OTTAWA OUTDOORS (July) OTTAWAOUTDOORS (July) - Page 14

BLUE LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK Spruce Fen Trail A “fen” is a fascinating world where land floats on water, plants eat animals and creatures of the water can fly. Spruce Fen Trail takes you through a black spruce fen and beaver pond environment. The trail is boardwalk-ed to protect the fen, and is also wheelchair accessible. Distance: 1 km loop | Difficulty: easy (barrier-free) ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK Logging Museum Trail This trail is like a walking outdoor museum, interactive and great for kids (they like to climb on train and the “Alligator” steam-powered tugboat). This trail is also wheelchair and stroller friendly. Distance: 1.3 km | Difficulty: easy (barrier-free) RESTOULE PROVINCIAL PARK Fire Tower Trail This scenic trail passes through a variety of deciduous forest habitats, past streams and ponds, eventually climbing to the top of “The Bluff” above Stormy Lake (Bald Eagles have been seen flying past the edge of the 100 m cliff). Gaze out over the surrounding lakes and forests (breathtaking in the fall). An historic still-standing fire tower sits atop the hill, once used to spot forest fires. Distance: 7 km loop Difficulty: moderate (several steep rocky climbs) SHARBOT LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK Discovery Trail Follow this trail along the ridge of land that divides Black Lake and Sharbot Lake. Hike through stands of maple, oak and birch and see a dramatic change in topography. From the top of the ridge, you can see both lakes. Distance: 1.2 km loop | Difficulty: moderate 14 | OTTAWAOUTDOORSMONTHLY QUETICO PROVINCIAL PARK Pines Hiking Trail An extension of the Whiskey Jack Trail, Pines Trail takes in a sandy beach guarded by a stand of majestic old-growth Red and White Pine. Enjoy the solitude of the walk, picnic on the beaches of Pickerel Lake, or venture into the interior. The trail includes moderate to steep climbs. Distance: 10 km | Difficulty: moderate KILLARNEY PROVINCIAL PARK Lake of the Woods Trail A great alternate to some of the better-known Killarney trails, this one circles tiny Lake of the Woods in Killarney’s east end. For the best route, take the trail to the right as it forks, and climb up above Lake of the Woods, along rocky heights on its west side, with views of Silver Peak in the La Cloche Mountains off in the distance. After the route down, a boardwalk extends the trail to a small island in the lake. Distance: 3.5 km | Difficulty: moderate to difficult A FEW SAFETY TIPS • Plan ahead and share your itinerary with a family member or friend • Always carry a map, compass and flashlight • Get all necessary park permits before heading out • Bring enough water, ensure you’ve eaten well and pack snacks • Bank on getting your feet wet crossing creek beds • Get an early start. Trail sections often take longer than planned • Wait a day or two for trails to dry after heavy rain • Wear proper footwear • Consider hiking poles for steep climbs • Bring rain gear, regardless of weather forecast • Give yourself enough time to complete the trail before dark • Follow your feet to Ontario Parks Look for more great articles and blogs here: ontarioparks.com