Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Hiking Trails – Purdon Bog New Trail

Purdon Bog New Trail 

Purdon Bog, in Dalhousie Ward in Lanark Highlands, is famous during three or four weeks in June/July for its great display of showy ladies slippers (orchids). The boardwalk trail (there are two interconnected loops) is wheelchair accessible and gives one a close-up of not only the pink orchids but yellow lady slipper , pitcher plant and many other woodland flora.

However, the conservation area, under the control of Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, sports not only a lookout over the small beaver-build lake but a new trail, over a km. long. Built last year, with still some construction underway, this trail is a perfect birdwatching exercise for it meanders through several different types of habitat. Observation platforms are in the process of being put together and one, overlooking the lake at the west end, will sport a picnic table.

The new trail begins immediately at the foot of the long sets of stairs coming down from the observation platform and the top parking lot. You can also reach the start of the new trail from the lower parking lot by entering along the boardwalk up to the stairs. The trail, shaped like a giant letter “P” ends back at the start.

To find Purdon Bog, travel north on highway 511 from Perth, through the village of Lanark and north to County Road 8 going west through Watson’s Corners. From highway 417, take the Almonte exit, travel through Almonte and west on County Road 16 to Hopetown. Turn south towards Perth to County Road 8 turning west through Watson’s Corners. From 511, the area is well marked.

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Hiking Trails – Baird Trail

Baird Trail

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The Baird trial 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 no obvious sign at the moment marking the park and trail but 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. Look for a small orange arrow marker and a pile of cut stove wood.  Enjoy!

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Field Naturalists Form New Bird Count Area in Lanark Highlands

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
Submitted by Cliff Bennett
Friday, Nov.28, 2003

Field Naturalists Form New Bird Count Area in Lanark Highlands

Cardinal (Photo Credit:  Sandra Bauer)Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) have been around in the Western Hemisphere since the year 1900. Three count circles (71/2 mile radius) have been operating for decades in Lanark County and area including Carleton Place, Rideau Ferry and Pakenham.

A new count circle, designed to fill a large gap in Lanark County, is being established by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) in the Lanark Highlands area, centred on Watson’s Corners. This circle will take in Brightside to the north, most of Dalhousie Lake to the west, south to within a km. of Balderson and east to include Middleville. Activities in this new circle will be on a trial run basis for this year, with the first formal count being conducted in 2004.

A count is conducted by interested birders forming into teams and combing the roads, trails and woodlots during the count day to record every bird seen or heard. The results compiled for Canada are sent to Bird Studies Canada. CBCs take place all over North and Central America, the Caribbean and Hawaii. This annual event produces a definitive census of our bird population and is used for many research and conservation programmes designed to encourage the continuing health of our avian friends.

The date for the new Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count will be Tuesday, Dec. 30. All persons interested in the health of our local bird population, are invited to join in on the count. Teams will be formed, each team with a more knowledgeable birder. They will be assigned a count area and will spend the daylight hours counting every bird they see or hear. At the end of the day, all will gather at the Nature Lovers Book Store in Lanark Village, to record their findings and enjoy hot refreshments.

Residents in the count circle who have active bird feeders can also take part in the final tally. To register for the feeder counts, contact the feeder coordinator Marj. Gilmour, 259-3078 before the tally date. Then, on Dec. 30, feeder watchers will count every bird coming in to their feeders or appearing in their yard and phone in their resulting tally to Marj. These numbers will be totalled and added to the main count from the field observations.

Count coordinator for this first count is MVFN Director Cliff Bennett, . To register for the field count, contact Cliff at 256-5013 or by e-mail

For further information, call Cliff.

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