Sunday, October 03, 2010

Upper Duck & Lower Duck Islands

For boats and kayaks, one of Ottawa's best and most convenient put-in spots is located at the end of Massey Lane, off of Blair Road in the Rothwell Heights area.

The main ramp is gravel used frequently by boaters with trailers. A stone-throw upstream is a very small but more "kayak friendly" beach.

From the put-in, Kettle Island is to your left, Upper Duck island is straight across and Lower Duck islands is to the right. You will notice from the map below (click to see full size) that Upper Duck island has a very unique and unusual shape with a very long inner channel.

Signs on the Upper Duck island suggests that it was the city of Gloucester's first "Wilderness Area".

Gloucester has since been amalgamated into the City of Ottawa. A quick search of the Web did not uncover any relevant background information.

Lower Duck island is part of the National Capital Commission's Greenbelt as shown on the picture below. It is designated as a Natural Area as seen on the NCC's Land Use Map.

The inner channel of Upper Duck island offers a natural refuge from the winds and currents for everything from Canada Geeese, Mallard ducks and turtles.

Below is a view of the inner channel looking in.

And below is a view from the inner channel looking out (Lower Duck island is very near the outlet to the right).

As usual, the color of the foliage this time of year is impressive.

In summary, a pleasant and relaxing destination near downtown Ottawa-Gatineau.

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