I finally got rid of my summer cold, so I was ready to resume my hike on the Rideau Trail. And of course, I was not going to forget my mosquito repellent this time around.
Last time, I had almost gone through Stony Swamp. I had still a small portion to do, and to join the spot where I stopped my hike last time, I decided to follow a part of the Blue Trail. As I explained that time I hiked through Mud Lake, the Blue Trail is not part of the official Rideau Trail, but allows to explore the area more in depth. The portion I hiked was near the ruins of lime kilns (with interesting explanatory panels on their history) and then by a swamp area that was damaged by forest fires a few years ago.
I finally got to the main path of the Rideau Trail, and after a kilometre, I was getting out of Stony Swamp, to my regret. I promised myself that when I’m done with my challenge on the Rideau Trail, I will come back to explore its trails further. The Rideau Trail has allowed me to discover a real natural gem of Ottawa.
I then lost my way near Fallowfield (I had to retrace my steps to find the orange triangle indicating the way to go.) The Rideau Trail bypasses the village of Fallowfield (where I could hear the sound of the bells coming from the church on this Sunday morning.) That part of the trail was not really exciting (especially after Stony Swamp), but well maintained and quiet.
Once past Fallowfield, the Rideau Trail follows country roads for a few kilometres. Fields, farms, some cows and sheep … The view was not uninteresting, but it seemed to me that it lacked a little action. I almost even came to miss the water puddles and the mosquitoes of the previous kilometres.
It is possible to make a small detour (Blue Trail) to the village of Richmond, further south. I instead decided to make a detour to see the monument to Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond and former Governor General of Canada. The village of Richmond, where British soldiers settled after the War of 1812, was named in his honor. The Duke visited the place in 1819, but died the next day after being bitten by a rabid fox. The monument marks the location of his death.
North of Richmond, I was finally able to leave the country roads behind me to go back under the trees. I even found puddles and mosquitoes. My excitement did not last long though … The puddles quickly became real insurmountable little lakes and the mosquitoes seemed to ignore the fact that I had put on mosquito repellent. I found myself with water up to my knees, and sometimes slipped into the mud. And it was like that for almost five kilometers …
Soaked, dirty and exhausted, I began to question my entire project. Was it really worth spending my summer weekends on a flooded trail lost in the middle of nowhere?
By the time I was really fed up with the Rideau Trail, I arrived at a small wooden walkway over a stream, built specifically for the trail. The place was so peaceful, so far from everything and so cute that I quickly forgave the Rideau Trail for having been difficult in the last few miles. After all, obstacles and challenges are part of the adventure! (and if nothing happened, I would not have much to write on …)
The forest trail was followed by more country roads. I walked for another three kilometres before stopping. I have now completed one third of my goal of 150 kilometers for the year!
My journey on the Rideau Trail:
- Km 1 to Km 5 – Year goal: 150 kilometers on the Rideau Trail
- Km 5 to Km 25 – Along the Ottawa River
- Km 25 to Km 35 – In the wilderness of Stony Swamp