Casselman, 30 miles east of Ottawa, is near many Canadian nature trails. While one trail does pass through the town, most are found in outlying towns, such as Kars or Ottawa. The wide variety of trails and parks allows hikers to find trails suited to their abilities and some trails are handicap accessible for those with wheelchairs or walking aids.
Baxter Conservation Area
The Baxter Conservation Area (rvca.ca/careas/baxter) spans 68 hectares, offering trails through the wetlands, forests and along the Rideau River. Trails start at the McManus Conservation Parking Centre in Kars, Ontario. Fiddlehead Trail is the longest at 2.2 kilometers. Alder Trail, Cattail Trail, Grouse Trail and Hare Trail connect to Fiddlehead Trail in different points, shortening the trip for those who are not ready to tackle a long nature hike.
Gatineau Park (canadascapital.gc.ca/gatineau) is 15 minutes from Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The park offers miles of nature trails through the forest and near a variety of lakes. Gatineau Park offers hiking, skiing and camping throughout the year. Champlain Trail is on Eardley Escarpment and covers 2/3 mile before reaching the Champlain Lookout. It's rated medium difficulty. Des Fees Lake Trail spans 2/3 mile from the southern end of Gatineau Park. It's a trail geared towards beginners and is popular with birdwatchers. King Mountain Trail ascends above the Ottawa River Valley and is very steep at times. It's almost one mile. The path leads to the Eardley Escarpment. Luskville Falls Trail climbs 2.5 miles to the top of Eardley Escarpment. It's very steep but for those who reach the top, all of Ottawa River Valley is visible from the top.
Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail
Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail (prescott-russell.on.ca) covers 45 miles from Montreal to Ottawa. The trail passes through a number of cities and towns along the way, including Casselman. The entire trail is paved and inaccessible to vehicles, making it popular with cyclists and walkers. If you need to take a break, there are picnic areas, restrooms and information booths in Bourget, Hammond, Plantagenet, St. Eugene and Vankleek Hill. Informational signs also detail aspects of the trail that cover the area history, culture and important sites.
Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary
The Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary (uppercanadabirdsanctuary.com) offers four different trails totaling five miles. All trails are self-guided and allow you to walk them at your pace. The sanctuary is in Morrisburg 1.25 hours from Casselman. Cedar Trail takes hikers through deer country. During the winter, it's common to spot deer eating the bark from cedars. Heron Trail winds through the wetlands. Many areas of the trail are board walks near man made nesting boxes for ducks and other water fowl. Maple Trail runs through the maple trees and past an old sugar shack. It's a good trail for birdwatchers because there is a blind near the shore for watching migratory water fowl. Redwing Trail travels through the forests where it's common to spot small animals and deer. Walk carefully because reptiles hide in the damp leaves.
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