I've been wandering around the grounds of Marylake Shrine & Augustinian Monastery Farm for about 50 years now. I had never, in those 50 years, circumnavigated the lake on foot, until today. There are footpaths the length of the lake, along the east side, but the west side is mature forest and tangled wetlands, and as I discovered, generally passable only to the young and fit. Moreover, it has little to offer compared to the other natural physical areas of this former Sir Henry Pellat estate. But at least I can say I have walked right around Mary Lake. I also took the opportunity to have a look inside (the doors were wide open) of the massive brick barn that always amazes visitors with its size and style. The picture above shows the unusual criss-crossed rafters under the main roof. Sadly the barn is no longer in use and is deteriorating. What was once a thriving dairy farm, operated by numerous monks, is now mainly a religious retreat centre. Marklake is just north of King City, on Keele Street, and the Oak Ridges Moraine hiking trail provides access and great views of the lake and the surrounding fields and forest. Go far enough and you'll wind up at the Pine Farms Orchard on the 16th Sideroad and its charmingly cozy cafe.
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