The Poole Nature Trail in Drummond is now open

The Poole Family Nature Sanctuary (PFNS) is the latest addition to the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust’s diverse portfolio of protected properties. MMLT now stewards 8 properties in the region, totaling over 2,600 ac.

MMLT protects nature and enriches human lives on private lands within its approximately 5,000 km2 catchment area from Ottawa to Arnprior, west to Highway 41 and south to Highway 7. Blueberry Mountain, which you may recognize as one of Lanark County’s seven wonders, is found on MMLT’s CliffLAND property.

Inaugural walk: Cathy Keddy, ecologist with the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, leads the inaugural walk on the interpreted nature trail on Poole Family Nature Sanctuary, the latest addition to MMLT’s protected property portfolio (photo by Brian Crawford).

The new 110 ac. Poole property, located approximately 8 km southwest of the town of Carleton Place, showcases great examples of natural features that typify the County, but appear little disturbed by human activity. This property is adjacent to the 530 ac. Keddy Nature Sanctuary (KNS), also stewarded by MMLT, bringing the total protected area to 640 ac.

The upland areas of PFNS are covered by Significant Woodland with some hemlock, green ash, white pine and sugar maple stands well over 150 years old. The old growth white pine reach 40m+ (130’+) in height—comparable to those in Gillies Grove (Arnprior). Hemlock trees reach 30 m—a match for those in Gillies Grove and Shaw Woods (20 km S of Pembroke).

Poole family: The Poole family at the dedication ceremony of Poole Family Nature Sanctuary, a 110 ac. property in Drummond Twp., Lanark County, stewarded by the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust. The sanctuary protects significant wetland and woodland with groves of white pine and hemlock rivalling Gillies Grove and Shaw Woods.

The wetlands include part of the Scotch Corners Provincially Significant Wetland Complex and comprise species-rich marshes; deciduous, mixed and coniferous swamps; vernal pools important for amphibian breeding; and seepage areas.  Combined, KNS and PFNS protect 39% of the PSW and, importantly, the matrix of terrestrial land that provides essential support for this wetland.

Located on Concession Rd. 11 in Drummond Twp., the Poole Family Nature Sanctuary opened to visitors at the end of September. The 1.5 km pedestrian trail was inaugurated at the end of October, our first day of snow, with a guided walk led by MMLT ecologist Cathy Keddy. Along the trail are 9 signs interpreting a variety of natural history themes ranging from hemlock forests and the leather tanning industry to nice gneiss (a type of rock pronounced nice) to rock ridges—the deserts of Lanark County, and a bird that builds ovens. The development of this trail was generously funded by a grant from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

The interpretive station, Mississippi Lake One Drop at a Time, focusses on the importance of PFNS as the origin of Cranberry (Code) Creek and its role in enhancing the water quality of Mississippi Lake. Together, PFNS and KNS protect the headwaters of three creeks flowing into the lake.

The Poole Family Nature Sanctuary was donated by Helen (Poole) White as a legacy to her parents, Alfred and Edith, and her family’s memory—so that future generations might also experience the beauty and wildness of the property which the Poole family enjoyed while the land was in their care.

MMLT invites you to visit this sanctuary, enjoy a walk in nature, and learn how it contributes to a healthy environment.