Eagles Nest Lookout Trail

This past Canada Day I decided that I would take the initiative and plan a day of fun for my wife and I. The goal-to enjoy a day in a quiet and serene natural environment rather than the routine trip downtown into bustling, shoulder to shoulder streets and crowds.

After a day spent googling, studying Instagram posts for the best views in Ottawa, and asking friends I came across Eagles Nest Trail. It promised an incredible view of the Madwaska Highlands which are a range of hills near Algonquin Park. This region was completely unfamiliar to us but the prospect of exploring a new area was intriguing.

Our 1-hour trip to the trail began at 8:30 am on Canada Day, we had read that this trail could garner some significant traffic and we hoped to have some quiet time on the hike. The drive through the city out towards the West end was uneventful and trafficless which always makes my heart flutter a little bit. As we reached Calabogie, the home of this trail the landscape changed significantly, we saw beautiful views of nice forests and bodies of water. We also saw Calabogie resort which looked very nice and is on the short list for future vacation plans. Stay tuned!

The trail’s parking lot was easy to find and contained an outhouse and a couple of trail maps ­­ — all things necessary to ensure a relaxing start to a hike. I’ve personally developed an advanced public bathroom rating system which spans from “did something die in here” to “this smells pretty bad” and surprisingly this bathroom scored high marks settling right in at “hold your breath”.

Once we finished analyzing the map, we made our way across the street to the trail. A key point here is that Eagles Nest Trail is part of a longer trail network that is 9 km where you will witness 3 viewpoints with Eagles Nest being the nicest. The two trail heads start next to one another with the longer trail directly across from the parking lot and the trail directly to eagles nest up the road to the left.

As we walked up the trail we took note of a couple of things. The trail was well maintained and wide, clean and free of garbage, and perhaps most importantly there were no mosquitos or annoying flies present. Despite that fact that we had not remembered to bring bug spray we were unbothered for most of the walk. There was minimal swatting and slapping of mosquitos and so it scored high points for us there.

We reached a fork with two signs but unfortunately neither signalled which direction led to Eagles Nest. It was confusing and after much debate and forgetting we had cellphones with google maps we chose to go the wrong way. Luckily for you dear reader here are some pictures so you don’t make the same mistake.

As we made our way back the correct trail and reached the summit, we saw a pretty breathtaking view.

The cliffside stretched for quite a distance so even though there were some people up there with us it was easy to maintain some space between the groups and enjoy some peace and quiet and of course take a bunch of pictures!

All in all, I would highly recommend the Eagles Nest Trail as a must-visit destination this summer. Its an easy, relaxing, and family-friendly trail with a stunning view — what more could you ask for in a Saturday morning activity!

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