The trail passes by two small lakes before heading up a steep slope to the lookout. The altitude of the high point of the trail is approximately 510m, while the start point is just above the level of Rock Lake, which is about 400m. Distance of Trails is 5.1km / loop.
Near the start, the trail passes tiny Rosepond Lake, then continues on to Gordon Lake.
Some of this area was once a farm, though little evidence of its existence remains other than a few rotting logs and suggestions of clearings.
From Gordon Lake the trail begins to rise steeply and the terrain becomes rockier and more rugged.
A section of the trail ascending the hill, showing how the thin soil has been worn down to bedrock by hikers' feet.
Much of the forest along the trail consists of hemlock trees, with some birch.
After a fairly steep climb, we reached the first lookout area. From there you can view Rock Lake and the surrounding area.
A wooden staircase leads you back down to lake level.
As the trail approaches Rock Lake again, there is a side trail to the former site of the Barclay Estate, which was occupied until 1953 by baron J.R. Booth. There are a few remnants of tennis courts and various bits of concrete foundations. The area is gradually being reclaimed by forest. Remains of the boathouse foundation at the Barclay Estate on the shore of Rock Lake.
From the Barclay Estate side trail, the return to the parking lot follows the abandoned railbed of the Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway, once the busiest rail line in Canada. The section through the park was last used in 1944.
GPS Coordinates: Latitude/Longitude: 45.518138°, -78.399629°
Photography Mik Herman for Geonmagazine