The Quaker Trail winds around the Quaker Village residential area in northwest Uxbridge. It passes through some of the most historic areas of the town’s past and accesses the Uxbridge Historical Centre. The trail can be entered from a number of access points. The following description therefore refers to the numbers on the map. The Quaker Trail also connects to the South Balsam Trail and Butternut Trail.
The North loop is 2.2 kms and suitable for all ages and abilities. The South loop is 1.7 kms with some slight slopes.
- A pathway leads from the trail to the Uxbridge Historical Centre, a treasure trove of information and artifacts relating to Uxbridge’s past, when it was a small but thriving hamlet. The Historical Centre is the site of the first school in the township, a log building built in 1817. This was replaced by a frame schoolhouse, which was in turn replaced by a brick building (1924), which now stands in the museum “village”. There are also displays depicting three prominent residents: Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote the “Anne of Green Gables” children’s books; Glenn Gould, world-renowned pianist, and artist David Milne. Picnic tables are available on the grounds, and lots of room for kids to play.
- This area was where Joseph Gould, one of Uxbridge’s pioneers, built his home. The Gould family owned all the land covered by the trail, and sold parts of it in 1914 to the Carmody family, who farmed the land until selling it in 1952. It continued to be used as pasture land until the 1980’s, when the Quaker Village development started. Note the “Carmody” name on a nearby street.
- After a short section along Bolton Drive (where on-street parking is permitted), the trail heads south into Quaker Common, with an alternate path to the right as you approach the pond.
- The Quaker Common pond is man-made, designed as a storm-water runoff pond to contain rainwater drainage from the entire Quaker Village area. The pond has developed into a natural wetland area, with blue herons, many other bird species, and many species of fish, including bluegill, perch, sunfish and largemouth bass. A large snapping turtle also makes his home there.
- As the trail turns to the right, there is a pathway leading to the Uxbridge Arena and Community Centre, where you will find public washrooms.
- Children’s playground – a play break for the kids and a rest for parents.
- If you have a hunger or a thirst, the Quaker Village convenience store may be a refreshing stop.
- Trail signs direct you along an easy path, but you might want to take an alternate path, which has a modest slope up to a slight ridge, where . . .
- …you should stop and take in one of the best panoramic views of Uxbridge and the Oak Ridges Moraine to the south. This will give you a good idea of the rolling hills and woodlands that form most of the Oak Ridges Moraine. The trail leads you back to No. 1 at the Historical Centre.
- Finally . . . who is this Colonel Sharpe? (The trail follows Col. Sharpe Crescent as an alternate route, providing a shorter loop). Sam Sharpe (born 1872) was a prominent lawyer and Member of Parliament who raised a local regiment to fight in World War I. He became sick overseas and returned to Canada in 1918. He never made it home to Uxbridge, but died in Montreal. Other street names: Rachel Lee was Joseph Gould’s mother, and Milne Court is named after artist David Milne, who lived and worked in an upstairs apartment on Brock Street for many years.
The Uxbridge Town Trail system is a network of trails in the urban area that will also connect to major trails to the south (the Trans-Canada Trail and the Oak Ridges Trail). The Town Trail program is an initiative of the “Uxbridge, Naturally” group.
The Town Trail system is a program of the Township of Uxbridge in association with volunteer groups. Historical information is provided by the Uxbridge Historical Centre.