Purdon Conservation Area


Location: Lanark, Ontario
Region: Southeastern
Character: Wetlands
Activities:
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Purdon Conservation Area
By Mississippi Valley Conservation

Purdon Conservation Area is a unique wetland famous for its exceptionally large native colony of Showy Lady's Slipper Orchids. Each year between mid-June and early July the colony bursts into bloom. It is extremely rare to find a colony of this size. Purdon Conservation Area is the largest in Canada and is located just minutes from Lanark Village in Eastern Ontario.

Open dawn to dusk every day - May 15 - Oct 15

Admission by donation. All donations are dedicated to upkeep of the Purdon Conservation Area.

Call the Bloom Hotline at 613-259-5307 ext. 500 for updates to catch the flowers at their peak.

Fully accessible boardwalk, washroom, parking, and picnic area.

Stroll along the 400 metre boardwalk (wheelchair accessible) for a close-up view of the orchids and many other plant and wildlife species special to the area.

Adopt-an-Orchid for $50 and have your name or that of a loved one commemorated on the Orchid Tree.


History

The colony exists today thanks to the care and cultivation of Mr. Joe Purdon. Mr. Purdon was an pioneer of land stewardship and a great asset to our community. The wetland was originally part of Mr. Purdon's farm. Through careful management of the few dozen orchid plants he discovered on this property in the 1930s, Mr. Purdon grew the colony to over 16,000 blooms. Mississippi Valley Conservation acquired the site in 1984 and pledged to preserve if for the enjoyment and enrichment of future generations.

Ted Mosquin Highland Trail This forest trail loop allows you to discover the woodland that surrounds the wetland and orchid colony. Stop for a rest and a picnic beside Purdon Lake or continue your hike around the 1.3 km loop.

The Future of the Conservation Area Site improvement is an ongoing project. Recent browsing of the orchid shoots by deer has impacted the number of blooms in past years. MVC is actively seeking a solution to the deer browsing problem. Interpretive signs lead you through the site identifying plants and wildlife abundant in Purdon Conservation Area.

We welcome visitors to take photographs of the flowers and site, but ask that you remain on the boardwalk and avoid disturbing the natural balance of the fen.

Directions From Ottawa take Hwy. 417 west to the Toronto/Carleton Place Exit onto Hwy. 7. Then, follow Hwy. 7 to Perth, at Perth turn north onto Highway 511. Follow Hwy. 511 through Lanark Village and continue on for 10 km. Turn west onto Watson’s Corners Side Road (County Road 8). Follow this through Watson’s Corners Village. Continue for 10 km and turn north onto Concession Road 8. Follow signs to entrance.