Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Hiking Trails – California Road Trail

California Road Trail  

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Believe it or not, California Road exists. It is found in the Municipality of Lanark Highlands, in Darling Ward, south of White Lake. Although this road is well recognized and publicized on local maps and, it has a long history in the annuals of local settlement, it goes through some very wild Canadian Shield country and is a very rough, unmaintained road, passable only with any vehicle that has at least twelve inches clearance.

California Road makes a very good walking trail. You can park at the beginning of the road and start walking until you tire and want to turn back. Or, you can drive in a few km., park and walk. Take a hike bag with you, with plenty of water and a lunch. Along the way, you will find trails going off into the bush. These are old logging roads or trails into hunting camps. Most of this land is private but some is Crown Land. The road itself is approximately ten km long.

There ate two roads leading to the California Road, one from the east and one from the west. The eastern end has the best parking opportunity. The route is as follows:

1) from the centre of the Village Pakenham, take County Road 20 called the Waba Road until you reach Campbell Sideroad;

2) travel Campbell Road westerly to its end at Pakenham Concession 4;

3) follow Conc. 4 southward and onto County Road 24, which is called Bellamy Road;

4) County Road 24 becomes Peneshula Road. Drive westerly until you get to Snye Road;

5) Turn left onto Snye Road and follow about two km to a yellow sign on your left which says this road is not maintained. That’s the start of California Road. Lots of room to park here.

For the westerly end of California Road, take County Road 9 (called Tatlock Road) out of the Village of Clayton to Darling Road. Go north on Darling Road to the end of the regular road, a distance of about twelve km. (This road is not paved). There you will also find a yellow municipal unmaintained road sign. That’s California Road from the west end.

Warnings: Use this road at your own risk, expect to meet ATV’s and the odd truck and, don’t walk on this road during deer hunting season.

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