Fish Quarry TrailFrench Fort Cove Park
|Estimated Time||1 hour|
|Surface Type||forested, old road|
|Elevation Change||48 metres|
|Maintenance Rating||well maintained|
In a clockwise direction (because that's the way we hiked it last time) start up the stairs at the top of the hill near the parking area. The trail gently climbs until it meets, then starts to follow, the ridgeline of the valley. The trail follows the ridgeline and offers many views of the valley below until you come to a trail junction. Continuing straight will take you to a set of railroad tracks. You can turn right on the tracks and re-enter the park 230 meters down the track, or you can turn right at the junction and begin the descent into the valley.
The trail descends quite steeply into the valley and has several switchbacks. There are some stairs on the trail made of small logs but be cautious in the spring when these steps can become icy. The trail eventually reaches the stream at the bottom of the valley and follows the stream for a short distance. The trail then climbs halfway back up the hill and drops back down again. The trail then crosses a small bridge before a trail junction. Go straight and you will start the Creaghan Gulch Trail. Turning right will take you down to the stream where you will find a small bridge with birch log rails.
The trail on the other side of the bridge follows down the edge of the stream. After a short distance it climbs a small hill up from the stream. Once on top of the small hill you will be in the old quarry. The quarry is where large sandstone rocks were mined for buildings, among other things. You will see many remnants of these rocks, large and small. The trail passes by a rock cliff that forms the edge of the old quarry. The trail continues along the edge of the old quarry and eventually pops up over the edge of the quarry. There is a large grinding wheel in the hill on the left just before you come up out of the quarry.
The trail then follows an old road along the top of the ravine passing the trail junction with the other side of the Creaghan Gulch Trail. Shorlty after this junction there is another junction in the trail. Staying straight will continue to take you along the top of the valley and eventually comes out at the end of French Fort Road. Turning right will take you on another old road that slowly descends until it comes out just above the covered bridge on the Cove Trail. Just before you come out to the Cove Trail by the covered bridge there is a small lookout on the right with a sign explaining the benefits of riparian zones.
The Fish Quarry Trail is named after Charles E. Fish and not because it has something to do with fish as I originally throught. The quarry opened in 1884. Dimensional sandstone from this quarry was used to build the current office of the Prime Minister in Ottawa, the local high school and a local catholic church. Grindstones, railway stones and pulpstones were also produced at the quarry. The quarry had varying success until it closed in 1905.
Directions to the park are at French Fort Cove Park.
The best way to access the Fish Quarry Trail is by going back Cove Road past the Curling Club and turning right at the end of the road. Shortly after you turn onto the Old King George Highway you will come to a parking area at a dead end. Continue on foot past the dead end and you will see a set of stairs on your left. This is the start of the Fish Quarry Trail. You can also continue down the hill and across the small covered bridge on the Cove Trail. Just past the bridge take the trail to the left. This will take you around the Fish Quarry Trail in the other direction.
You can park at any of the parking areas described in the Cove Trail and use the Cove Trail to access either of the two access points to the Fish Quarry Trail described above.
Trail Last Hiked: November 17, 2019.
Page Last Updated: January 17, 2023.