I’ve lived in Ottawa for more than a quarter of a century.

I’ve been to countless museums, parks, cultural venues and tourist traps. After 25 years, I thought I knew about all the sights there are to see in this City… even if I haven’t experienced them all in person.

So when my friend Don told me about the Morris Island Conservation Area out near Fitzroy Harbour (but still actually part of Ottawa), it came as a shock.

I’m pleased to know that I can still be surprised by my hometown.

Morris Island is a personal favourite getaway place for my friends, Don and Serge – a secluded place to step out of the hustle and bustle of the big city and relax in peace. They invited me to join them for a nature walk on Victoria Day, and the weather could not have been nicer.

It’s a lovely place to wander along groomed trails, with plenty of picturesque rest areas to stop and take in a scenic view along the Ottawa River.

I got some lovely photos during our walk, and afterwards, I was in for a treat! Serge had thoughtfully packed a fantastic picnic lunch! We plopped our tired asses down on a flat rock at the river’s edge and just enjoyed the day (along with the sandwiches, watermelon, chips, grapes, trail mix, and all sorts of other goodies!).

Morris Island Conservation area is worth the visit. It’s far enough out of town and off the tourist route that it’s usually pretty quiet. Plus it’s pretty accessible (even the washrooms are accessible) and best of all it’s FREE!

Hopefully the throngs of people who read this blog won’t all decide to go on the same day. ☺

Reflections... tree stumps in still water.

Reflections… tree stumps in still water.

Another reflection

Another reflection

This causeway cuts the conservation area in half with lots of trails at either end. Lots of people fishing off the causeway

This causeway cuts the conservation area in half with lots of trails at either end. Lots of people fishing off the causeway

A pathway cutting through the woods.

A pathway cutting through the woods.

Ontari-ari-ari-o - trilliums and all.

Ontari-ari-ari-o – trilliums and all.

My tour guides for the day.

My tour guides for the day.

A snapping turtle - a big one too, by the size of him. Ron loves turtles (he said, sarcastically).

A snapping turtle – an old one too, by the size of him. I guess I should have included a banana for scale, but really, he was impressively large…take my word.

A beautiful day for a tour of Morris Island.

A beautiful day for a tour of Morris Island.

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