Living down the road from Petrie Island is wonderful - this east end beach is a great place to stay cool in the summer, and it also has walking trails and a Nature Interpretive Centre. Our location means that we can easily bike to the islands from our home in Orleans.
There are many things to do at Petrie Island:
- Check out the nature and interpretation centre - there are aquariums with reptiles, and samples of native plant species. For history and geography buffs, there is a lot of information on the history of the islands and how they were formed.
- Summer Children's Programs and camps: with hikes, crafts and other activities, kids will really enjoy getting to know the area. We missed it this year, but hope to sign the girls up next year!
- Hiking: 7km of trails with lookout points along the way
- Swimming: be sure to check the City of Ottawa's water quality reports, as Petrie is notorious for being closed :( C'mon river clean-up!!!
- Fishing: not something we've tried, although I remember attending an ice fishing derby one year at Oziles marina!
- Paddling, kayaking: you can launch non-motorized boats at the free boat launch, and Oziles also has these boats for rent.
There's always a very good chance you'll spot a turtle at Petrie...especially if you check out the interpretive centre!
We've packed snacks and lunches, and used one of the many picnic tables in the area. And of course, the young ones enjoy time on the play structures.
Check out the Friends of Petrie Island for information on getting there. Parking is not free (boo), but biking is! I highly recommend you bike to Petrie if you live in Orleans (or further if you're up for it!) Our 5 year-old made it the whole way, with only a couple of stops.
Have you been to Petrie Island? What's your favourite part?