This conservation area has about fifteen kilometres of trails, all broken into sections or loops. At a
couple of spots in the park, you can find a hard copy of a glossy map showing all the trails
. See below for my GPS mapping of the trails.
There are seven trails here plus the The Rideau Trail
which passes through the park, linking many of the trails.
The longest is three kilometres, so you'll have to link two or three
trails together to get a substantial walk. The shortest trail (0.1
kilometres) is really only an access to the lakeshore.
The park is perched on the mountain just to the north of Westport (this
is the village'
a beautiful historical and tourist town tucked between Westport Sand
Lake (sometimes known as Westport Pond)
and the much larger Upper Rideau Lake. If you decide to visit the park,
it's worth scheduling a stroll around Westport as part of a day's
The Rideau District Museum
is an excellent little museum at 29 Bedford Street in Westport. It is
located in a building from the 1850s that once housed a blackmith and a
coffin-maker's shop. In a back corner is a beautiful sad little
coffin for a child.
More happy displays include an exquisite Victorian-style doll house
built in the 1980s and "Sally Grant," an 11-foot statue of justice
(complete with balancing scales) that sat on the County Court House in
Brockville until 1956. Now she sits at the back of the museum away from
wind and weather.
There's a donation jar near the entrance.
The Rideau District Museum: a
fine, friendly place to visit, with lots of interesting
artefacts crammed into a small space. September, 2013
After you've strolled through town, drive to Main Street which runs
along the waterfront. Turn left (north) and drive between the two lakes
and up the mountain along County Road #10. About 900 metres from the
bridge, Grady Road runs off to the right; the park road is
immediately south at the same junction. You'll see
the wooden sign for the park.
It costs $7.00 per car to enter the park (or $50per year).
There machines just inside the park entrance that takes both
coins and credit cards or you can follow direction and pay online or
over the phone.
If you drive 2.3 kilometres from the entrance to the end of the
park road, you'll find an interpretive centre. The park is host to a
number of educational programs. You can find out more about this from
the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
(who oversee the park) or from the Friends of Foley Mountain
(The latter link is certainly informative, but perhaps somewhat dated.
The latest event in an "upcoming events" list a 2019 pre-covid 2019 event.)
The park is part of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere
, a UNESCO-protected area.
"The Frontenac Arch is the ancient granite bridge from the Canadian
Shield to the Adirondack Mountains. Its incredibly rich natural
environment and history was recognized in 2002 when it became a UNESCO
World Biosphere Reserve, part of a world-wide network of 610 Biosphere
Reserves in 117 countries." The quote is from the link above.
a lookout, with spectacular views down to the town of Westport and the
surrounding lakes. Even if you don't have time for a walk, this is a
good place to visit. There are plenty of picnic tables sprinkled
through the park if you want to use it for a lunch spot.
For a brief description of how Spy Rock and surroundings came to be see this, amazing places
The ramp to Spy Rock looks to
be wheelchair friendly. The short trail from the
parking lot to the ramp is very flat too. This picture is taken looking
back from Spy
Rock. September 20, 2013
The view from Spy Rock lookout. The wooden ramp (see above) opens onto
the rock and you can walk beyond the trees that
frame this picture to get a glorious view of the lakes that make up
this part of the Rideau Canal as well as the town of Westport.
September 20, 2013
Left: The views from Spy Rock. The top picture looks east to the huge
Upper Rideau Lake. To the east (lower picture) is Westport Sand Lake in
the foreground with Wolfe Lake in the distance. The spire of St
Edmuund's Catholic Church can be seen in the lower picture. If you were
blow this picture up, you'd also see the Free Methodist Church further
off to the right and the Westport water tower.
The Spy Rock parking lot is just short of 600 metres from the entrance
to the park.
A fungus-laden stump. It was right at
edge of the parking lot as you start down the trail to
Spy Rock lookout. You can still find similar fungus
along the trails. September 20,
This trail heads off from the road, shares a short section with the
Blue Circle Trail, then heads off to Beaver Pond, a little lake on the
west side of the park. To make a loop, you must walk for a short
stretch on the road. There's a dock with open spaces at the south end of the pond that could makle for a good lunch spot.
Blue Circle Trail
3 kilometres (from Spy Rock parking lot).
The best place to start this trail is at the Spy Rock lookout. It's
clearly marked, with brochures, maps, an information board and
down the trail to Spy Rock. At the boardwalk and steps down to the
rock, head to your right (west) as you face the steps if you want to travel clockwise. You'll see two
blue circle with a little arrow along with the Rideau
trail triangular orange markers with yellow tips. The yellow tips
indicate you are travelling south on the latter trail. Have a look at
other side of a tree and you'll see solid orange markers, indicating
you are northward-bound. (You can head left as well if you want to go
counter-clockwise on the blue trail; I describe the trail going
The trail winds about until you come to a junction, roughly half a
kilometre down the trail. Turn right (north) here, following the blue
markers. Shortly after that you cross the park road near the entrance.
