Nepean's Parks: a 19 km Bike Ride for Everyone

This is an easy and safe route through Old Nepean, mostly on bike paths and (over sized) residential roads. The route crosses parks, passes sub urban back yards and crosses only Merivale and Woodroffe.
This is an easy and safe route through Old Nepean, mostly on bike paths and (over sized) residential roads. The route crosses parks, passes sub urban back yards and crosses only Merivale and Woodroffe.

I had to bring a book back to the library and we decided to make a little outing out of it. Usually I take it back to the Main branch down town during lunch hour, but today (Victoria Day) we decided to cycle to the Centrepointe branch in Nepean, even though the Emerald Plaza branch is closer. It turned into an 19 km ride, mostly on bike paths, through parks and underneath hydro poles.

Passing through recently renovated Gilbey Park, adopted by the Christian Reformed Church on Merivale.
Passing through recently renovated Gilbey Park, adopted by the Christian Reformed Church on Merivale.

 

With an average speed of 14 km/hour (that included checking the map and taking some pictures) it took us about an hour and 20 minutes. That is OK, we are not in a rush and enjoyed watching people working in their gardens, boys throwing stones in the storm water ponds, dog walkers, kids in splash pools, other cyclists and Bob Chiarelli and Lisa McLeod lawn signs for the upcoming Ontario elections.

This is a short cut to Algonquin from Ryan Farm Park
This is a short cut to Algonquin from Ryan Farm Park
Crossing Woodroffe Ave after passing through Algonquin College's property.
Crossing Woodroffe Ave after passing through Algonquin College’s property.
Kids playing in the wade pool arrived by bike.
Kids playing in the wade pool arrived by bike.

Baan Thai Restaurant, on Centrepointe Drive in a strip mall has good reviews. It is definitely a destination for us this summer, as it is less than 6 km away from home.

A long stretch behind back yards off Centrepointe Drive.
A long stretch behind back yards after we crossed Centrepointe Drive
CN Rail underpass
CN Rail underpass.

There are very few places where you can pass the railway tracks that run through Nepean. Nepean was built in the car era, so all underpasses are wide four lane car lanes that invite speeding; there is very little safe infrastructure for cyclists. An exception is this underpass of which we need a few more.

Sun bathing on school property, and topless no less.
Sun bathing on school property, and topless no less.
I am not sure if it is legal, but many property owners bordering Hydro green space, appeared to have extended their back yards considerably. Others mow the green space behind their house such as this man.
I am not sure if it is legal, but many property owners bordering Hydro green space appeared to have extended their back yards considerably. Others mow the green space behind their house such as this man.
"If you see a fork in the road, take it". The next step in bike and walk infrastructure would be proper signage. And not a sign to Parliament Hill, but to the nearest intersection or bakery please.
“If you see a fork in the road, take it”. The next step in bike and walk infrastructure would be proper signage. And not a sign to Parliament Hill, but to the nearest intersection or bakery please.

After this underpass the path leads to Craig Henry Park. We found our way via Conover, a hydro line green space, Knoxdale and through a narrow path through Manor Dale Park to Sherry Lane park to a path that meets up with the bike path north of Hunt Club.

After the Woodroffe and Hunt Club intersection (a suburban monster intersection, must be the size of a football field), we followed another path towards Merivale, where we crossed towards Colonnade and into the Nepean Creek area.

This railway underpass on Merivale has lots of space to build a bike path on one side. The ward councillor is working on it with residents and city staff.
This railway underpass on Merivale has lots of space to build a bike path on one side. The ward councillor is working on it with residents and city staff.
Colonnade is mostly industrial. It is wide and empty on Sundays but busy during the week. There is talk of building a bike path on the north side in the green space in the left side of the picture.
Colonnade is mostly industrial. It is wide and empty on Sundays but busy during the week. There is talk of building a bike path on the north side in the green space in the left side of the picture.
Nepean Creek is not much. Just past the bridge are some alotment gardens.
Nepean Creek is not much. Just past the bridge are some allotment gardens. Not the most creative bridge I have seen.

Part of Colonnade is seeing more housing development and a large retirement home. The developer was asked to build a bridge but the plan was to build it as narrow as possible, certainly not big enough for cyclists and walkers crossing at the same time.

The reasons for a somewhat wider bridge were that residents need to cross the creek in order to go to school at the north side and residents on the north side to go to work on Colonnade on the south side. It saved each side 4 km of driving, but apparently, the developer didn’t give a shit.

Usually, the cheap way out is a ‘walk your bike’ sign. Put the onus on the cyclist. Of course no one does and angry comments that’ no cyclist’ sticks to rules follow. Several forces pushed for a wider bridge and eventually it was built. An example of a simple solution that was nearly not built because the developer lives in another era still.

Here is the bridge over the creek, a welcome addition to the Nepean Creek area.
Here is the bridge over the creek, a welcome and attractive addition to the Nepean Creek area.
Speeding is high on the residents of Ottawa's complaints list. This is a new (new for Ottawa that is) test to see if traffic slows down. This is at Chesterton. A wide street, built in another era, that invites speeding.
Speeding is high on the residents of Ottawa complaints list. This is a new (new for Ottawa that is) test to see if traffic slows down. This is at Chesterton. A wide street, built in another era, that invites speeding.
This is a common type of dwelling in Old Nepean.
This is a common type of dwelling in Old Nepean.
This too.
This too.

We cycled further north to cross Meadowlands into our own neighbourhood and lounged in our porch and wrote this blog.

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