Places to Visit
The Baird trail in Lanark Highlands is .8 km in a circular route, and is one of the most beautiful trails around. Various points are marked with ecological values and one can find the most humungous individual maple and beech trees in the area. Old rail fences indicate farming practices of long ago and the forty year old red pine plantations under a Lanark County Forest Agreement provide a quiet sanctuary from the outside world. A sedge wetland in the middle of the property is halved by a fine boardwalk, affording a good view of typical wetland attributes.
To find this trail, travel west on Wolf Grove Road (County Road16) from Almonte to Middleville and then south on County Road 8. There is a sign marking the park and trail and the property number is 1024. You can also reach the same place by travelling north on highway 511 from Lanark Village to County Road 8, turn east (right) and find 1024. Drive into the parking area and next to it you will find a picnic area and clean washrooms.
The information board in front of the parking lot tells the history of the property and points to the start of the trail. Right after the boardwalk, the trail is not too well marked. Information provided by the mvfn website.
Owned by the Clifford Family, cliffLAND is composed of 1250 acres of beautiful wilderness, located high in the hills of the Lanark Highlands in Ontario. This special piece of the Canadian Shield has been protected in perpetuity by a land trust and is accessible to the public for hiking. It is home to Blueberry Mountain, one of the seven wonders of Lanark County, which provides a picturesque view of the Lanark Highlands and the Madawaska Highlands.
This is the famous Tatlock marble quarry owned by giant Swiss mineral company OMYA. The quarry is open to the public, can be accessed on from Highway 511 about 12 km north of Lanark then east on county road 9 (@ 2.4 km to site). It produces calcium carbonate derived from natural marble (or limestone) rock formation. This is the crumbly rock that OMYA is gradually stripping away for use as filler in things like paint, plastics, paper and toothpaste.
There’s some interesting geology here. The limestone was formed by the skeletal fragments of marine organisms populating a vast inland sea. Over time ancient geological processes metamorphosed limestone through heat and pressure into marble. Striations and darker bands clearly show how the original limestone layers were gently folded and thrust upward as they transformed into marble over time.
Lanark County is basically distinguished by limestone bedrock in the east and south and Precambrian Shield in the west and north (Mt. Pakenham to Lanark Highlands to Muskoka and beyond). The line between the two regions is visible all the way from Champlain Lookout in Gatineau Park.
Want to See Thousands of Orchid Blooms?
Spend A Day At Purdon
Visiting the Purdon Conservation Area is a great way to improve your mental and physical health: take your kids on self-guided hikes through an uplands forest and see a real Canadian beaver pond. Enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk of a rare fen wetland and see endangered species regenerating such as the Showy Lady Slipper.
For three weeks in June, the Showy Lady Slipper orchids are in full blossom. The orchids are a shining example of stewardship, made possible by Joe Purdon. Mr. Purdon discovered a small cluster of native orchids in the 1930’s and grew the colony to over 16,000 blooms. The colony is now under the care of the MVCA, who continues to preserve Joe Purdon’s legacy.
From the end of spring to the beginning of fall, the Purdon Conservation Area is open dawn till dusk, seven days a week.
Admission by donation.
Fully accessible boardwalk, washroom, parking and picnic area.Check out the complete list of amenities or get an overview of Purdon’s terrain and trails with this printable Purdon Conservation Area Trail Map.
Printable Brochures for Self Guided Tours (at the website noted below)
Wetland Ecology and Plant Guide
Self-Guiding Interpretive Trail
Orchid Colony Management
MVCA manages the colony based on recommendations outlined in the Purdon Conservation Area management plan most recently updated in 2006, A New Management Plan for the Showy Lady’s Slipper Orchid (Ted Mosquin, Liz Brown 2006).
The active management of the site consists of some tree clearing to allow more light into the fen, water level management through beaver pond also known as Purdon Lake, and hand pollination. These orchids don’t attract insects like other flowers; hand pollination helps ensure the seeds are propagated.
It can take up to 15 years for new plants to bloom so measuring of progress can be a slow process. Every five years a group of orchid specialists undertake a full census of the fen to record the number of blooms for the season. This is done to track bloom success on the site.