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Are you looking for something to do to pass the time, while remaining physically distant from those outside of your own social bubble? Ottawa is home to countless trails and outdoor spaces that can provide its residents with fresh air, activity, and beautiful scenery. Here are some places in West Ottawa for you and your family to enjoy this summer. 

Outdoor Spaces in Ottawa for Everyone to Enjoy

As Ottawa reaches phase three of COVID-19, many people are taking advantage of this time to get back into their old routines and enjoy the luxuries they were accustomed to pre-pandemic. As our comfortability begins to grow, it is important to keep in mind that the novel-coronavirus is still present in our communities, and we must continue to practice physical distancing in order to flatten the curve and stop the spread. Fortunately, there are still things we can do to enjoy the outdoors with little worry of coming into close contact with individuals outside of our own social bubbles. Here are some great outdoor spaces where you can enjoy some physical activity, fresh air, and excellent scenery away from the hustle and bustle of city-wide activity.

Mill of Kintail – Mississippi Mills 

With over 6 kilometers of trails for you to explore, the Mill of Kintail is a beautiful place to both hike and take in a bit of history. The Museum on site is one of the seven wonders of lanark county, and was restored by Robert Tait Mackenzie has a summer home and studio. The trails are open 7 days a week from dusk to dawn, and the Museum’s new hours are 10:00am-3:00pm from Monday through Friday. 


Old Quarry Trail
This trail is divided into two loops, the medium one being 2 kilometers with the larger loop coming in at nearly 3 kilometers long. Old Quarry Trail is great for year round hiking, excellent scenery for photography, and a great amount of plant and wildlife observation. Download the Old Quarry Trail brochure before you go for an interpretive walk where you can discover more about the geological history of the region. 


Sarsaparilla Trail
Looking for something easy for the whole family? This short trail is highly accessible and includes a dock that overlooks a beaver pond. While it is just under 1 kilometer in length, this space boasts beautiful views, and has picnic tables available for use allowing for a great excursion for all. Pack up your lunch and head to this lovely spot located in Nepean just off Old Richmond Road. 


Merrickville – Rideau Trail

Located primarily in Merrickville, this section of the Rideau Trail underscores rural areas and natural attraction that this village has to offer. Make a day out of it and take in the beautiful town as well as the various hiking trails available. With 387 kilometers available between Ottawa and Kingston, there is something here for beginners and multi-day, experiencing hikers looking to explore the backcountry. 


Beaver and Chipmunk Trails
There is nothing more amazing to children than experiencing nature and wildlife close-up. This family friendly trail has a picnic area, a boardwalk, and tons of wildlife that are sure to come say hello along the way. This trail is short and accessible, perfect for hikers of all ages and abilities. 

Wherever you go to enjoy the outdoors, remember to be mindful and respectful of others. Maintain a distance of 2 meters or 6 feet when possible, and wear a mask when not. Additionally, be sure to clean up after yourself, and leave the trails a better place for those who visit after you. Discarded masks are an eyesore, a danger to wildlife, health hazard for visitors, and a pollutant in our environment; Ensure you use marked waste bins when throwing away any trash or recyclable materials to keep our outdoor spaces the beautiful and welcoming places that they are, so that everyone can enjoy the experience they offer to the fullest. 

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