If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors, head to Cumberland ward.
Mer Bleue Bog is 7,700-year-old bog that provides habitat for many species of regionally rare and significant plants, birds and other wildlife. It also supports plant and wildlife populations that are typical of northern boreal bogs. During winter, it offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on two trails, including Dewbury Trail, a one-kilometre loop through both young and old forest.
Head over to The Ski Heritage East Trail, a professionally groomed winter trail that facilitates skate and classic cross-country skiing, fat-biking, snowshoeing as well as walking. The trail covers an out and back distance of 30 km along the banks of the Ottawa River from Trim Road to Blair Road. It easily accessible by foot, car or transit at one of nine trailhead entrances.
Looking for another challenge? Head to Pine Grove Trail for over 18 kilometres of cross-country and snowshoe trails that run through the heart of the largest forest in Ottawa’s greenbelt. Trail 43 includes a self-guided forestry interpretation path where you can learn all about different types of trees.
Looking for family fun? Park at the R.J. Kennedy Arena and take advantage of the toboggan hill, and cross country ski trails that vary in length so even the little ones can partake.
Did you know that you are able to rent your very own ice fishing hut and equipment from the Petrie Island Marina? They even offer a family weekend to introduce families to the little ice village without having to purchase a license.
After all that exercise, you might need an energy boost. So why not head to Proulx Maple and Berry Farm to sample their maple syrup along with a full sugarbush meal.
Bearbrook Game Meats is one of the best kept secrets in the east end. They specialize in traditional and exotic game meats and free-range poultry available at their retail store and online. Be sure to bring the kids along and visit the many buffalo, elk, deer, llamas and peacocks that roam on the property. Food pellets can be purchased in the store.
Step back in time at Cumberland Village Heritage Museum. This collection of historic buildings recreates a rural Ontario village in the 1920s and 1930s, with immersive exhibitions that tell the story of country life as new technologies, transportation, and cultural trends were emerging.
Cumberland Village, where the Museum is located, is itself an historic place founded by United Empire Loyalists in the early 1800s. Today it’s home to a vibrant arts and crafts scene of quilters and weavers. If you’re in need of another dose of sugar, stop by Black Walnut Bakery for delicious baked goods including breads, desserts, pot pies, pizza dough and more.
While in the rural east, don't forget to visit the village of Navan and stop at JT Bradleys General Store. First opened in 1898, the store is still operated by the original owner’s great grandson.
On the outskirts of Navan, you can learn all about how an old dairy farm was turned into a winery and wine store. Stop by the family owned, Vignoble Clos du Vully and you won’t be disappointed.
Snowmobiling is also big in Ottawa’s rural east! The Carleton Region Snowmobile Club manages 160 kilometres of groomed trails linking numerous villages, including Navan, Cumberland, Sarsfield and others.