Here’s a good early morning loop to Aylmer and back.
Every time I see a biker heading over the Pont de la Chaudière I cringe in fear for their safety due to the speeding traffic and limited space. However at 5:30 am it isn’t so bad. It also affords the only view of the Chaudière Falls, an amazing natural formation hidden from all other vantage points by an assortment of crumbling industries.
UPDATE- Summer 2015: The industrial buildings surrounding the falls have been sold to a developer. Plans include providing public access to the site with views onto the Chaudière Falls. See 30 second mark into this promo video.
The Voyageurs Pathway mostly twists and turns along the rivers edge like so, all the way to Aylmer.
There are a number of clearings along the way where you can pause and ponder the majestic Ottawa River, such as this spot looking out upon the foundations of long abandoned mills.
This pathway bridge floats above a boggy stretch.
In the Spring there are a few spots along the path that risk being a bit waterlogged, but they usually can be negotiated along short impromptu desire lines.
The path veers away from the river on the outskirts of Aylmer and continues straight through towards the centre of town.
Once in Aylmer I cut north along Front Street to check out these two heritage buildings, the Symmes House and the Parker House, both described on this web site.
I continued north along Front street to join the Pionneers Pathway. Beyond the two buildings previously mentioned, Front Street is pretty boring, filled with lots of traffic, so after you’ve checked out the two heritage buildings I recommend getting back on the Voyageurs Pathway and continuing around through Parc des Cèdres, as I’ve hi-lited in orange on the above map.
The Pionneer Path follows along the Boulevard des Allumeteries most of the way. It’s more of a commuter route than the Voyageurs Pathway, but still a very pleasant ride.
Eventually it veers south through a mixed area of woods and houses and gets a bit confusing as it twists and turns southward. Fear not, it eventually intersects Boulevard des Trembles and its bike path that runs directly east across Boulevard St-Raymond.
Once beyond Boulevard Saint Raymond the path becomes the Moore Farm Estate Pathway. It’s a stone dust path that heads south through this heritage farm. There are a few well preserved old farm buildings on the estate including this fabulous barn.
Looks like someone has torn off a small piece of barn board to look in.
And this is what they saw.
The Moore Farm Estate Pathway ends at Boulevard Alexandre-Taché, which I qualify as one of the worst roads to bike along in the region, however one need only follow it for a very short distance before cutting through the STO Park-and-Ride parking lot to Boulevard Lucerne. This is a quiet street which brings you to Moussette Park and then on to the Voyageurs Pathway for the ride back in to Ottawa. Rather than crossing back over the Chaudière Bridge, follow the path to and over the Portage Bridge.