Thomas P Murray Recreational Trails consist of six hiking paths that have incredible panoramic views that you’ll fall in love with. There are fantastic nearby points of interest like a water slide (not what you think) and historic points. Amazing local shops/cafes that you’re sure to enjoy. Oh, and it’s at the heart of other nearby trail systems (like Algonquin PP, Bonnechere PP, Deacon Escarpment, Shaw Woods, ect). Right, so now that we have your attention, read on for all the details you need to go get your adventure on!
The Low Down
- Distance from Ottawa: 2hrs.
- GPS Coordinates: Unknown.
- Address: 374 Long Lake Rd, Barry’s Bay, ON K0J 1B0
- Directions: Take 417W to Renfrew. Follow Hwy 60 into Renfrew then turn left (south) on to Hwy 132. Turn Right on Hwy 41, and then left on Opeongo Rd. Continue until you reach the 512, and turn left towards Foymont ( side note, CFS Foymont is the highest populated town in Ontario). After Brudenell, turn left on LetterKenny Rd (yes, you read that right). Drive past Gorman Lake (pssstt, great place to swim post hike!) and at Harriet’s Corner turn right on County Rd 68 (Rockingham Rd). Turn right on County Rd 62. Take your first right on Old Barrys Bay Rd to reach Crooked Slide Park and the Warsaw Uprising monument. Or continue on the 62 and turn right onto Long Lake Rd to reach trailheads.
- Entrance Fee: Free.
- Parking: Along the roadside only. Be mindful of personal property and driveway entrances.
- Trailhead: Identified with a black #62 sign on a tree for Gun Mountain Trail.
- Number of Trails: 6.
- Total Distance of Trails:
- Elevation Gain: Approx 90m at Tom’s Lookout.
- Washrooms: Outhouse at some trail heads. Follow Leave No Trace outdoor toileting etiquette otherwise.
- Cell Reception: Yes.
- Season: All seasons.
- Features: Panoramic views, river.
- Activities: ATV, motorbike, hiking, nature walks, picnic.
- Dogs: Permitted on leash.
- Suggested Stops: Madawaska Coffee Co.
- Nearby Hikes: Bonnechere PP, Deacon Escarpment, Shaw Woods Educational Centre.
- More Information: Visit Madwaska Valley for more info and trail map.
What to Bring
- Swimsuit and towel: Renfrew County not only has great hikes, but plenty of lakes to swim in!
- 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.
In Good Company
Lucked out on this trail having my friend Mel join me, since she’s always a trooper on the trails and never minding when I want to stop and explore every. little. thing. We already enjoyed Kenauk Nature together so it was good to get together again for this one.
Gun Mountain Trail
The trailhead on Long Lake Road was non-descriptive. It had a sign stating that it was a Thomas P Murray trail lying on the ground and a black 62 sign on the tree. Thankfully, the trail map online states that the black 62 trail is the Gun Mountain trail to Tom’s Lookout. There are no signs along the trail with the words “gun mountain” or “tom’s lookout”. There are however clear signs that state “scenic lookout” with arrows.
The path is actually an ATV trail. A dirt/sand trail that is plenty wide. It is a steady incline to the lookout and could be considered a moderate to difficult level of effort rated trail.
There is a bit of a false summit as the trail continue to the right on you final approach to the lookout.
Thomas P Murray ViewPoints
McGillvary Lookout via McGillvray or Crooked Slide trail: Admittedly we did not find the trailhead at Crooked Slide Park for the Crooked Slide Trail heading up to McGillvray Lookout. That said, there is a second approach using McGillvray Trail off of Chanonhouse Rd.
Tom’s Lookout via Gun Mountain (#162) giving views of Halfway Lake and Gun Lake. Really enjoy this hike! And the views. Ouff. Kinda reminded me of being down in the Adirondacks hiking…for those rolling blue/green hills in the distance. This is an excellent view point. I was tired and hot (35’C when we hiked), but coming up upon the lookout made me straight up giddy.
Thomas P Murray Features
- McGillvary Lookout via MCgillvray or Crooked Slide trail
- Tom’s Lookout via Gun Mountain (#162) giving views of Halfway Lake and Gun Lake
- Crooked Slide Park with “waterfalls” (see pictures below) along Old Barry’s Rd
- Marshes, pond, swamp along McGillvray and Drohan’s trails.
- Warsaw Uprising Monument along Old Barrys Bay Rd
I think it was too hot for wildlife the day we checked out this trail, ha ha. There were however, plenty of dragonflies keeping up company on the trails!
Without a doubt, my top recommendation for accommodations in the area is Deacon Escarpment. This incredible large property offers rustic yet modern off the grid accommodations that range from camping to pod to cabin. All well spaced from each other to offer full immersion into nature.
The property also boasts rich wildlife (deer, beavers, herons, turtles) and some of the best sunset and lookout views around. Check out their website for booking details.
Nourish Thy Self
It was pretty exciting to check out Madawaska Coffee Company in Barry’s Bay. Not only is there maple blend…well, everything in my world, ha ha, but the sandwiches were delicious and exactly what we needed post hike.
It’s been a week enjoying cabin life at Deacon Escarpment! Managed to sneak in Eagles Nest and Blueberry Mountain with Carolyn from Wander.Ramble.Roam and then Shaw Woods Educational Centre, Deacon Escarpment trails, and now the Thomas P Murray Recreational Trails. It’s been a trip! Maybe we can squeeze in one more trail on the way home…