The Great Outdoors

Canadians have always shown an affinity for nature, whether its hiking through parks and trails, hitting some balls at a local golf club or simply spending a day at the beach. And our connection with the outdoors has been renewed as of late as we look for new ways to enjoy times with friends and family in safer environment closer to home.

Carleton Place is a perfect community to enjoy outdoor landscapes, commune with nature and enjoy all that mother nature has to offer. There is simply something for everyone. So whether you’re planning a day with the kids, an escape for the adults or some serious fun with friends, here are some great ways to rediscover the great outdoors right here in Carleton Place.

Take A Hike:

1. Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail (OVRT): The OVRT is part of the former rail bed that spans part of the 296-kilometre corridor between Mattawa and Smiths Falls. The roughly 30-kilometre OVRT runs from Smiths Falls to Renfrew and offers a safe, level, gravel (paved in some sections) for cycling walking and hiking.

2. The Mississippi Riverwalk Trail: Soak in nature along this trail that follows the Mississippi from Princess street to Anthony Curro Park This 1.9 km stone dust trail is wheelchair accessible and is a haven for both water and land birds and to the wildlife. Cross bridges over marshy area and observe the variety of wildflowers and foliage. By taking a few side streets, avid hikers then join up to the Trans Canada Tail or explore the Arllan to Stone Water Gate sub trail.

3. O-Kee Lee Park Nature Trail: This lovely stone dust covered trail that meanders for.6 km through a filled in wetland area featuring a variety of flora and fauna. Old willows, woodland ponds, honeysuckle, wild grapes, and mountain ash berries that attract local wildlife. Across the trails at the end of Joseph Street beside Centennial Park.

4. Sonnenburg Woods: The passive green space with a small parking lot has no official paths Located at 15 Bates Drive, this is a natural, non-maintained trail. Whether you’re walking or bird watching; this is the perfect trail to enjoy nature’s beauty.

Go Jump in the Lake:

1. Our Local Beaches: Life really is better on the lake, or beach for that matter. Head to the beach and enjoy some fun in the sun. Riverside Park offers a sandy beach with lifeguards, a splash pad, swings and lots of green space to enjoy. Centennial Park has a big soccer field, a sloped beachfront and tends to be a little quieter.

2. Launch your boat: Want to spend the day cruising the lake in a boat or jet ski? You can park safely at the public boat launch located at the end of Lake Avenue West – spots for trailing available with a day pass. Or drop your canoe or kayak in off one the docks in north Riverside Park and enjoy some fresh air and exercise.

3. Places to fish and info on tackle share: Is a day of leisurely fishing more your style. There a number of great spots to drop a line including the docks at North Riverside Park. Or do some flyfishing in the shallows by the McNeely Bridge just off of the Mississippi Riverwalk Trail. Need some equipment? We offer a FREE tackleshare program at the Information Centre at 170 Bridge Street. (you will need a fishing license)

Have a Wheelie Good Time:

1. Bring a bike – or rent one: Want to really explore all that our community has to offer? Bring your bike and head out on one of our amazing trails. We recommend the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail if you really want to break a sweat. Or bike out to Beckwith the Beckwith Trail and visit the Beckwith Park.

2. Pump Track: Want to build skills and confidence? Hit the pump track. Our local pump track is a looped sequence of rollers and berms for bike riders. It’s designed to maximize your momentum, so you can ride it with minimal pedaling. It’s great for all ability levels and is a learning tool that’s fund for all.

3. Pick a route: Whether you want to stick to the trails or take a longer road route, you’ll want to check out the Lanark County bike map. Just pick a route and start peddling.

Park It:

1. Carleton Junction, 142 Franktown Rd– make a day of it at Carleton Junction. You and your kids will love the colourful and fun train themed play structure that’s sure to entertain for hours on end. Bring your bikes and skateboards and be sure to check out the pump track and skate park. Or just bring a picnic blanket and lie out in the sun.

2. Dog Park, Edmund Street – looking for a great place to take Fido? Why not check out the fully enclosed Dog Park behind the Carleton Place Pool. A great place for dogs (and their owners) to run free, sans leashes, and do “doggie” things.

3. Town Hall Square, 15 Mill Street – a great place to reflect, watch the sunset, read a book and spend some quiet time. Located right beside the town hall and the Mississippi River, you’re sure to capture some amazing pics here as well.

4. Carleton Place & Beckwith Heritage Museum and Community Labyrinth – Edmund Street – spend the day outside in the community gardens, walk the labyrinth and bask in the sun, bring a picnic lunch or head inside and learn about our local history, and much more.