The trail parallels Grady Road, which you will see through the trees to
The Beaver Trail also briefly joins the trail from the right, before it
heads off right again to Beaver Pond. There's a flat marshy bit off to
the left that the trail skirts before curving up a bit and heading
A beautiful fungus on a tree
next to the trail. September 20, 2013
the trail drops southeasterly, you will see Beaver Pond off to the
right, although the trail doesn't actually provide access to it. It
then winds over granite rocks and through mixed hardwood and softwood
At roughly the 1.6 kilometre point, you'll see a log building through
the trees. Again, there's no direct access to it; in fact there's a
thin bit of rope running to the right (south) of the trail,
perhaps indicating that bushwacking to the building is not advised. The
building houses a museum of some sort, but was closed when I inspected
it. It is accessible from the road.
The log building, accessible from the
park's road, that may house museum artifacts;
it was closed when we passed by. September 20, 2013
There's also a roofed-in picnic area and a camping area for groups
nearby. The park brochures specify that it's for "youth" groups, so I'm
guessing old geezer groups need not apply.
about the 2-kilometre point, the trail crosses the road. To the left, a
sideroad runs off the main road to the (on-site) supervisor's residence.
Not far from the road as the trail continues south, it joins the Red
Oak Trail; make a sharp right to stay on the Blue trail. As you get
closer to Spy R ock,if you parked in the Spy Rock you may see your car.
To complete the trail, stay on the path (resist
taking a shortcut to your car). The trail becomes slightly confusing
but just slow down and keep an eye out for trail markers.
There are a couple of blue square (not circle) markers that also might
confuse; just ignore them.
A road junction from the
perspective of the trail. The trail crosses the road here.
The road to the right heads to the interpretive centre; the road to the
to the park superintendent's home. September 20, 2013
Back at the Spy Rock lookout stairway, you've done the loop. Retrace
steps back to your car and you'll have walked three kilometres.
A short trail to the Upper Rideau Lake shore, near the Interpretive
Centre. Good overview of tghe lake.
The Jack Herbert Mobility
This loop trail starts at the Interpretive Centre.
The pathway is made of smooth very-fine-gravel to allow wheelchairs and
other folks who might have trouble with uneven ground. It has
interpretive stops to describe natural, geological and historical
features. The lake is not far off through the trees and there are lots
of benches. It has ropes and other aids for those who might need them.
Orange Maple Trail
(marked by a cutout of a yellow maple leaf) 2.2 kilometres
This is the westernmost loop trail in the park. Linking it with
the White Pine Trail would would give you a 4.6 kilometre trail. As
with most trails in this park, be careful of stones on the trail. There
are a lot of rocky bits—pick up your feet! This is not to criticize.
The trails are excellently maintained and genrally well marked. Be
careful at some of the junctions, where most mistakes are made.
Red Oak Trail
(marked by a cutout of a red oak leaf)
in the blue Circle section and you have made a good loop trail. As with
most of these trails (excepting the Beaver Trail) there are some steep
inclines to guive you a great workout.
White Pine Trail (green)
in a piece of the red oalk trail to make a good loop. If you're heading
east on this trail, you'll come upon a confusing sign that asks you to
go back. Ignore it. There are also white arrows pasted over the dark
green arrows for this trail. I'm not sure what that is about. maybe
they are for some interpretive program. Also, you'll occasionally see
orange paint circles on some trees. Again, they confuse a bit, but just
ignore them, you really are
on the green-marked trail.
Mostly a linking trail between the Blue Circle, Red Oak and Orange
3.5 kilometres (from the park entrance to the park's east
The section in the park runs along the edge of the cliff in the western
part of the park, until it gets to the interpretive centre. At that
point, it follows the road to the beach and then along the shore to the
eastern edge of the park.
the Rideau leaves the Orange Maple (as you head east/north) the trail
erodes a bit. it's still clear and pleasant, but not maintained like
other trails. at the easternmoast boundary of the park, the trail
continues, but a sign warns you that you are moving onto private
This plaque, situated behind the
interpretive centre, reads:
"The official opening of
the Rideau Trail extending 300 KM
from Lake Ontario at
Kingston to the Ottawa River at Richmond
Landing took place here
on Foley Mountain on 7 November, 1971."
September 20, 2013
September 21, 2013
Last walked: June 7, 2021
Updated: June 9, 2021