a peek inside the fishbowl

01 May, 2011

Back to Trail #26

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy|Ottawa

Yesterday we decided to return to Trail #26 within the Stony Swamp network. Last time we’d been there was in the winter for a jaunt on our skis.

It turned out to be an amazing little walk in the woods. You know what I like best about nature walks with kids? The total unpredictability. You never know what you’re going to see when you visit. Also: if you go this time of year there are no mosquitoes. This is a major bonus in my books.

The highlight for me was the coyote (!) we spotted. It wasn’t more than a 10-second sighting, but it was a huge thrill. (Fortunately Piper didn’t notice.)

Other, and notably less scary critters we saw included a shy little frog:

Frog spotting!

An itchy snowshoe hare. Check out those massive feet!

Snowshoe hare

Snowshoe hare

And of course, tons of birds. They are curious and comical. I could have stood there all day, just watching them.




Check out this photo of a little guy flicking his seed away. If you look closely you’ll see it hanging in mid-air! Not sure what that says about the quality of the seed we brought with us, but I think it is pretty cool nevertheless.. :)

We also saw ruins of an old homestead along the way. I sure would like to know who lived there.


… and a few uprooted trees. I guess they took a beating during the recent storms:

Uprooted tree

Thinking of venturing forth?

  • Check the NCC trail map before you go. (Links to large PDF file.) We parked at P11 and did trail #26.
  • Bring water, not just for yourself, but for your dog too.
  • Bring seeds! The birds will happily eat out of your hand.
  • Wear sturdy walking shoes and be prepared for some mucky spots. Parts of the trails are still pretty wet this time of year.
  • Cameras and binoculars are good things to bring too.
  • Many trails venture along wetlands and other sensitive animal habitats and are closed to dogs. Check the legend on the NCC map (linked above) to see which trails are dog-friendly. And always pick up after your dog!

1 Response to "Back to Trail #26"

1 | binki

May 1st, 2011 at 7:04 pm


We were there in the morning….cleaning up with the NCC volunteers. So much garbage in such a nice place. Several bags full.

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  • andrea tomkins: Nope. The jar is on our window sill! It's getting the same dark/light cycle they'd have if they were on the outdoor side of the window. :)
  • Jennifer: That is really cool. I was wondering if you kept it outdoors? There is research on hatching monarchs indoors that it compromises them. They need the
  • Ted Benkhe: Jim Burns made a great point re visitation. I,m sure that the peace park will present very well after the volunteers who maintain it have worked th
  • andrea tomkins: I'm glad you find it restful Bonnie! I didn't on that day. :)
  • Bonnie Upton: I have a true love of this place. I drive to and from Ottawa from the NewmArket area to visit my sister snd now my son who attended uOttawa and has c
  • Amy: That sounds fantastic! As with most travelling, parts are much more comfortable when you're telling them afterwards, but they make a good story.
  • andrea tomkins: If I had to pick, Grundy wins! :)

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


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