This is the site of the first land purchased by the County of Victoria which became part of the municipally owned forest in 1928. This 3450 hectare forest known as the Somerville Tract, is now owned and managed by the City of Kawartha Lakes. Portions of this land were cleared for agricultural use by early settlers and abandoned due to low soil fertility. Beginning in 1929 the cleared parts of the property were planted with red, white and Scot's pine and were managed by the Department of Lands and Forests and the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Plantations have been thinned periodically to maintain diameter growth, encourage natural re-growth of the understory, and provide a variety of forest products. Future harvests will continue to remove the pine over story and promote the growth of a more natural mixed-wood forest.
For more information contact the City of Kawartha Lakes at (705) 324-9411 or www.city.Kawarthalakes.on.ca Park By-Law #2006-147. For emergencies call 911,your location is 93 Pinery Road.
Site # 2 Field of Orchids
Pinery Orchids May 27th 2012 - John Blackmore
Lady Slipper Orchids bloom only for about a week in late May or early June (Mother Nature will decide when the time is right). The field was opened up years ago as a result of logging. This let in the sunlight. The right combination of soil, moisture and now sunlight set in motion the growth of a remarkable Field of Lady Slipper Orchids that might even be migrating across the trail. We have constructed a viewing platform for photo opportunities. Please do not enter the field at any time of year. Let’s all keep the site pristine for the next visitor. Keep checking for blooming dates.
Question: How many lines does a Five-lined Skink have? Answer: All of them.
Recent trail upgrades in the extreme north end of the Pinery make us aware that all creatures have to be given respect to their habitat. We have Kawartha Field Naturalists on-site and they report to the Committee on a regular basis. Updates and news of this little darling will appear on this website as new info arrives.
Site # 4 Boiler in the Bush
This massive boiler is all that remains of Gillett's Sawmill. The name on the boiler door reads Dickey-Neill & Co.Toronto.(They switched to boilers only in 1877). Beside the boiler is a large open well that also supplied water to the office via a pipe. The office and cookhouse (over to your left) is now a pile of rubble resting gently on the ground covered with a mantle of moss. This site is on the newly developed Heritage Trail and must be left untouched. It is for viewing only.
Site # 5 Eastern Hognose Snake
Photo Taken Locally by Bruce Boswell
Even snakes hate snakes and this bad boy is no exception. With its turned-up nose and the ability to fan its neck like a cobra, you'll be taken aback until it rolls over and plays dead if provoked. Yes, it's harmless and we want you to be harmless too.
The snake's habitat is dry sandy but grassy soil that is common in the Pinery. The main diet is toads but a passing by frog or salamander will do just fine. We hope you see one in its natural habitat. Have your camera ready but don't say cheese...say toad! To learn more, please click on the following link
This is a typical sign you will see just by driving your car from one end of Pinery Rd. to the other before you decide to enter the trails. Start your drive by car from the parking lot at 93 Pinery Rd. which is not far from the north end of Burnt River village. Continue your drive on Pinery Rd. to the far end. Turn right on Monck Road 45 and in 5 or 10 minutes be at Highway 121. Glance to the right and you will see the Kinmount Fish and Chip stand in the centre of town.
Site # 7 Risk Management at Work
The Pinery People would like to thank the members of Kawartha ATV Association for their contribution of $5000 towards trail improvements. This photo shows the old section closed while the re-route takes riders directly from the Pinery's Marsh Trail onto the V.R.T.C. ( rail line) instead of crossing Somerville 11th Line thereby reducing risk of a collision with car traffic.
Site # 8 Some Restrictions Apply
Know before you go...By-law 2006-147 section 7.00 is undergoing a re-write to make it clear what all can happen in the Pinery and when. It comes under the jurisdiction of the City of Kawartha Lakes ‘Parks, Recreation and Culture’ and these new signs are cropping up at all entry points. Please look closely at these icons and read the fine print. If in doubt, contact the City By-law office in Lindsay. The Pinery is for day use only.
Site #9 Warning Sign Comes Down
The Marsh trail was developed by The Kawartha Lakes Snowmobile Club. In the winter...no problem...in the summer...big problem. A hole bigger and deeper than an ATV was a constant threat to those wishing to experience the rest of this trail after seeing the Boiler in the Bush. City of Kawartha Lakes ordered this dangerous obstacle filled in and it has been done. The spring of 2010 will be the first test of the improved trail.
Site # 10 Change Of New Trail Destination
We have been kindly shown how to access a site that is entirely on Forest property meaning no landowner issues will be involved. The new Site # 10 will be opened once the trail is blazed and permission from Parks, Recreation, and Culture has been granted. For starters, it will be a footpath until we find what is ahead. Two kilometers from the Pinery Trail at Lunch Rock is a site we're calling "Long Rock" for now. It was accessed by hunters in the past by an easy footpath obliterated by the tornado of Aug. 2nd 2006. To our knowledge no one has set foot on the site since. An attempt was made on April 19th 2010 (see photo) but fallen trees and underbrush completely denied access to the site. A new attempt is in the works and we hope to have a photo of "Long Rock" soon.
Site # 11 Safety First
This Fire and Rescue Rig is shown attending an event at the Austin Sawmill Heritage Park right on the VRTC (Rail Line) in Kinmount. It is normally stationed at the Firehall in Burnt River. As you pass through the Village on your way to the Pinery, please locate the Firehall ( attached to the Post Office) and feel better about one of the volunteer support groups sponsored by the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Site # 12 Poison Ivy? Do Your Homework
How many times have you heard someone say " I must have stepped in poison ivy." Must have? Come on people. It has three leaves. The two side leaves are joined at the stem but the centre leaf sticks up with its own little stalk as if to say " I dare you." Click here to see poison ivy in a pine forest: http://www.poison-ivy.org/html/creeps1.htm It defines our Pinery perfectly.
