Amazing Wildflower Hiking Trails in Ottawa + Region
Amazing Wildflower Hiking Trails in Ottawa + Region
Ready for trails and stops offering lush and beautiful wildflowers in the region?! Trilliums (Ontario’s provincial plant) start lining the forest floors in early May. Lilacs tend fill the air mid to late May, The carnivorous pitcher plants (Newfoundland’s provincial plant) come to life in the spring. And last but not least, wild lady slipper orchids bloom gloriously in mid June.
What are your favourite trails to spot wildfowers? Share in comments below!
Responsible Recreation Insights
Admire their beauty, but do not pick the wildflowers! They provide nourishment to all sorts of local insect and fauna. And for some, like the trillium, it takes years to reflower. Did you know that it is also illegal to pick wild flowers in most parks, nature reserves, and sanctuaries? It is! Like Gatineau Park for instance. #knowbeforeyougo
Follow Leave No Trace principals including sticking to the trail to avoid any negative impact on the wildflowers. What you think is just another flower might be a species at risk, or a species that takes years to repopulate/flower.
Use the iNaturalist app to help identify wildflowers on your hikes. You can count them towards the Eco-Activist in the Challenge Series!
Interesting Insights About Our Wildflowers
Did you know that there are five types of trilliums commonly found in Ontario? They are white trillium, red trillium, painted trillium, drooping trillium, and nodding trillium. Another fun fact is that they are a favourite treat for white-tailed deer. (Sourced from Ontario Parks)
After developing roots and leaves, the pink lady’s slipper orchid may take 10 years to flower.
Did you know that pitcher plants are carnivorous?! And we’re not only talking about insects here, Ontario Parks have also found salamanders in the plant!
Trails With Wildflowers
- Glengarry Trails in Stormont, Dundas, & Glengarry County: Boardwalks and marsh views.
- Summerstown Trails in Stormont, Dundas, & Glengarry County: The forest floor is absolutely covered in trilliums in the spring. Mostly white ones, but you’ll spot a few deep purple as well.
- Alfred Bog in Prescott-Russell County: Keep an eye out for wild orchids, carnivorous pitcher plants, and moose while exploring Alfred Bog.
- Oschmann Forest in Stormont, Dundas, & Glengarry County: A smaller hike of only 1km, but full of trilliums and has a working maple products as well as interpretive signs.
- Purdon Conservation Area in Lanark County: The ever popular spot to catch sight of hundreds of wild lady slipper orchards. This colony is carefully managed and cared for so that we can all enjoy their beauty – absolutely do not pick them or leave trash. You’ll also find pitcher plants here!
- Parc nationale de plaisance in l’Outaouais: If you head out to the ‘bird’s nest’ tower you’ll find a field of purple in the summertime.
- Foret-la-blanche: You’ll find various wildflowers along these trails, especially around the boardwalk.
If you’re on the hunt for trilliums, look for trails in forested areas like Ferguson Forest, Limerick Forest, and Warwick Forest.
Not So Wild Flower Etiquette
When we stop to take pictures in a farmers field, sunflower field, or lavender field. Craving that perfect capture for social media, business, or for ourselves.
A little nudge should prompt the following before you do:
🌻 that land is private land – do you have permission?
🌻 that crop is someone’s hard work and passion – can you take a picture without harming it?
🌻 that yield is someone’s business – if you take a picture how can you return the good fortune?
Ask permission before stepping on the land. Do not trespass. Only take pictures if you can do so without damage and leave nothing behind. Be KIND and PAY IT FORWARD by giving that farmer/business a shout out on social (like you would for your favourite gym or cafe). Buy their products. #supportlocal Physically thank them for providing a beautiful backdrop and all their hard work.
Be kind and thoughtful as I know you all are. It’s easy to see from all the local love and trail clean ups going on! This is simply another nudge. A kind reminder.
And for those with a large audience – lead from the front.
Not So Wild Flower Trails/Locations
- Wilmead Farms is a family run farm (business) with field crops and products that include honey, maple syrup, sunflower, and soybean. The sunflower seeds are harvested in the fall and sold as bird seed. Perfect to bring hiking for those local trails we all know and love to have chickadees. Although they have no Insta, you can find them on Facebook or at www.wilmeadfarms.ca Located at Wilmead Farms, 1430 Dunning Rd, Cumberland, Ontario.
- Franktown is called “The lilac capital of Ontario” and once you take a drive or walk down lilac lane and church st in the spring (May/June), and you’ll see why. The road is lined with tall purple and white lilac bushes. You can either drive through or walk, and admittedly I like walking best and taking in the lilac aroma in the air.
- Did you know there’s a new lavender field in St-Isidore? Temperance Farms grows edible lavender for culinary use.