The Poets’ Pathway begins at Britannia Beach, in Ottawa, at the tip of the pier jutting out into beautiful Britannia Bay.
|The Britannia Yacht Club is visible across the bay, and you can often see tiny white sails meandering their way across the expanse of blue sky and water in front of you.|
From the lifeguard tower, take the southeast path along the water. After about 200 metres, you will reach Britannia Beach proper – with its sand and swimming areas.
Continue straight past the Lakeside Gardens recreational facility (bathrooms and refreshments are open seasonally) for another 200 metres, passing the picnic and playground areas, until you hit the main recreational pathway.
This is the Ottawa River Pathway. Turn left (northeast) and proceed. You will see a number of grey apartment buildings in the distance, to your right.
|After about 300 metres, you will cross Britannia Road – an art gallery will be directly to your left.|
|After roughly another half-kilometre, you will pass Mud Lake on your left. Consider taking some time to explore this fascinating wetland conservation area, a birder’s delight. We saw two Ravens defending their breeding territory against the perceived threat of an Osprey, harassing it as it flew by their forest. A hen Mallard with ducklings swam by, and another came out of the water at our feet. A Painted Turtle sat on a log. A baby Muskrat sat at the water’s edge. Warblers and Yellow Warblers and a Baltimore Oriole sang in the trees. A Chickadee came to Rob’s hand in hopes of sunflower seeds. At the northern end of the lake you will hear the sound of rapids on the Ottawa River, and if you climb the low phlox- and honeysuckle-covered hills you will see the foaming river itself.|
|From the Mud Lake sign on the Parkway, continue traveling northeast on the path, through forest and field, for another half-kilometre, until you reach the Capital Pathway Sign.|
|Turn right, towards the Agricultural Museum.|
|You are now on the Pinecrest Creek Pathway. Head up the hill, keeping to the left whenever the path divides.|
At the top of the hill, looking back rewards you with a glimpse of the Ottawa River.
|You will pass under the Richmond Road overpass. Continue down the hill towards the Lincoln Fields transit station on your left.|
|At the next Capital Pathway sign, turn left. Take care crossing the Parkway access roads. The Carling Avenue overpass is visible just ahead. This is the end of the first walk on the Poets’ Pathway.|