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This Hidden Boardwalk Trail In Ontario Is Like An Easy Jungle Hike With Water Views

There are 11 kilometres of trails in total.

Ottawa Staff Writer
Boardwalk trail through a marsh forest. Right: Girl looking over the water from a boardwalk.

Boardwalk trail through a marsh forest. Right: Girl looking over the water from a boardwalk.

There is a hidden network of trails about an hour from Ottawa and you'll walk through jungle-like forests, by open wetland views and on wooden boardwalk pathways.

Mac Johnson Wildlife Area is home to 11 kilometres of trail loops in Brockville. It is an easy hike of rugged areas and some flat spaces.

The Boardwalk Trail is roughly central to the hiking loops and you'll follow other trails like the Railway Trail or Old Woods Trail to reach this section. It winds through the forest, along the water's edge and over a marsh.

You'll begin on the Wildflower Loop near the spacious parking lot which is full of interpretive panels with information about the conservation area. You can choose the length of your trek along multiple connected trails.

At the trailhead, there is a picnic area, rest spots, an outhouse and a warming area with a fire pit for when the weather cools. There is a small picnic area and another parking lot at the opposite end of the trails off of Centennial Road. There are also canoe access points on the water.

The area is known to be the home of the rare Trumpeter Swan and the birds still visit the pond often. It's an open water habitat for many plant and bird species so keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.

The trail system is referred to as the Back Pond by locals. It is open year-round so you can admire the changing seasons and even snowshoe or cross-country ski in the winter.

Mac Johnson Wildlife Area 

Price: Free (donations accepted)

Address: 4673 Debruge Rd., Brockville, ON K6T 1A5

Why You Need To Go: You can explore this hidden network of trails through marshy forest areas and over wooden boardwalks that look out over a pond.

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Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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