High Lonesome Nature Reserve

High Lonesome Nature Reserve, a 200 acre property located in the Pakenham Hills, was donated to the MMLT by the family of the late Barry Spicer in April 2012. A network of trails through the forests, over the hills and streams, by the ponds and through the meadows has been developed and cared for by the donor’s brother Ken Spicer. Ken has documented many of the natural riches found there, shared them with the MMLT and encouraged the Land Trust to complete the work he began. MMLT has committed to conserve High Lonesome as a nature reserve in perpetuity.

Flooded Jellyskin, a lichen which is a threatened species provincially and nationally

High Lonesome Nature Reserve lies within the Pakenham Mountain Provincially Significant Wetland Complex. It is a dense mosaic of regenerating forest, about 30 to 80 years old, with creeks wandering through the property.  These features make wonderful, rich habitat for a variety of wildlife. At least seven species at risk have already been observed on the property, including the rare Flooded Jellyskin.

Around the beaver pondBefore Barry (Sam) Spicer bought the property it had been logged and pastured since the early days of settlement in this area. Over time, MMLT plans to restore any areas which have been degraded to their original, natural state.  To this end, we received some grants in 2013 and 2014 to help us begin the restoration process.  Please follow the link to read all about the High Lonesome Woodlands Restoration Project.

There are 8 km of trails winding through the property, providing opportunities to see the varied habitats and if you’re lucky, to see some interesting wildlife.  The property is open to the public and parking is available at the end of Carbine Rd., just outside the gate, which limits ATV access.  There is a small gate for pedestrians.

Directions to High Lonesome and a Trail Map are available by clicking on the links. Click on the following link for a photo tour or view a drone video below.  A print version of this property’s description may be found at High Lonesome profile.

Organized groups wishing to visit the property need to read our Public Access Policy and complete the Access for Organized Groups Form.