Site # 13 City Opens Another Staging Area
As long as you're trailering your ATV or dirt bike, why not drive a little further along Pinery Rd. and stage at this new parking lot at the corner of Somerville 11th Conc. It will get you well up into the system before starting your adventure. The new surface has to settle after which the Works Dept. will do more leveling. Parking here will put you right smack on the Marsh Trail.
Site # 14 Take A Hike
After enjoying Kinmount Fish and Chips why not drive 5.6 km west on Monck Road 45. Located at #4420 is hidden away a x-country ski loop that makes a nice hike in the summer. The sign shown here faces more to the west so if you are coming from the east (Kinmount) side you might miss it. Keep watching the green #s on the south side and you'll have time to turn into a sizable parking lot. There are 3 loops for skiers but one is too swampy for summer use. Plan a few hours. Hint...those 2 white slash marks shown on the sign (lower right) are the directions as installed by the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Assoc. The higher of the 2 white marks in this case tells you to walk to the right when a choice is in front of you.
Site # 15 The Case Of The Disappearing Creek
Locals call it the "Natural Culvert". It does in fact drain the creek and disappears under Pinery Rd. then tumbles down about 15 feet right into the Burnt River on the other side of the road. This is not a drive-by site. Find it by stopping on the edge of Pinery Rd. at the Hydro Line and walking down a slope for about 50 feet on the left side as you drive north on Pinery Rd. The Hydro Line is just north of a cabin with a green sign in the #200s. There is nothing to see on the river side which is on private property.
Site # 16 Okay... like... uh... why the gate?
Dateline August 2nd. 2006. Tornado sweeps across Central Ontario. You're looking at a field that used to be a pine plantation. Mother Nature wiped it out in a matter of minutes. Other CoKL Recreational Trails were damaged and blocked by the tornado. The trees were harvested and a replant was started soon after. View this site simply by driving north on Pinery Road. It will be on your left going north.
Site # 17 Entering the Pinery at Pinery Rd. and Som. 11th Conc.
This is one of several entry points into the Pinery. We list each separately so you can remember which one you are using. This is Due Diligence on our part and we ask that you do the same by marking down the Site number in case you require assistance of any kind.
Site # 18 Entering the Pinery from Monck Road 45.
This is a popular starting point for guests from the north. There is a staging area just off Monck Road 45. on the south side and just across the highway is the entrance to the Millenium Trail. The lane way into the parking lot is narrow but the green sign shows the address as 4370 Monck Road 45. Please remember your entry Site number particularly if you venture into the Millennium Trail.
Site # 19 Jigger Shed Ruins Found on the VRTC
First of all, a Jigger was one of several names given to those 2 man handcars railroad workers would use to inspect the track. They would check it daily and when a train was approaching they would lift the Jigger off the tracks and store it in front of the Jigger Stop. It also afforded protection from the weather on a cold winter's day. The front wall has collapsed backwards into what would have been a shed used to store spare spikes and sill plates. Look for it northbound on the Rail Trail on your right just north of Pinery Road. We have cleared away some dead brush for better visibility.
Site # 20 Lunch Rock
This clever name has been used by local hunters for many years as a place to meet. It is closer to the north end of the Pinery Trail and might be a good place to hook up with fellow ATVers from the north. It is a rock shelf on a curve in the trail and holds about 10 ATVs.
Site # 21 Natures Accessible Gift?
"Flatrock" looks wheelchair accessible. It's flat...it's rock...and it's about as long as a football field. A ground level photo does not do justice to this spectacle. The brink at the far end appears to be a cliff but in fact drops off gently into a wooded valley. Risk management signs are not in place yet so for now it's park and enter. The site will remain non-motorized until we hear of a go ahead. From Highway 121 at Kinmount, drive west on the Monck Road 45 for 7.3 km and watch for a heavy gate supported by concrete blocks on your left. (There are several before,though.) From northbound on Pinery Rd. turn left (west) on Monck Road 45 for 3.1 kms to the entrance noted above. "Flatrock" is on the south side or your left and parking is limited. "Flatrock" will become an official site once all documentation is in place and the site has undergone a major cleanup.
Site # 22 The Old Oak Tree
Not far off the Rail Trail just north of Pinery Rd is a Giant Red Oak tree that is estimated to be at least 150 years old. You can tell it's a Red Oak because the leaf tips are pointed. White Oak tree leaves are rounded at the tip. A sign has been posted at the off-ramp and from that point it is a trail used mainly by ATVers so if you walk, wear sturdy shoes. The distance to the tree from the Rail Trail is a little over a 1/2 kilometer. This is not a through-trail or a loop. It is merely a destination site but well worth the side trip.
Site # 23 North Entrance Parking Lot
The City of Kawartha Lakes recently created a large parking area at the corner of Monck and Pinery Roads.This lot is fast becoming a rest area but more important a chance for newcomers to stop and learn more about the vast Somerville Tract commonly referred to as "The Pinery". Two large billboards that face east and west traffic explain the creation of this Forest in 1928-9. Recently, we were asked to make two commemorative copies of the original "Victoria County Forest" sign located where the old MNR building once stood at 93 Pinery Rd. Here is the finished product. 2,760,000 trees? That's a lot of trees.