There are some 5 km of walking paths on the islands - some
are loops, some require retracing steps, for a total of 6 km (3˝
miles). All are easy and offer spectacular views of the Ottawa
River and quiet backwaters. They are designed for casual walking
and everyone is asked to respect others who come to enjoy
nature. Walk slowly and quietly in order to better observe
We ask that you do not go past the western end of the River Loop.
The western half of the island is maintained as a nature preserve, and
we try to minimize human impact. Bicycles are not permitted on
trails. Unfortunately, dogs are no longer
permitted anywhere on the island, so you will have to leave your best
Click on the map below for information on each trail.
2.4 km (1.5 miles)
Return: retrace your steps or take the Beach Loop.
Various loops add 320 m (1,100 ft) for a total of 2.7 km
(1 3/4 miles). This is the longest trail on Petrie,
named for a local naturalist who did research here. It
follows the gravel road behind the picnic area and
continues along an old causeway, explaining the presence
of rocks, which do not occur naturally anywhere on the
island complex. Featured here are excellent views of the
wetlands, quiet beaches lining the Ottawa River,
evidence of beaver activity, and turtle nesting areas.
Sections of the Beach Loop and main trail may be flooded
in spring. Please exercise care in sandy areas, as they
are prime real estate for turtle nests. The Beaver
loop’s eastern bend goes through a rare stand of
(short loop - 500 m, 1,700 ft)
A 15-minute walk along an inland pond, a favourite
turtle basking area spring to fall (stop at the viewing
platform). The path follows a short portion of eroded
Ottawa River shoreline, through the picnic and beach
area, and includes the interpretive center. Stop at the
wildflower display and information sign on the north
side of the gravel road.
The trails are found near the west end of the Bill
Holland Trail. River Loop follows the north side
of the island along the Ottawa River. Both marsh
and beach are found.
The Beaver Loop goes south of the main trail, and
provides views of the inner channel.
(800 m, 2,600 ft)
This 15-minute walk starts at the parking lot nearest
the picnic area and brings you to a point of land
centrally located among four bodies of water separating
the various islands. A good spot for seeing water birds,
this trail also features an amphibian observation pond
with footbridge and display.
The North Service Road trail, about 2 km long, will
eventually be connected to those of Petrie. Further west
along North Service, Queenswood Forest is a unique fir
forest similar to those that formed after the last ice
age. They are easily accessible. Please keep all dogs on
(1.5 km, 4,900 ft)
This 45-minute walk takes you south from the parking lot
across the pond from the small craft launch dock and follows the
inland waterway to the causeway, then along the eastern shore of
the islands and back to the parking lot. A second loop (the
Sunrise Trail) takes you all around the park/sand area, and the
combined loops total 2 km (1 1/3 miles).
(500 meters, about 5 minutes)
The Sunrise Trail continues from the
causeway to the beaches along the downstream side of the island. From
the end of the trail you can follow a path through the park back to the
Picnic area or walk along 1 km of sandy beach which offers sunrise and
sunset views and fine vistas of the Ottawa River.