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When you have a favourite place you like to go, it's normal to want to keep it a secret. That's just how I feel about the Cumberland Nature Trails - if I tell everyone about this walkable ravine, swarms of people will descend on my piece of peace. Quelle horreur!
But alas, I can not stay quiet about the importance of getting out in nature (you've heard this before, right?) And if you are knocking about the bedroom community of Orleans, you must spend some time on these trails. Why drive a long distance for a hike when there's a great hill right in your backyard?
And some of these trails are actually IN my backyard - our home in Queenswood Heights backs onto the ravine. We have been walking these trails with our doggy and kids for many years now, and have seen the landscape change a lot. The trails, which run over a big bed of limestone and thick clay, are prone to landslides - as we have seen evidence of while using the paths. One of our favourite trails along a creek-bed is now completely covered in landslide debris (makes me slightly nervous that my house may one day slide down there!)
We have seen evidence of beavers in the area, and have spotted rabbits, fox, snowy owls and pileated woodpeckers. A well-established honey bee hive lives in one of the trees behind our house, and we love watching them buzzing around all spring and summer. Your kids will have a blast mucking through the trails.
For those planning to check out the trails, you can see maps at the Queenswood Heights Community Centre. Call first before heading over there, as their offices are only open at certain hours: 613-580-2424 (maps are not necessary though - if you get lost, it's very easy to find your way up to the neighbourhoods above!)
Also, please remember to be kind to nature! Stay on the paths, don't pick or trample the plants (you may end up with poison ivy), and make sure your teenagers aren't down there lighting fires ;) Oh, and poop 'n scoop for those doggies!!