Rose Hill Nature Reserve in Denbigh: Hiking Guide

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  • Post category:Ontario
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Have you heard of Rose Hill Nature Reserve?!? It’s in Lennox & Addington County near the Renfrew County border. For all us country loving locals, that’s between Bon Echo Provincial Park and Calabogie along Hwy 41.

I headed out after already hiking the Poole Family Nature Reserve in Carleton Place because honestly, it was just the perfect summer weather! With the summer sun not setting until 9pm ish…there was plenty of time to venture out and hike Rose Hill.

The Low Down

  • Distance from Ottawa: 160kms (2hrs).
  • GPS Coordinates: Unknown
  • Address: Rose Hill Rd, Addington Highlands, ON K0H 1L0
  • Directions: Hwy 417 west and exit ON-60 W (signs for ON-132/Renfrew/O’Brien Road). Drive 30 kms then take ON-41 S in Bonnechere Valley. Continue on Hwy 41 for 35kms then turn right on Rose Hill Rd. In 800m the first trailhead is on right.
  • Entrance Fee: Free.
  • Parking: Two very small parking areas near each of the main trailheads (as described under the trail sections below)
  • Trailhead: Two main trailheads, 1st at 850m, 2nd 1.5km past the 1st.
  • Number of Trails: 4
  • Total Distance of Trails: Total distance unknown.
  • Elevation Gain: 50m
  • Washrooms: None, use leave no trace protocols.
  • Cell Reception: Extremely limited.
  • Season: All seasons.
  • Features: Historic glacier boulder and plaque, 4 ponds, 1 lake.
  • Activities: hiking, snowshoeing, birding.
  • Dogs: Yes
  • Suggested Stops: Neat cafe in Calabogie.
  • Nearby Hikes: Eagles Nest, Manitou Mountain, and Bon Echo.
  • More Information: Visit MMLT for more information and trail map.

Noteworthy: 1) Rose Hill road is a dirt road with inclines which might produce a challenge in the rain or winter depending on your vehicle type. 2) Bring a road map with you or GPS. This area is within a cell phone dead zone, and a map is handy, especially if taking the scenic way home through Griffith then Calabogie.

In Good Company

Ended up meeting the locals living at Rose Hill. Seems that a neighbours pet beagle was on the loose and the collective got together to for a search party on their buggies.

We chatted a quick minute, and although I already hiked two trails and was about to hike the third, I didn’t notice the beagle running around the woods. Hopefully the pup maybe it home after all.

rose hill nature reserve

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.

Rose Hill Nature Reserve Trails

This trail system is nature at it’s best, wild and free. Mostly overgrown the trails are either narrow paths or full blown ATV width.

Fufflemucker Trail

The first trail is ‘brodey trail to fufflemucker trail’ which takes for you for a loop around fufflemucker pond. Alright, like really, I just love the name of this one. Fufflemucker. F u f f l e m u c k e r. Kinda sound like either a fairy tail character or a swear word. I digress…

Parking is marked 50m up the road on the left and there’s a picnic spot along the route. Along perhaps best to picnic in the fall, this is another buggy area. Again, typical Ontario.

Pumpkin, Old Farm, & Hemlock Trails

The second spot to park is ahead 1.5 kms at Rose Lake. There’s enough space for 2-3 vehicles.

From here you can start on Pumpkin trail to hike the length with side loops of Old Farm and Hemlock trails. Pumpkin trail itself is a wide enough ATV trail and enough enough to follow.

Rose Hill Nature Reserve Features

It’s along Old Farm trail that you’ll find Rose Hill Rock. Now this is an interesting find! MMLT discovered this after they acquired the property under their care. It is a large glacier erratic boulder with an inscribed bronze plaque that states a heartfelt dedication to a beloved husband and friend – both of whom died in a vehicle accident in 1979. You’ll have to simply hike up and read the dedication for yourself!

Adding a little flower power, the property was a diverse range of flora that includes wild lady slipper orchids, club spur orchids, pitcher plants, and dutchman’s breeches.

Rose Hill Nature Reserve ViewPoints

The property boasts four ponds (fufflemucker, fritsch, mud, and charlie’s), and well as rose lake.


Where are all the bird lovers at?! Rose Hill Nature Reserve has over 56 species of birds observed! And as far as at risk species go, well you can find monarch butterflies, eastern wood-pewees, and bald eagles.


Camping is available at nearby Bon Echo Provincial Park.

Nourish Thy Self

Calabogie is a great spot to stop to eat, try enjoying a delicious wood fire pizza over at Neat Cafe!

Wrapping Up

Rose Hill Nature Reserve was a pleasant surprise, not sure how it was missed before?!? It was an email from MMLT that highlighted this gem of a trail system…aaaaand it was hiked within days of reading that emailed. Ha ha. All about sharing these insight and hikes!

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