Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Hiking Trails – Arklan/Stone Water Gate Nature Trail

Arklan/Stone Water Gate Nature Trail

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To reach this one km. trail, enter Carleton Place from highway #7 via McNeely Avenue. Travel to Lake Avenue intersection,turn left two blocks to Neelin Street at the Hospital and turn right on Neelin to the local arena.

Although the Arklan/Stone Water Gate Trail starts from Princess Street, it is best accessed by parking your car in the arena parking lot next to the river. The trail is right before you and is wheel chair accessible.

From the arena end, the trial is commonly called the Arklan Trail, named after the old mill ruins further downstream. Towards the end, the trail becomes the Stone Water Gate Nature Trail, named for the new housing development by that name situated at the eastern end of the trail.

For the first 500m, this trail is very shaded, sheltered by mature deciduous trees. There are many short sub-trails leading to the water’s edge. An abundance of fruit bearing shrubs and vines provide excellent food for birds in the summer and autumn and all along the edge of the river, wetland habitat abounds.

A boardwalk meanders through a mature soft maple swamp just before the bridge and the trial opens up past the bridge into an area of low shrubbery. At one point, one wanders through mature cedar woods and an exciting view of the ruins of the Arklan mills awaits one at the end of the trail. One picnic table exists just before the McNeely Avenue bridge and a playground and park awaits one at the end of the trail.

A main feature of this trial is the abundant bird life. Various duck species and Canada geese nest along the river, an osprey has been a resident of this part of the river for over twenty years and recently, a bald eagle claims it as its hunting ground. Sparrows, finches, catbird and orioles supplement a bird list numbering at least thirty species which can be found on any one trip along this trail.