About This Guide
Originally created in 1993, with the last revision in 2001, this Guide has not been substantially updated in recent years. Some editing has been done to reflect HSR policies of 2011. Scouts using this Guide must be aware that the information presented, while still being valid in general terms, is not claimed to be accurate. Trail location, conditions, and especially markers and signage, have changed in the last decade.
This web version of the Trail Guide has not attempted to update the information about the trails, but has contributed thematic mapping as a tool for Scout groups to plan routes and camping adventures. These maps should not be used for navigation purposes. Maps suitable for navigation can be obtained from the National Topographic service, or the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
(All Trial Guide material is copyrighted by the HSR Staff Alumni Association, and is used here with their kind permission.)
(Printable PDF version of full HSR Trail Guide - CLICK HERE)
This Trail Guide was prepared by
members of the Haliburton Scout Reserve
Staff Alumni to encourage Scouters to
make use of the thousands of acres of
Reserve beyond the Lake Kennabi area
and to assist them in their planning and
HSR is the largest Scout Camp in Canada, and one of the 3 largest in the world. We have access to over 35 kilometres of trails and six outpost campsites. There is a lot more to HSR than what you see and experience around Lake Kennabi. Out in the back-country, you can experience the wilds of the Canadian Shield just as First Nations people, and our pioneering ancestors, have for countless generations.
This Guide includes both general information and detailed descriptions of specific
trails including average hiking times and
estimated distances. If any information in
this guide appears to be incorrect or misleading, please report your concerns in
writing to the program supervisor so that
we can amend future printings. Suggestions for other information to be included
are also welcome. (An e-mail to "Friends of HSR" provided elsewhere on this site, will be forwarded to the right people.)
The trail descriptions have been prepared by staff, former staff and friends of HSR.
They are designed to help you plan your
routes and overnight camps, and to provide resource material to make your hikes interesting for your Scouts. Some trail descriptions provide more detail than others,
while we continue to improve the content
in upcoming years.
The distances have been measured by
the map which means they may not completely allow for the ups and downs of the
trail. The "average hiking times" should be considered only as estimates. We've
tried to err on the conservative side.
A number of factors will affect the time required by your hikers such as the age of
your hikers, size of your group, whether
they are carrying day or overnight packs,
how long they've been hiking, etc.
Plan your schedule to allow lots of time to
enjoy the sights and wildlife that are to be
found throughout the Haliburton Scout
Reserve! Also make sure that you plan to
stop hiking well before sunset as darkness arrives much sooner in the woods
and the trails are generally not suitable for
Planning Your Route
Take some time while planning your
hikes, to consider the routes that are
available to you. The trails have been designed to form a "trail network" - a number of trails which connect to provide a
variety of options from short day hikes to
one or two overnighters. While its often
necessary to backtrack some distance on a hike, try to find a different route if possible for your return trip. If you must retrace
your steps, select different locations for
your rest stops to add variety.
hiking the Cooper's Loop Trail which
has four overnight campsites on different
lakes from which to choose.
If you plan to use the Pike's Peak Trail,
consider following it at the start of your
hike when your Scouts are still enthusiastic and energetic. If you're not sure what's
reasonable or practical, and for further
suggestions, contact the Program Department for assistance.
Using The Trails
If you plan to stay overnight at one of the
Outpost Campsites, these should be
booked at the Skippers Meeting or later in
the week, with the Program Department.
Some sites like Mislaid Lake, are very popular, so the sooner you reserve space
the better. In addition, we ask that you
check out and in with the Program Department when you start and finish any
If you are planning to use the trails during
the spring, fall or winter seasons, please
make sure you arrange in advance for a
permit from the Camping Department and
check in with the Camp Ranger on arrival.
The current method of marking trails uses
roughly 5" plywood diamonds painted yellow and nailed to trees. Markers at trail
heads or where trails cross, usually include the initials of the trail (see the Trail Descriptions) in red or green paint. In addition at most major trail intersections are
routed or painted signs indicating directions to specific lakes. Please note there
are no markers on the Hurst Lake Road.
While most of
the trails are
of the newer or
trails can be
more difficult. If
you cannot locate the next
marker, leave one person at the last
marker and start searching in a circular
pattern which you can continue to increase in size until the next marker is located.
Please make sure that no one from your
hiking party removes or tampers with any
signs or markers. If you notice markers
which are misleading or seem to be inappropriate, please report them to the Program Department on your return.
of the wooden
ones as trail maintenance is completed.
are circular with
an arrow portion indicating
the trail direction.
We hope you won't have any emergencies while using the trails but it pays to "Be Prepared". There are no camp phones in the back-country (as you have on the Lake Kennabi campsites), and cell phone reception is not reliable, especially in lower valleys. Walkie-talkies only work 'line-of-sight', so are most useful within the hiking group - certainly not back to HSR admin centre.
If you have an emergency that requires
assistance from the camp staff, send at
least two members of your party back to
the Kennabi Lake area by the quickest
route (take a moment to consult that map
to ensure the shortest route) and make
sure that they have an accurate description of your location and the details of
Off Trail Hiking
The Haliburton Scout Reserve is an excellent area for improving map and compass skills. (Even with a GPS, it is important to be able to navigate without relying on technology that may loose power when needed.) . Older and/or more experienced hikers are encouraged to hike off
the trails or "bushwack". Make sure you
have an adequate compass for taking
bearings. We would also recommend that
you purchase from the Country Store,
one of the detailed maps that are available.
While mountain bikes are now provided by
the Reserve as an available program, campers may bring their own to camp and transport them out to some of the trails. Mountain bikes may be used on the
Hurst Lake Road, the Lost Lake Trail, the
Gibson Trail, the Pikes Peak Trail to the
Gorge and the Coopers Loop Trail from
the Hurst Lake Road to Moore Lake only.
Please do not use mountain bikes on
ATV’s, Snowmobiles and Motorized Dirt Bikes
Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the
trails except when used by camp staff for
maintenance and emergency purposes.