primarily hunting area.
  • Features: Lake views.
  • Activities:Hiking, biking, fishing, snowshoeing.
  • Dogs: Permitted.
  • Suggested Stops: Depending on you’re route home, Almonte and Perth are great post hike options to enjoy a meal.
  • Nearby Hikes: Blueberry Mountain, Baird Munro, Palmerston-Canonto, High Lonesome.
  • More Information: There is little to no information currently available for this hike.
Kate's Lake Trail

What To Bring

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

 

  • Bug hat/gear: Typical Ontario with the abundance of mosquitoes in the late spring especially. So if there’s no wind, you might want to think about bug gear, or at the very least, bug spray.
  • Waste bag: What you hike in with, you hike out with. That’s the golden rule, and if you see anything that’s not part of nature (like food wrappers) kindly pick it up to throw out later.
Kate's Lake

Kate Lake's Trail Option 1

Trail Option 1 is a 5.5km out and back hike along an old forest road and ATV track.  It starts 20m from the parking area, on “new road” (as listed on google maps) which is your first left. Please note that this road is not drivable. You’ll likely see a few ATVs depending on the season. 

Hiking up the old forest road you’ll pass a beaver pond on your right, and then a second on your left. There will be faint ATV trail offshoots along the hike. Once you reach an open field on the left, with a fenced gate and building in the distance, take the ATV trail across the road on your right and follow it through the woods (roughly 1km or less) until you reach Kate’s Lake. 

This is not to optimal approach for views, but you do get to take a look on your left and right and enjoy the lake. You’ll notice a set of boulders on the right side of the lake where most venture to fish or stop and enjoy the views.

kate's lake

Kate's Lake Trail Option 2

Trail Option 2 is and out and back hike along an old forest road and ATV track. It starts roughly 150m from the parking area and is your second left. It is unmarked except for an old yellow marker across the road from the start point. Please note that this road is not drivable. You’ll likely see a few ATVs depending on the season. 

This is the optimal approach for a lake view and fishing. 

Since I have not yet hiked this approach entirely, I’ll write more when I have the opportunity to go back and check it out for myself. 

Wildlife

There is absolutely a decent amount of fauna in the area including deer and black bears.  None seen on my hike however! Be sure you brush up on your Bear Wise Protocols and know how to appropriately react if you spot one. Chances are, they’ll leave you alone, but you still need to know how your protocols for black bears specifically.

Also note that many trails, including these ones, are on lands that are used for hunting.⁠


⁠🍂 Know the provincial hunting season, if your planned trail allows hunting, and do not hike during these times. ⁠
⁠🍂 In Ontario, hunters can use crown lands, provincial parks, conservation areas, municipal forests, provincial wildlife areas, and private land if the specifically permitted.
⁠🍂 Deer (bow hunt) starts as early as September. ⁠
⁠🍂 Hunting season is organized by animal and weapon type ranging from September to November each year. ⁠
⁠🍂 Always wear high visibility clothing when out in the fall.⁠
⁠🍂 Visit www.ontario.ca or www.mffp.gouv.qc.ca and serach hunting for more information.⁠

Accomodations

Closest accommodation recommendations for this trail is either the Best Western in Perth or Calabogie Ski Resort

Wrapping Up

It was a fantastic day first visiting Almonte (and my fave stops at Cheerfully Made and Equator Coffee) then heading out to find this hike. Kate’s Lake is one of the 23 hikes listed in the Perth Hiking Guide print out created by GirlGoneGood for Perth Tourism

Of course, a stop to Perth on the way home was a must to fill up on brews at Perth Brewery and kombucha at North Folk Cafe (Artisen Kombucha).