Sunday was a beautiful Spring day, so instead of going home right after church we went for a walk.
Ottawa is blessed with an abundance of urban forest. I looked it up and though the numbers seemed a little fluid, it seems the city has about 40,000 hectares of forest and parkland. That number seemed meaningless to me, because growing up in pre-metric Canada I never learned how big a hectare was. An online conversion tool though tells me that 40,000 hectares is close to 100,000 acres of open space, which is an incredible amount when you think of it.
No matter where you are in the city it is a short drive to the forest. Indeed, for many people it is only a short walk. Our home is about a half hour walk to the closest forest trail, five minutes of we decide to drive. And it’s a fairly n integrated system; one trail connects to the next, you can walk for hours if you are so inclined. You can’t walk all the way across the city, but there are places I am sure you can easily walk 20 kilometres through the trees.
There’s lots of wildlife to see, depending on which trail you take. Yesterday we chose one of the two places in the city where dogs are allowed to roam off-leash. Wildlife tends to keep away until the dogs have gone home for the night. We saw one groundhog and that was it. There was recent evidence of deer and beavers in the area, but no life animals put in an appearance. On past walks, on other trails, we have seen beaver, wild turkeys, deer, rabbits, porcupines, raccoons, foxes and numerous other animals. I always keep an eye out for bears, just in case. Every year there are bear sightings in the city, but not by me yet. The bears are big – and usually more scared of humans than humans are of them.
Why don’t you join us for our walk?