I mean really, what better way to maintain the social distancing recommendations during this co-vid19 pandemic than hiking?!? Social distancing does not equal social isolation. We have ways to get through this, and one of mine (and could be yours) is to immerse in the outdoors.
So with the sun shining, clear blue skies, and rich forest scenery…it was a great way to ground one’s self. The large mature maple trees and singing birds of Robert Graham Conservation Area did the trick perfectly.
The Low Down
- Distance from Ottawa: 70kms (roughly 1 hour)
- Address: 10034 Country Road 18/Glen Stewart Road, Brinston
- Directions: Hwy 417 (West) towards the 416. Take Hwy 416 (South) and continue for approximately 50kms (30 mins). Take exit 34 for County Rd 43 in North Grenville. Turn left (East) on to County Rd 43. In 19kms, turn right (South) on to County Rd 22. At Shanly, turn left (East) on County Rd 18. In 200m, you will see the Conservation Area entrance on the right (South).
- GPS Coordinates: 44°54’16.3″N 75°26’33.1″W
- Entrance Fee: Free
- Parking: Free. Small parking lot at trailhead.
- Trailhead: At parking lot.
- Number of Trails: 1 (loop)
- Total Distance of Trails: 6.5 kms
- Elevation Gain: None.
- Washrooms: None. Follow Leave No Trace etiquette if needed.
- Cell Reception: Yes.
- Season: All season.
- Features: Vernal Pools (mini temporary pond like pools to promote eco-diversity). Wildlife. Mature maple trees.
- Activities: Hiking, geocaching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing.
- Dogs: Permitted on leash.
- Suggested Stops: Little Sisterz and the Mill in Spencerville
- Nearby Hikes: Limerick Forest
- More Information: Visit South Nation Conservation and fact sheet.
In Good Company
Yet again, a quick “let’s go to coffee” ended up being a 6 hr road trip around the counties. This time in Stormont, Dundas, & Glengarry as well as Leeds and Grenville.
Since my mother and I are staying together throughout this co-vid19 pandemic. She has no choice but to be my adventure buddy! Ha ha. Kidding, it’s completely normal for us to take long road trips together, we both enjoy it.
Robert Graham Conservation Area
The trailhead is right at the parking lot. The parking lot itself is small with no washrooms onsite.
There is no trail map or trail markers.
That said, the trail is a very obvious dirt trail, 2-4 person in width. There a some mini bridges along the way and multiple stream crossings, especially in the spring.
The trail forks early into a loop, walking counter clockwise is recommended. Although the official website states that there are 6.5kms to hike, the loop is an easy and enjoyable 2.5kms.
Robert Graham Conservation Features
Those wildly tall mature trees makes for the perfect walk through the forest. Along the trail there are two information boards describing the flora and fauna.
Robert Graham Conservation ViewPoints
There is also spots to stop (and wood benches) at the vernal pools. Vernal pools are temporary mini pond like water holes that promoted promote eco-diversity.
Don’t forget to look up at those tree tops swaying with the sun gleaming through the leaves on a bluebird day.
Keep an eye out for deer, wild turkeys, and woodpeckers!
None spotted while hiking this time around, but it’s still early in the season. the vernal pools almost host blue spotted salamanders. 😉
No accommodation recommendations for this area.
Nourish Thy Self
Continuing along on our country drive, we decided to drive through Spencerville. Don’t drive straight through! Spencerville is a great spot for lunch with Little Sisterz (Italian with a twist) cafe right on main street and the Spencerville Mill and Museum being the perfect picnic spot.
Fresh air, forest settings, and sunshine – how can you go wrong with that? Another one to add to your hiking list this year!
For a full list of hikes in the Ottawa area, get your copy of ‘A 2020 Guide to Hiking Trails in Ottawa & Region‘. It has all hiking trails within 2hrs of Ottawa!
More great printable resources are being added all the time like outdoor bingo sheets for kids and scavenger hunts. Check back weekly!