Every year we head over to Acorn Creek Garden Farm for some strawberry picking. This year I biked there and met up with Carla and the kids who drove. Here is the route I followed.
It’s a relatively flat 30 km ride almost entirely along recreational pathways BUT I recommend doing so early on a Saturday or Sunday morning, as things get a little tricky riding through parts of Kanata and along Richardson Side Road.
I headed out along the Ottawa River Pathway and followed it all the way to Carling Avenue at the beginning of Andrew Haydon Park.
I got off the Ottawa River Pathway at this spot by turning left across Carling and onto Watts Creek Pathway. The path gets a little convoluted where it reaches Holly Acres Road. I crossed Holly Acres Road and rode down Aero Drive for a short distance to where Watts Creek Pathway continues to the left, like so.
I continued along Watts Creek Pathway to where it crosses Corkstown Road. On the other side of Corkstown Road the path becomes gravel. There is also a directional sign suggesting you bike along Corkstown Road. I prefer the gravel path, however it can get a bit mucky during rainy weather especially where the path reaches Moodie Drive. On this occasion I should have followed the road.
I crossed Moodie, and got back on Watts Creek Pathway.
Further along there is a turn off with a sign pointing to Carling Avenue. I ignored it and continued under this train bridge.
There is another fork in the road further along with a sign pointing towards March Road. I ignored it as well and stayed right to continue through this tunnel under March Road.
Watts Creek Pathway, which is maintained by the NCC, ends on the other side of this tunnel at Petrie Lane. I crossed Petrie Lane and followed this path for a bit.
There are very few directional signs throughout this part of Kanata. I assume they were originally developed by the local community whose residents were in little need of directional signs. As such you pretty much have to go on instinct to find your way around the area. For example the path I found myself on splits off in many directions. I took the middle path indicated by the big white arrow on the photo below.
This brought me to Teron Road which has a bike lane.
I followed Teron Road south to Campeau Drive. It too has bike lanes, but they disappear a hundred yards before and after each intersection. There is a paved path running along Campeau Drive as well. I’ve heard say that paved paths can be interpreted as multi-use paths, so take your pick.
I found myself deep in Car Land – those buffer zones surrounding most North American cities where one rarely sees a human outside a vehicule, other than transferring from their parked car to whatever building they drove to, however bike lanes such as these encourage a more diverse mix of users that are good for local business.
I followed Campeau Drive to Terry Fox Drive. I turned right onto Terry Fox Drive, which has nice generous bike lanes like so.
I turned left onto Richardson Side Road and followed it for around 2 km’s to Old Creek Road. Richardson Side Road is a straight two laner with packed gravel shoulders. I felt safe riding on the road at 10 am Saturday morning. Cars slowed down and gave me lots of room as they passed. I suppose those in a hurry take the Queensway that runs parallel to Richardson Road just half a kilometre south. However there must be some speeders to warrant a stop sign this big.
I tested out the gravel shoulder which wasn’t too bad if you don’t feel comfortable biking on the road. I would have felt comfortable doing so as the distance along Richardson Road is only for 2 kilometres. I do suggest biking out early on a weekend morning. That way you are sure to avoid most, if not all traffic along this narrow side road. Acorn Creek Farm opens little after 8am.
I turned onto Oak Creek Road which was fine – hardly any traffic at all.
Truth be told, by the time I pulled into the farm parking lot Carla and the kids had finished picking and purchasing all the strawberries we needed. The kids thought that was very funny. If you are planning on heading out to pick strawberries bring good bug spray, and wear long sleeves and pants. There were swarms of mosquitoes this year because of all the rain. Wear rubber boots too. This year the pick-your-own patch is about a kilometer walk into the field. But it’s worth it – the strawberries are very yummy.