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Ohara Mill Homestead CA (Madoc) Trails Review
I’d been trying to determine if there were trails at Ohara Mill or not, when my Historian buddy Ranger expressed a desire to visit … Ohara’s Mill. Bonus ! Off we went to smite two birds with one stone. Or, more humanely, two posts with one road trip.
Jarvis Rd. is just off Hwy #7 between Madoc (5.5 kms West of) and Marmora (12 kms East of). Take Mill Rd. to the right from Jarvis and 1.6 kms later, you’ll hit the entrance. Click on the link here : https://goo.gl/maps/2MNjMhUYvZ92 to open Google Maps at the parking lot.
I can now say with certainty, Ohara Mill has trails. In fact there are nine of them, but don’t get too excited yet. The entire CA is only 0.6 X 0.6 kms square, so the trails are pretty limited in length. All totalled they wander through the CA for about 5 kms.
These trails are very well marked with spray painted spots/circles on trees. There are also trail maps mounted on aluminum signs throughout them. Tree identification and data signs are common, as are historical signs and points of interest along the trails. There are a coupla creeks, stone and wooden bridges, and wetlands. You’ll walk through upland old growth forests and lowland cedar wetlands. The trail base is compacted soil with tree roots and fieldstone. There are a few granite outcroppings which (as one of the historical signs explained) show evidence of mineral prospecting. The trails are a mix of single file, to wide enough for three to walk at the shoulder.
Of course, you can’t forget the Mill. We were shocked at the grounds, the Mill, all the buildings and machinery. I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of this place before. It was as impressive as some big name places I’ve been to. The covered bridge over the dam was beautiful, not to mention the view from it. All the facilities are very well maintained. There are outdoor washrooms, and indoor at the visitor’s center (closed in the off season). Picnic tables line the shore of the millpond and there are a half dozen under roof near the parking lot, also over-looking the pond.
The Final Take
There are about five kms of informative and interesting trails here, which vary in width and are compacted soil based. They’re easily walked with a few gentle grades. These trails share property with a Mill grounds which has an almost pioneer village feel to it. Outdoor and indoor (in season) washroom facilities are available. There are all kinds of picnicking opportunities with lovely views as well. Madoc is only five kms away with a few take-out possibilities if you don’t wanna bother packing a lunch. There’s ample free parking, and there’s no charge for access to the Mill grounds nor the trails. This whole place is maintained by volunteers who deserve a great deal of respect and appreciation for their selfless efforts. Please make a donation to help them out. Leashed dog walking is encouraged.
Have a nice walk,