Poole Family Nature Reserve in Carleton Place: Hiking Guide

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Ontario
  • Reading time:5 mins read

What this now, a new local trail? The Mississippi Madwaska Land Trust (MMLT) have been busy beavers lately! ⁠ The Poole Family Nature Sanctuary is a 110 acre property and the newest addition to MMLT.

So new, that the low traffic pathway is barely visible. Thankfully there are plenty of bright trail marker to lead the way.⁠

Once again, I was the only person out on the trail. Which goes to show that we have so sooooo many local trails to discover, that physical distancing shouldn’t be an issue.

The Low Down

  • Distance from Ottawa: 65kms (45 mins).
  • GPS Coordinates: Unknown.
  • Address: 318 Concession Rd 11, Carleton Place, ON K7C 0C5
  • Directions: Take Hwy 417 East and exit at Hwy 7. Drive through Carleton Place, remaining on Hwy 7. Take a left on Scotch Corners Rd and drive 5kms. Once in Scotch Corners, turn right on 11th Line / Concession 11 Rd. In 1.7kms, the trailhead will be on the right. See parking note below.
  • Entrance Fee: Free.
  • Parking: On street, see note below.
  • Trailhead: At #318 Concession Rd 11.
  • Number of Trails: 1
  • Total Distance of Trails: 2kms
  • Elevation Gain: 20m
  • Washrooms: None.
  • Cell Reception: Yes.
  • Season: All season.
  • Features: Interpretive trail. Marshlands and wildlife.
  • Activities: Hiking and birding.
  • Dogs: No.
  • Suggested Stops: Under Pressure cafe in Carleton Place.
  • Nearby Hikes: Mill of Kintail, Blueberry Mountain, and Purdon Conservation.
  • More Information: Visit MMLT.

IMPORTANT: Parking is along the road on the same side as the trailhead only. This is both the safest (visibility for oncoming traffic) and most respectful (not blocking or parking on local land owner properties) option. There is more than enough room on the trail side to park your vehicle on the shoulder with only a foot or so on the road.

In Good Company

You know who decided to show up for the hike as well? Swarms of mosquitoes. Typical for summer hiking in Ontario really, so there’s not much to be done about that except to wear bug spray and/or protective clothes.

There were so many during this hike, that this post is lacking in pictures. Ha ha, it quickly turned into a trail run! Still beautiful though and would be a great one for the fall.

Mississippi Madwaska Land Trust (MMLT)

Did you know that MMLT has 4 properties open to the public? ⁠

The trust strives to balance the protection of flora and fauna while promoting the engagement of people with nature. Read more about their values, mission, and current initiatives.

Poole Family Nature Reserve⁠ Trail

The Poole Family Nature Reserve⁠ trail is a single 2km trail that loops in the woods. There are trail maps available at the trailhead, and like most country trails – a few walking sticks as well.

It is marked by bright orange trail markers and yellow marker when you near the exit. The path is slightly overgrown making it hard to distinguish however the markers keep you on the right track.

Poole Family Nature Reserve Features

The best feature of this trail is the diverse flora and it is well described on the interpretive signs place along the path.

As noted on the MMLT website: “The well-developed upland forest is composed of sugar maple, ironwood, basswood, red oak, white pine, and hemlock with a scattering of bitternut hickory, beech, white birch, and red maple. Some hemlock, green ash, white pine and sugar maple stands are well over 150 years old.”

Due the the marshy areas, there is also an abundance of bright of ferns along the route. Fourteen various species of ferns to be exact.

Poole Family Nature Reserve ViewPoints

The view is marked with an information post and a chair to rest on about mid way through the trail. As MMLT explains “From that chair you can look down on the valley below and imagine it covered by the Champlain Sea and walruses hauled up on the rocky shore to your left. The interpretive sign next to the chair explains it was like 10,500 years ago.” This trail also has an abundance of varied flora to discover along the way.


The Poole Family Nature Reserve is known to have herons and osprey, so keep an eye out for our fine feathered friends.

The property is also home to a few species at risks such as butternut, snapping turtle, painted turtle, monarch butterfly, and the eastern wood pewee.


There are no accommodations in the area to recommend at this time.

Nourish Thy Self

Only a few minutes from downtown Carleton Place, there are an abundance of food and cafes stops to choose from. One in particular is the Under Pressure cafe, what can I say, coffee is important in my world.

Wrapping Up

Another beautiful trail in the books!

Looking for new trails to love in and round Ottawa?! Don’t forget to order your copy of the NEW ‘A 2020 Guide to Hiking Trails in Ottawa and Region‘ for all trails systems (100+) within 2hrs of Ottawa. All the details, features, insights, and locations listed in a quick reference guide. An amazing 25% of sales in going to mental health charities! It’s a win win.

Victoria xo