Camp Maps
Around Lake Kennabi
Exploring theBack Country

The Troop's Own Programs
("The Other 75% of Your Time at Camp")

ABOUT "The Friends of HSR" -- Join Us


The Jack Dobson Memorial Trail (DT)
Trail Guide Logo

Key Map - Jack Dobson Trail

Highlights / Points of Interest:

  • Kennibic Creek - waterfalls and a hand-hewn wooden dam and log chute
  • Some of the largest and oldest maple in Ontario, ranging up to just under a meter in diameter, and could be as old as 150 to 200 years old.
  • Various wildlife
  • Old Kennaway Road - and some history of the Canadian Logging & Immigration Company and the Village of Kennaway
  • The "O Canada" bird.
  • A recently logged area - now overgrown with raspberry bushes.
  • Beech Trees & Bears
  • Wallace Creek
  • Connenctions to; Lost Lake Trail, Pike's Peak Trail, Hurst Lake Road.

Average Hiking Time (Distance):
From Kennabi Creek Bridge

• to Lost Lake Trail - 10 minutes (0.5 km or 0.31 mi);

• to Pikes Peak Trailhead - 12 minutes (0.6 km or 0.37 mi);

• to Hurst Lake Gates -25 minutes (1.2 km or 0.75 mi).

Description & Directions:

This trail is dedicated to the memory of Jack Dobson who served the camp as Ranger and Assistant from 1972-89. It was designed to safely allow hikers to reach the established trails without having to use the Kennaway Road.

It starts just west of the main parking lot along the camp road. The new markers along this trail will be yellow.

The trail leads down a couple of steps from the left side of the road (as you leave the parking area) to a wooden bridge which crosses Kennabi Creek. This creek flows from Kennabi Lake to Holland Lake and at this point cuts through the rock to form an impressive series of waterfalls. This water is not drinkable.

Just upstream from the bridge are the remains of a hand-hewn wooden dam and log chute which were used to get the logs which had been cut during the winter and left on the ice of Kennabi, to Holland Lake, Drag River and eventually to Haliburton. In the dam, when examined carefully, you will notice large spikes that held the wooden logs together to hold back the water untill logs were collected at the edge of the dam. When a quantity of logs were gathered, the dam was opened and the logs flowed down the river. This particular dam was built by the Laking Lumber Company about 1906. Please feel free to look but don't disturb what's left so others can also see.

Cool and Damp - It is cooler and damper down here and some of the evergreens you see are hemlocks. They have short, flat needles, and if you try to roll a single needle between your thumb and forefinger, you can't, because it is flat. A spruce needle is also short, but it is square, and it rolls easily.

As you go by the creek watch for the small clusters of dark green polypody ferns among the rocks, and if it is August look down the creek from the bridge for the scarlet spikes of Cardinal flower, one of Ontario's most beautiful flowers. In the wild, Cardinal flower only grows in areas that are always wet, especially along shorelines. Unlike people it loves to have its feet wet.

As you hike through the hemlocks, watch for tiny yellow and black birds called Black-Throated Green Warblers high up in the hemlock trees (their nest can be up to 80 feet above the ground), and listen for the flute like calls of thrushes, especially early in the morning and around dusk during May and June. Some people believe the call of the Hermit Thrush is the most beautiful sound in all of nature! It is worth remembering, however that while to us thrush songs are surpassingly beautiful, to the thrushes themselves their songs are very serious business. As with other songbirds, male thrushes use song not only to attract a mate but also to carve out and defend their territories against other individuals of the same species. If any trespassers fail to heed the musical warning, they will be attacked.

"Solitude"The Old Kennaway Road - Across the bridge, the trail turns left at the bottom of a steep cliff and climbs at an angle to the top. From here it heads south, then turns west along the Old Kennaway Road where it is joined from the left by the Lost Lake Trail (which will be indicated with new orange markers) at a small clearing.

This road was actually built between 1865 and 1870 and until recently was the main road through this area. It was built with hand labour and primitive equipment and was the main road between the Town of Haliburton and what was at one time the Village of Kennaway. It was named for Sir John Kennaway, the High Sheriff of Deonshire and a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Land and Immigration Company which purchased what is now the County of Haliburton from the Crown on May 9, 1865. In the summer of 1992, a Canadian dime dated 1876 was found in the main parking area where this road used to cross from what is now the camp maintenance area.

About 50 metres further is another small clearing from which the DT exits to the right. (The old road which continues, is the start of the Pikes Peak Trail which will be indicated with new blue markers). These junctions should be clearly signed with both trail markers and routed signs.

The DT follows an old skid road down a gentle slope then turns left and enters a large clearing with tall grass which may be a little confusing. The trail heads straight across the field (west) but turns right before reaching the other side and leaves the clearing on the north side.

This area has been logged recently. Nobody really likes to see areas like this, because they are ugly ompared to the majestic forest that used to be here. But trees provide us with valuable materials for our houses and furniture, and go into paper that we all use. In addition, they provide many people in Ontario with jobs and salaries. If we are careful, we can have both forests and the valuable products and incomes that trees provide. But we have to be careful!

As you walk through the thick raspberry cane in the logged areas, watch and listen for White Throated Sparrows, whose whistled call has earned it the nickname of "O Canada" bird. To many people, this sound reminds them of the Ontario wilderness. And if you are lucky enough to be hiking this trail when the raspberries are ripe, try eating one before the birds get them all!

Beech Trees and Bears - At the far end of the open area, watch for a tree with a very wide trunk, and a smooth greyish-blue bark that looks like the skin of an elephant. This is a Beech tree. It is not a valuable tree for lumber because older beech trees that are big enough for a sawmill are usually hollow, and don't make good lumber. They make very good firewood, however, and are very valuable for wildlife if they are left standing. Birds, like Blue Jays, and animals such as squirrels relish the nuts that beech trees make.

Look carefully at the sides of this beech tree in particular. See if you can pick out the sets of marks that run up each side of the tree. They are the claw marks of a bear that long ago climbed this tree looking for beech nuts. Because of their smooth bark, beech trees often show bear claw marks.

From here the trail descends toward the Kennaway Road road through a beautiful mature deciduous forest dominated by sugar maples and yellow birch trees. The biggest of these trees represent some of the largest and oldest maple in Ontario, ranging up to just under a meter in diameter, and could be as old as 150 to 200 years old. You can tell that these trees won't get much bigger than this, because from time to time, you can see the big trunks of dead maples which are about the same size. These giants have lived out their lives and have died from natural causes.

Take care when crossing the Kennaway Road as the trail meets the road on the inside of a wide curve! Drivers can't see you, but you should be able to hear them, IF you pay attention to your surroundings.

The stream here is Wallace Creek which flows into Holland Lake. This water is not drinkable.


More Photos  --  send us your bestpictures to  WebScouterBob
(Don't forget that the Scout [or any identifiable youth] AND their Parent/Guardian must sign a 'Photo Release Form 'before you give it to us.)





Copyright © 2011 by Friends of HSR