The A.Y. Jackson Trail depicts the final years of Jackson's career that were spent mainly in Eastern Ontario when he moved to his niece's home in Manotick in 1952 and later to MacLaren St. in Ottawa.  During these years A.Y. made regular fieldtrips in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, mainly with his artist friend Ralph Burton.  

A few times a year more extended trips were taken, often to the picturesque countryside of Renfrew County.  On such occasions A.Y. usually travelled with artist friends Ralph Burton and Maurice Haycock as they wended their way up the Valley through Carp, Dunrobin, Arnprior, Burnstown and Dacre to Lake Clear to visit A.Y's doctor and friend Robert Starrs.  The lake sometimes acted as a hub from which they branched out to nearby vistas in the Bonnechere River and Madawaska River watersheds, places such as Brudenell, Killaloe, Rockingham, Quadville, Barry’s Bay, Paugh Lake, Madawaska and Whitney to Algonquin Park

Some fifty years later, two contemporary Lake Clear artists have traced Jackson’s travels using actual paintings, titles, notes and personal experience to locate the painting sites for some of his sketches. Kathy M. Haycock is the daughter of Maurice Haycock and John Almstedt painted with Ralph Burton from 1967 to 1983, both undertook the challenge of locating some of the sites for "now and then" landscape comparisons and to learn more about A.Y's assessment of subject matter.

As of autumn 2012 several sites have been located, 4 are illustrated in the below map with accompanying numbered pictures.  Travelling the backroads along The A.Y. Jackson Trail provides a feeling for what A.Y. likely experienced as he scanned the countryside for interesting lakes, fields, farms, hills, forests, rivers and creeks with an artist’s appreciation of the composition, colour, form and rhythm before him. He painted a great many sketches in the area, most are still waiting to be rediscovered.

(click map to enlarge)

1. Beaver House, Opeongo River, Algonquin Park, 1967 1. On the Opeongo Lake Road, Algonquin Park
GPS: 453745 N x 782107 W
2. Counrty Road, Killaloe, 1961 2. On the Mountain View Road near Lisk Road near Old Killaloe
GPS: 453139 N x 772555 W
3. Lake Clear, 19613. Country Road 512 along Lake Clear, take Buelow Road to walking path along beach
GPS: 452741 N x 771258 W
4. Old House at Calabogie
(The McConnell House), 1959
4. On Highway 508 at Springtown
GPS: 452056 N x 763923 W

Everyone who follows The A.Y. Jackson Trail will have a different unique and rich personal experience. Students, artists, residents and visitors alike may admire the landscape with a fresh perspective. Whether you engage in photography, painting, drawing or writing, you can immerse yourself in the muse that inspired A.Y. Jackson, his painting companions, and the artists who have followed.

Jackson made a great contribution to the artistic appreciation of the region. He recognized the incredible beauty in the Madawaska Hills and through his many paintings he brought it to the attention of the world. Now others can discover and appreciate the astonishing diversity and splendor of some actual painting sites and the surrounding landscape that attracted him.

Information on this page comes from the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association website with contributions from:
Valley Arts Council
Ottawa River Institute
South of 60 Arts Centre
Township of Madawaska Valley
K M Haycock, 
T H Flegal
C and B Peltzer
P and I Cunningham
A. Blake, 
J Almstedt

A.Y. Jackson paintings reproduced courtesy of the Estate of the late Dr. Namoni Jackson Groves. Photo credits: Kathy M. Haycock.