Trip Reports

EXPLORATION OF PETRIE ISLAND

20220813 113355 002 Edit EditEXPLORATION OF PETRIE ISLAND

SAT. AUG. 13, 2022

Saturday, August 13th offered perfect conditions for a leisurely paddle around Petrie Island. The day dawned warm and sunny with minimal wind; in short, a gorgeous paddling day. Ten paddlers – Alice G., Adam G., Chihung (Henry) L., Kim M., Jane M., Daniel T., Tracey V. and kayakers Wendy C. and Louise G. set out for Petrie and the challenge of first navigating the 417 highway closure.

 

 

 

 

Petrie Island not only offers two lovely sand beaches on the NE corner of the island; it also boasts a variety of flora and fauna. More than 130 different species of birds have been identified on the island.


According to “Friends of Petrie Island” the Petrie Islands group was formed by sand deposited at the close of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. The 2 km. by 500 m. area has a total shoreline length, including all channels and bays, of about 12 km. The area has been publicly owned since 1983, purchased to preserve the natural habitat of the western portion of the islands. The entire area is subject to frequent spring flooding, which helps support a wide diversity of plant and animal life. The islands are designated as Class 1 wetlands, as well as a regionally significant area of natural and scientific interest.


You can reach Petrie Islands via Hwy 174, turning left at Trim Road at the far eastern end of Orleans. During the week watch out for traffic congestion due to LRT construction. It’s best to arrive in the morning to get a parking spot (parking for a toonie – change only).


The group set off from the boat launch (for canoeists, kayakers and paddle boarders) at a small dock on Crappie Bay just off a south-facing parking lot. We paddled west (clock-wise) around the island, exploring small lagoons and discovering many lovely sand beaches where we eventually pulled in to have lunch. We saw two blue herons and lots of Canadian geese on the way, and a small water critter (muskrat, mink or groundhog?). We also noticed many uprooted trees, no doubt due to spring flooding. We finished off the day with a cool dip in the Ottawa river off one of Petrie’s lovely sand beaches. That revived all of us for the journey home around 3 p.m.

Thanks to all the paddlers who joined us. For more information about Petrie Island, visit “Friend of Petrie Island” website here.
Jane M – Trip Leader

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