Another Hidden Gem

Another Hidden Gem

We recently discovered another part of what makes Ottawa such an amazing city for outdoor activities at any time of the year. Our friends, Jamie and Garry, invited us on a snowshoe hike along a trail that we have never been on, or even heard of.

We started at the Hornet’s Nest sports facility in Gloucester. Crossing one of the many soccer fields, we headed into the surrounding woodlands that make up part of the national capital’s Greenbelt.

Created in the 1950s to protect outlying areas from urban sprawl, the Greenbelt consists of 20,000 hectares of green space, including farms, forests and wetlands. And trails. Lots of trails.

The one that runs alongside Green’s Creek is secluded, picturesque and challenging to traverse.

We followed the creek for about a kilometre and then took another trail that branched off into a large open area which our friends told us was once a tree farm run by the National Capital Commission. Signs of its former life were evident — access roads crisscrossing the fields, stands of now mature trees lined up in perfectly straight rows, an old barn at the end of the field.

This is a perfect venue for hiking, running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or trail biking. We walked the length of the farm and then looped back along the perimeter, ending at the other end of the Hornet’s Nest soccer fields.

It was a nice 5K hike with a variety of terrain and scenery, brilliant blue skies, and time spent with good friends. We have added this area to our list “hidden gems” in Ottawa.