Thursday, September 08, 2011

Checking Out Ottawa -The Mer Bleue Trail

So with a borrowed car at our disposal, we decided to check out a trail that is close to home but still out of our range by bus: The Mer Bleue Trail.  This is a 3500 sq. hectare wetland/bog that is quite a unique part of the National Capital Commissions trail system.
Going in we realized that there was more than one entrance so I took a pic of the trail number for future reference

The trail really ranges at first from foresty trail and meadowland.  We walked for ages, wondering where the heck this boardwalk was that we'd read about....

is this the result of the Fisher Cats we were warned of?  Eewww

still in the foresty area, wondering if we were in the right place.... Trev found himself a stick, while I check out the flora and fauna

Eventually, after chasing big ass dragonflies, unnamed flying bugs and seeing the landscape change back and forth, from deciduous forest to northern seeming meadowlands, we finally came to what we were originally looking for: the boardwalk!

To be fair, coming from the Maritimes - well, Trev being a Maritimer - we were sceptical of anything not attached to an ocean, calling itself a boardwalk!  After 40 minutes of walking we started to wonder if the wee bridges we crossed over old creeks, were what was meant by 'boardwalk'.  We were pleasantly surprised.

There are lots of the NCC signs along the way so that you can grasp where you are.  Ecologically, it's a fabulous area, more indicative of a northern landscape than a valley and to see the traces of the ancient Ottawa River was quite humbling. The thing that most amazed me, was the fact that on the last holiday weekend before school started, there was no one to be seen!

and suddenly the marsh turned to a peat bog!

Apparently, there are very few plants that can survive in a peat bog given the acidity of the 'soil'.  Nonetheless, it was quite lovely and I loved that there was a wonderful calm, despite the fact that highways were not that far away...

Eventually we found our way back onto a trail.  We decided that to walk the road back to the car might be quicker than taking the forest path back the way we came.  Yes, we were WRONG!  the road back was probably equal in distance, and because we had NO idea where we were it seemed like forever to find our way back.  Long enough for me to be so starving, that I considered eating at McDonalds on the way home.  Now, that's drastic!  But, just before we got onto Ridge Road to look for the entrance to #53 trail, a friend decided to send us off with a farewell:

cutie!  I'm glad we had a chance to check out this corner of our world, it's amazing the natural wonders that are sitting on your doorstep.  You just have to never stop thinking like a tourist in order to find them! 

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