From its industrial pioneer beginnings to its reclaimed wilderness of today, Marble Rock is a hiker’s paradise and a snowshoer’s dream that will take your breath away.
The hamlet of Marble Rock was named and settled by English pioneers in the early 1800’s, but the area was traversed by aboriginal peoples long before that. In its day, the community thrived, consisting of a store, tavern, post office, saw and grist mills, cheese factory and a school. Throughout the area’s history, several industries thrived near Marble Rock. Logging from timberland upstream sent logs down the river and over the dam to be cut up at the sawmill and loaded onto barges for delivery. Mining and quarrying also flourished. Paving blocks were expertly cut and shipped by railcar to be used to pave around city streetcar tracks. During World War II, quartz crystals were excavated by hand from the hillsides to fill the huge demand for electronic equipment.
Aiming to protect the land and restore the forest, the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority purchased approximately 710 acres of property. Landscape once stripped for timber and grazing is now dominated by second growth maple, ash, ironwood, hickory, white birch and white pine. Ducks Unlimited created new wildfowl habitats and energetic beaver families continue to apply their skills in modifying the original creek systems. You’ll encounter remnants of the old Mattthew’s farm and traverse pioneer trails that date to the 1800’s. You’ll discover so many fascinating examples of Mother Nature continually renewing and adapting to changing circumstances.
These recreational trails are rustic and considered difficult due to frequent climbs and rocky footing. They were developed by members of the Rideau Trail Association, with the cooperation of the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, and are maintained for public use. Start your trek at the off-road parking lot at the Trailhead on the north side of Marble Rock Road. Two connected loop trails provide a seven or eleven kilometer hiking experience that will take you through a wide range of geology and fascinating ecosystems, with many cliff-top lookouts over lakes, swamp, grassland and forest habitats. You might see deer, otter, beaver, blue heron, grouse, frogs and wild turkeys along the trail. Some areas are popular with rock climbers and it is a prime geocache site as well. In the winter, much of the trail is ideal for snow shoeing, making this a year round outdoor paradise tucked in next to the Gananoque River.
So – where’s the marble at “Marble Rock”? When you solve this mystery, you’ll feel you own a rightful share in this Amazing Place.
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Plan Your Visit
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How to get to Marble Rock Trail
Driving: The trailhead parking lot is located on Marble Rock Road approximately 350 m west of the Marble Rock Bridge that crosses the Gananoque River. Instant Street View of Marble Rock Trailhead
Cycling: Try this route outlined by the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network starting in Gananoque
How to explore Marble Rock Trail