Hitting the Trails at the High Lonesome Nature Reserve

A great series of hiking trails with a micro-brewery close by for refreshment? It doesn’t get any better than that. And even the threat of rain couldn’t keep us from heading out to explore High Lonesome Nature Reserve, a short distance from the hamlet of Pakenham.

Donated to the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust in 2012, this 81 hectare property was actively pastured and logged for fuel until a couple of decades ago. Now preserved and being allowed to return to its natural state, hikers will find over 8 km (5 mi) of interconnected and well-signed trails leading through forest, past beaver ponds and along creeks and wetlands. A number of interpretive panels can be seen along the trails and in the odd spot, even a few Muskoka chairs to just sit and enjoy the view, or a sunset.

Photo credits: alltrails.com

We headed up White Pine Way to the top of the property, and then picked up the Lost Antler Trail to the Wolf Trail, which has five loops running off it, back to the Welcome Centre.

When your hike is over, as you approach Barr Road, hang a left and travel a short distance to Deer Run Road to reach the Cartwright Springs Brewery. Or, if that’s not to your liking, check out Scoops Ice Cream in Pakenham. Either option will be a great way to cap off a day of hiking.

To reach High Lonesome from Pakenham, take County Road 29 to Waba Road and continue west for 2.9 km. Turn left onto Barr Road and the first left is Carbine Road. Follow it for 4 km (turn right at the T) until the road ends. To help you navigate during your adventure, bring along a Cottage Country Ontario Backroad Mapbook – you will find the High Lonesome Nature Preserve on page 77.

Photo credits: Cottage Country Ontario Backroad Mapbooks

Want to check more locations in this area? Look below for more! No other map product gives you the breadth of road coverage that ours do, helping you find that secluded, unobstructed viewing area with ease.

Have you been here yet? Let us know in the comments below or share your best hiking photos with us on Instagram using #brmblife for a chance to be featured on our feed and win prizes.