Hiking around the Garry Fen in Eastern Ontario

I love discovering new trails. I particularly like when they allow me to explore a different landscape and above all, when I can learn a little more about the surroundings. That’s why I fell in love with the trail that allowed me to discover the Garry Fen near Alexandria in Eastern Ontario.

It must be said that the ideal conditions were in place to make it a pleasant walk: the weather was not too cold nor too hot, there were few mosquitoes (but tons of dragonflies!) and nobody else but me on the trail. And there were some interpretive signs along the trail to learn more about the ecology, fauna and flora of the place.

The Garry Fen is a marsh located in the Garry River watershed (flowing west of Alexandria). There are three lakes in the area: Mill Pond (located in Alexandria), Middle Lake and Loch Garry. There are a few trails to explore this vast area, but I focused on the area near Loch Garry and the Garry Fen.

The Garry Fen in Glengarry
The Garry Fen

A fen is a type of marsh, which, like peat bogs, is characterized by peat accumulation. However, unlike peat lands, these marshes are fed with runoff water, making it a mineral-rich place for different types of aquatic plants and animals.

The trail is nearly 5 kilometres long and passes through wooded areas and marshy areas. A wooden boardwalk follows the Garry Fen and allows to see the particular flora that grows in the marsh (I could observe a few carnivorous plants!).

The Garry Fen Trail
A beautiful trail

After visiting Mer Bleue in Ottawa, I feel like I’m slowly becoming an expert in swamps, marshes and peat bogs!

Loch Garry, located nearby, is the largest lake in Eastern Ontario, east of the Rideau Canal. It is almost entirely surrounded by cottages, but it is possible to see it at its western end.

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