Limerick Forest in Oxford Station: Hiking Guide

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“You should see it in the fall, the boardwalk is surrounded by bright golden bushes – it’s wonderfully beautiful”. ~ local hiker

Limerick forest is 5782-hectare community forest about 15mins south of Kemptville. It’s been on the list to hike and explore for a while! Once there, all I could think was that it’s a excellent spot to unwind, ground, and find peace.

Aaaaand trail run. Or cross-country ski. Or bring the pups.

The Low Down

  • Distance: An easy 70 km (roughly 50 min drive from Ottawa).
  • Address: The Limerick Forest Interpretive Centre, 1175 Limerick Rd, Oxford Station, ON K0G 1T0
  • Directions: Hwy 417 West, then take the split for Hwy 416 South. Continue on Hwy 416. Exit at Oxford Station (County Road 20), turn right (west) on the 20. At the T junction, turn left on Limerick Rd. Drive 10kms until you reach the interpretive centre and parking on right.
  • Cellphone Range: Yes.
  • Number of hiking trails: multiple trails.
  • Trail Distance: up to 180k of trails.
  • Elevation Gain: None.
  • Dogs: Yes.
  • Crowds: Low to moderate.
  • Washrooms: Outhouses onsite at trail head.
  • Entrance fee: Free.
  • Season: All year.
  • More information: Visit Limerick Forest for more info.

In Good Company

Limerick Forest Interpretive Centre is also available for rednt on the weekends. Driving up we saw kiddos running around outside having fun and a bunch or sleeping bags and stuff piled up at the centre door.

Even though the centre and the shorter interpretive trail were busy, there was absolutely no one but the birds in the trees on my hike.

Started off on lookout with the forest to myself, then wandered on a few others before turning back. On the last 500m I met a wonderful couple with the nicest pup. They were gracious enough to share stories about limerick forest, the locals, and upcoming events.

Note: Did you know that Limerick Forest has an Irish past? Learn who settled in the area, the origin of the name, and why they relocated.

What to bring

Besides the 10 essentials and what I would normally suggest for hikes, here are the highlights for this particular hike:

  • Tip #1: turn your cellphone on ‘airplane mode’ during the hike to save battery power, that way you won’t run out for a) emergencies and b) all-the-pics.
  • Tip #2: In the winter, either put your keys between your base and insulating layer, or warm them up in your mitt on the hike out. The batteries in newer key fobs tend to not work when cold…and you have issues starting the car. Warm the key fob, and place in directly against the push start button to start.

Limerick Forest Trails

It was while hiking Ferguson Forest in Kemptville that a local hiker suggested that I check out Limerick Forest as well! So glad they did!

This is another fabulously family friendly and dog friendly trail system.

The trails are very well maintained, about 1-2 person wide for the most part, and clearly marked with wooden arrows. Full map signs are posted at the major intersections.

There are majestic mature trees lining the trails, lookouts, view points, and boardwalks. The area is mostly a mix of woodlands and marshlands.

Limerick is a great spot for trail runners. And in the winter there are cross country skiers and snowshoers when the weather brings enough snow.

Activities: “Motorized activities include the use of dirt bikes, all terrain vehicles (ATV’s) and snowmobiles. Non-motorized pursuits include mountain biking, cross country skiing, geocaching, horse-back riding, bird watching, hiking and hunting. It is the responsibility of each and every individual visiting Limerick Forest to ensure that they have met all of the legal requirements necessary to participate in their activity of choice.” – www.limerickforest.ca

Cross Country Skiing

One highlight of limerick forest is that there are dedicated cross country routes with clear signage. There is quite literally enough trails for everyone to enjoy equally.

Nourish Thy Self

There are a few options when leaving Limerick Forest. You can Following head on over to Brewed Awakenings for fantastic coffee and baked goods. It’s a great cafe located straight off the main road (43) in a mini mall of sorts.

Today we headed to Merrickville and had a bite to eat at Stella Luna. Yes, there’s gelato there. There’s also great coffee, artisan sandwiches, and homemade soup.

And no stop in Merrickville is complete without scooping up new scented soy candle from the Wick Witch.

Wrapping It Up

Now that life no longer consists of the madness of working and nursing school…things are slooooowing down. On purpose. A slower paced life with more outdoor time is, well, more ‘me’. And likely more you as well if you give it a chance. 😉

I’ll be counting this one towards The Wilderness Series hiking challenge and The Wellness Challenge for forest bathing. That’s exactly what it felt like today, forest bathing… Are you in? For The Wellness Challenge? You’ll have to go check it out! GirlGoneGood © is encouraging everyone to try a new habit to per month to support well-being for the year!

Victoria xo