HOME -> OSGOODE PATHWAY
At the start of the summer season, we make a list of local adventures that we want to be sure to take in – festivals, double-decker bus rides, wine tours in and about Eastern Ontario, and more.
Sometimes activities in our own backyard go unnoticed. So my husband and I first overlooked the newspaper article on the new Airport to Osgoode multiuse recreational pathway. But one early Sunday morning, we decided to explore.
It is exactly 6 km from the island in Manotick to just beyond Manotick Station Road, where a great trailhead and small parking lot have been built. We decided to ride directly from the Village. There is an excellent 2m, paved shoulder that feels quite safe along Mitch Owens Road – even for the inexperienced cyclist. The intersection of Bridge Street and River Road has recently been improved with a sidewalk on the south side.
This new Leitrim to Osgoode pathway is built on the abandoned rail corridor that originally ran from Ottawa to Prescott. This linkage was identified in the City's Official Plan as a connecting corridor. The Rural Pathways Plan, undertaken by the former Manotick Community Association, endorsed and promoted this connection.
When federal Infrastructure 'stimulus' funding became available, city staff put forward this project to advance Ottawa's overall trail network and the rest is history!
Being an old rail corridor, the path incline is gentle. If your preference is mountain terrain this probably isn't your destination route! But if you prefer an easy ride, this stone dust path is perfect. The base is firmly packed and as easy to manage as a well-worn dirt road.
The pathway is well signed, with an attractive new City pathway logo. This is the first of its kind but very appropriate. There are gates at most crossings to prevent use by cars/motorbikes/or ATVs.
It's approximately 14 km from the Manotick Station entrance to Osgoode Village. En route we saw lots of milkweed in blossom, turtles, heard bullfrogs and took in acres of cornfields and freshly harvested hayfields. It was quiet, glorious, and reminiscent of growing up in the Ottawa Valley.
In Osgoode, the path enters the Village by the old firehall, now the O-YA building. Familiar with the Village, we headed for the Red Dot for lunch, having felt that we earned the treat. And we weren't alone. There were at least 8 other cyclists with the same intent. It might be worthwhile for the Red Dot to put a small sign to direct future customers to their location!
We estimated about 40 people that we met on the pathway that morning. Some had cycled all the way from Riverside South, while others were just out walking their dog. We arrived back about 1:30 p.m., having done a full 40 km. One small lesson learned – in the heat of the summer, avoid a mid-day ride, the sun is directly overhead and very warm!
But a fall excursion is perfect. Take time to enjoy this backyard treasure.
The Manotick Culture, Parks and Recreation Association wants to ensure that Manotick is a great walking/cycling community, visit the MCPRA web site and look at the Long Range Pathway Plan to discover more about their vision and upcoming projects for the Village.