Macnamara NatureTrail in Arnprior – Trail Report

Macnamara Nature Trail has been on my list for a while! And now that daylight lasts a little longer, I was able to skip out after work to go walk the trail for myself. It just so happened that it was on a magical winter wonderland of a day. Mild weather, buckets of snow, clear blues skies, and the sun shining bright – to be honest, it was a bit like walking through a children’s movie.

Macnamara Nature Trail

The Low Down

  • Distance from Ottawa: 65 kms (40 mins) 
  • GPS Coordinates: Unknown.
  • Address: 284 McNab St #206, Arnprior, ON K7S 3T2
  • Directions: Hwy 417 West. Take exit Ottawa Rd (County Rd 29) and turn right on the 29. Turn left (west) on Madawaska Blvd and drive into Arnprior. Turn right on McNab Rd. Trailhead is on right side after Nylene Canada Incorporated.
  • Entrance Fee: Free, however donations (box at trailhead) are appreciated.
  • Parking: Small parking area. Caution: Parking is not always plowed in winter. Park on right side of road but do not block the mailboxes.
  • Trailhead: Located at the parking lot.
  • Number of Trails: 2
  • Total Distance of Trails: 6-7kms total (large loop is 4kms plus the marsh lookout (500m).
  • Elevation Gain: 61m
  • Washrooms: None.
  • Cell Reception: Yes.
  • Season: All seasons. Dawn till dusk. 
  • Features: Ecological significance, interpretive signs (19 along main loop), woodlands, old oak, ponds.
  • Activities: Hiking, snowshoeing, birding.
  • Dogs: Not permitted. This is private property. Those not respecting the no dog rules will be asked to leave and could be charged with trespassing. See the Ultimate Guide to Hiking with Dogs in Ottawa and Region.
  • Suggested Stops: Arnprior (check out the cafe at the Gallery)
  • Nearby Hikes: Mill of Kintail, Blakeney Rapids, Almonte Lagoon, Ottawa Valley Rail Recreational Trail.
  • More InformationVisit Macnamara Field Naturlists’ Club for more information, trail map and interpretive signs.
Macnamara Nature Trail

Land Acknowledgement

These are the ancestral lands of the Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ and Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin) people.⁠ It is important as avid hikers and stewards of the land, to acknowledge and understand the full story our surroundings along with the people that care for her, both past and present. As sourced from native-land.ca, if there are corrections please send to victoria@girlgonegood.com

Land Management

This property is owned by the Nylene Canada Incorporated, the large facility you see upon arriving to the trailhead. The trails are maintained by the Macnamara Field Naturlists’ Club. The field naturlists club has a code of ethics and guiding principals that promote responsible recreation – as a visitor, let’s kindly respect them.

what to bring

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

  • Snowshoes: this is a wonderful trail with some mild elevation to enjoy snowshoeing.
  • A bird identification card: there is plenty to wander and observe on these trails.

Macnamara Nature Trail

The main loop of Macnamara Nature Trail takes you for 4kms with an additional 500m if you want to walk out to the marsh lookout. There’s also a newer 1.5km northern loop which means you can make this a 4km or 6+ km hike if you’d like!

This trail is rich in flora and fauna, on the winter day that I wandered around there were plenty of chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers to view.

Points of interest on the Macnamara Nature Trail include:

  • Lime Kiln
  • Lady Slipper Orchids (early summer)
  • Boardwalks
  • Forestlands and marshlands
  • Streams
  • Lookout of Goodwin Marsh

Stops and Shops

Post hike stop included picking up a latte from Jack and the Bean Coffee House in Arnprior. This coffee shop is uniquely housed in The Gallery, so you can shop and view art while waiting on that latte.

Wrapping Up

This was the first trail hiked for The County Series challenge this year. There are 10 challenges in all for you to take if you’re interested in exploring more of the region and having a little fun at the same time. Check out The Challenge Series for more information.

Bonus: Explore resources for your free printables – lists of the best waterfalls, tower, vista, sunrise/sunset, dog friendly, accessible, family friendly, and coffee plus hikes around Ottawa and area!