Britannia Park & Beach

I found this beach on a sunny day in March. I had some time after a Leaf Filter call, and decided to explore.

I’m happy I did!

Yes, there was still ice out on the Ottawa River, but it was a warm day on the land, around +14C.

I walked the paved and cement trail all the way around the peer that juts out first. Then I followed it along the water to the edge of a neighbourhood and back to my parking spot.

You can find the parking area here at: 2805 Carling Ave in Ottawa, Ontario. Follow the signs down a big hill. You’ll see the Tennis Club up ahead, and find the parking lot to your right.

This beach has the paved Greenbelt (West) trail going straight through it.

Those who want to run on a paved surface, push a stroller or use a wheelchair can enjoy this trail.

They had a portable bathroom in the parking lot, which I used. It was wheelchair accessible.

I appreciate when cities add this amenity in public parks, especially out of season.

The surface of the beach here was a very dense and hard sand. It was more like dirt or large pebbles. I stuck to the dirt and cement trails.

Only time will tell if they take care of the beach during beach season and groom the sand to make it softer.

This beach and park area is very large, and has several different parking areas. I am going to assume that in the Summer months, this place is crazy busy.

For that reason, I give this park a 4/5.

Pinhey Forest Trail

This is a magical park. I really enjoyed exploring it. I was slightly saddened that some of the trails were close, and some were still icy.

This trail is located in the far right, back parking lot of the Nepean Sportsplex. The address is: 1701 Woodroffe Avenue, in Nepean, Ontario.

Facing the front of the Sportsplex from Woodroffe Ave, take the far right entrance all the way to the back. The trail is on your back right.

One of the trails near P15 has an outhouse, and you can use the facilities inside the Sportsplex if you’re hiking during business hours.

I ended up walking this trail in reverse. The only reason I know that is because have outdoor fitness stations setup to upgrade your outdoor experience.

There was some ice present on some trails that made them a bit treacherous, and some parts were very muddy.

This time of year, March 13th, you can expect that.

I really enjoyed this trail. The loop is very short, maybe a little over 1 km. If you take the side trail, it will extend your steps. The park boasts 6.4 km of trails, when they’re all open.

There are maps at a couple of corners so you don’t get lost. I really appreciate this!

If the trails were all open and accessible, I would give this park a 5/5. For now, I give it a 4/5.

Give it a visit and smell the pine.

Half Moon Bay Park

Half Moon Bay Park is a park with a paved walkway around a lake.

The address is 3525 Cambrian Road, Nepean, Ontario. This is a suburb of Ottawa, about 30 minutes to the Southwest.

I have walked this cute park several times as it’s close to where I currently live.

It takes me less than 10 minutes to walk here, and the walk around the park takes about 18 minutes.

If I want more steps, I walk it one or two extra times.

I like the scenery here, even though it’s in the middle of a few giant subdivisions.

They have a big pavilion with picnic tables and a large play area for the kids.

They also have connecting trails into the different neighbourhoods.

I many couples, families and singles in the evenings and weekends here, enjoying the green space.

I’ve even seen people carrying bird seed down to feed the ducks in the pond.

I give this park a 4/5. If you live in this neighbourhood, it’s a wonderful place to walk. It makes you feel like you’re not in the city at all!

Smiths Falls Heritage Trail

This was a magical Spring-like day in March 2024, March 12th to be exact.

I was in Smiths Falls for work, but I came out over an hour early. I decided to explore the Smiths Falls Heritage Trail.

It connects with part of the Rideau Trail, and also the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada and Victoria Park.

I walked over 10,000 steps on this sunny afternoon. I took video of the water moving through the new locks, and read all about the history of the old locks in Smiths Falls.

There are plenty of gravel and paved trails all along this area.

I parked on the side of the road at the address for the Heritage Park trail at 8 River Street.

I walked all the way down to the yellow airplane in Victoria Park.

You can easily bike most of this path, or push a stroller. There are sections with many steps along the river that would make this tricky.

The best part of my day was feeling the water as I watched it move through the area around the locks.

Locks in Smiths Falls within the Rideau Canal National Historic Site

I give this sunny Spring day a 5/5, and the walking trails and parks a 4/5.

Rideau River Provincial Park

Yesterday, I drove by the closed gate of this Provincial Park and vowed to stop the next time I passed by.

On my way back home, I decided to stop. The address is: 2680 Donnelly Drive, in Kemptville, ON.

Once I snuck through the gate on foot, I headed for the water.

It was a +16C day, but there was still ice to avoid on the pavement and trails.

The grass around the picnic area was very soggy. But the view was worth it!

I found the Shoreline Trail which curves its way along the bank of the river. It leaves the park boundary and continues on to a boat ramp, playground and beyond.

I’m sure this park is very busy in the Summer months. It was nice to see it in the off season.

You can see the park on the Ontario Parks website here: