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.
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 Smoke Box Catering, who offers up mouth watering meals from their foodtruck.
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.
These are the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poole Family Nature Sanctuary is managed by Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT). The have 8 properties, of which 4 are open to the public to visit and hike. Their mission is “To legally protect and steward private lands having ecological, biodiverse, aesthetic, and cultural value and to foster engagement with wilderness.”
318 Concession Rd 11, Carleton Place, ON K7C 0C5
65kms (45 mins) from Ottawa. 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.
The Poole Family Nature Sanctuary 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.
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.
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 Sanctuary 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.