Purdon Conservation Area: Trail Report

Purdon Conservation Area: Trail Report

This is where the Mississippi Valley Conversation Authority and local volunteers get all the praise, this walking trail is very accessible which is rare. If you’re conscious of accessibility, park in the second parking lot to reach the boardwalk to view the orchids.

Suggested Stops

NorthFolk Cafe in Perth.

Important Insights

Purdon CA is home to Canada’s largest colony of Showy Lady’s Slipper orchids, is fully accessible, and free (however, donations are greatly appreciated). The orchids normally bloom in late June early July and you can check their progress with Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. It gets very busy during the blooming season, kindly share the trails.

Land Acknowledgement

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 victoria@girlgonegood.com.

Land Management

Purdon Conservation Area is managed by Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. Absolutely do not touch or pick the orchids! This wild colony is carefully cared for by MVCA. It is one of the "7 wonders of Lanark County". There is a suggested driving tour of the wonders on the Lanark County website which includes: 1. Five Span Bridge (Pakenham), 2. St Peter Celestine Church (Pakenham), 3. The Mill of Kintail (Almonte), 4. Blueberry Mountain (Lanark), 5. Lady Slipper Wild Orchids (Lanark), 6. Silver Queen Mica Mine (Perth), and 7. Stewart Park (Perth).

GPS Coordinates

44.993614039115315, -76.54468776346962

Street Address

Concession Rd 8, Lanark Highlands, ON K0G 1M0


A lovely country drive roughly 130 kms (approx 1hr 20mins) drive from downtown Ottawa. Take the 417 West, to 7 West. This route includes dirt/gravel roads.


Medium parking lot at trailhead.

Cell Reception



Outhouses located at the parking lot.


Yes (for a portion of the trail)

Trail Details

Entrance Fee

Hours of Operation

Victoria Day to Thanksgiving. Dusk till dawn daily.

Trail Map


Located at the parking lot.

Number of Trails


Total Distance (km)


Elevation Gain (m)

Cell Reception



Woodlands, Marshlands, Ecological Significance, Interpretive Signs




Not permitted.

Trail Description

The orchid trail is a wide boardwalk and 415m in length. There are several information placards along the route describing the local flora. Near the beginning of the trail system from the first parking lot is the lookout which offers a sitting area and partially obstructed view of the lake below. If walking the entire trail isn’t quite for you, the bog boardwalk is my opinion the best view point anyways and located near the start of the Ted Mosquin Trail starting point (marked with by a wooden archway). Follow the softly-padded-with-pine-needles pathway until you reach the wooden boardwalk on your right bring you out for the full view of Purdons Lake. How walkable are these trails?! We did them in crocks and flip flops. Soooo, yeah, I’d say it’s pretty easy going here. The Ted Mosquin Trail brings you into the forest by following a path that is well mark with yellow tree shaped markers. There’s plenty of information placards about the flora along the way and the picnic area is the main resting spot at the height of the loop. If you take the trail counter clock wise (recommended), just past the picnic area is where the trail narrows and tall grass reigns. The best part about this section is the wild flowers, and the worst part was my ever growing fear of lyme disease and ticks while trucking along in sandals (my feet were soaked in bug spray). Amazingly enough, we found no ticks on ourselves, so I consider that a personal win for the day.

Other Hiking Trails