Petrie Island: Summer Fun

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?


Spring Biking

We went out for our first family ride today after a super long winter. My husband and I are training for several charity bike rides this summer, so we were long overdue for a venture out. Living in Orleans, we headed north to the river pathway. As we turned towards the direction of Petrie Island, we quickly realized the path was impassable. Spring flooding has covered both directions!

We decided to turn around and head back towards the house and do some side streets on the way. Just as my husband started to peddle off, the chain on his bike snapped. And being totally unprepared, we hadn't brought any tools or even a cell phone.

I decided to peddle home myself and pick everyone up with the car. The girls were very happy to run around the giant field down by the river, and were super tired by the time we got home.

So lesson of the day? When you're heading out for your first ride, make sure to do a proper bike tune-up ;)

Here are some resources for bike tune-ups in Ottawa:

Re-Cylces: A Community Bike Shop
Kunstadt Sport Kanata
Giant Orleans
Full Cycle 

Now to figure out an alternative biking route to work that will bypass the flooding!