The very first bike route posted on Ottawa Velo Outaouais was to a little known ship wreck in Gatineau. Time to re-visit the ride to see how they, (both the route and the wreck), have survived the vagaries of time. Although the last few years have been rough on the route, with Jacques Cartier Park being closed off to recooperate from that wacky topiary festival a few years back, and the boardwalk along the river blocked for repairs, I am pleased to announce that all is clear. Here we go!
Our ride begins in Centretown, beside the Chinatown arch. Head north along Cambridge St N which eventually veers right to become Laurier Ave before arriving at Bronson Avenue. The rest of this ride is entirely along bike lanes or paths. Follow the route indicated on the map to get across the Ottawa River over the Portage Bridge.
Once across the bridge, turn right along the Voyageurs Pathway where you will experience the most picturesque view of Parliament Hill as you ride down towards the waters edge.
Continue along the Voyageurs Pathway through Jacques Cartier Park, and then along the aforementioned boardwalk that floats above the shoreline.
Continue along Voyageurs that weaves it’s way for a nice stretch until you happen upon a gravel path leading off to the right. Turn onto this gravel path. If you pass the big green NCC sign, you’ve gone too far.
There are two right turns off this gravel path, the first of which leads to a very nice lookout across the river. Definitely worth visiting if you have the time, but you want the next exit that’ll get you to where we wanna go, which runs along the Lac Leamy discharge into the Ottawa River. Further along this path, closer to the Ottawa River you will discover THE SHIPWRECK!
The history of our wreck is blurry, but here’s what I got from one well placed source who was a longtime employee of the federal entity managing the land where this wreck is wrecked. Back in the 70’s, some distraught entrepreneur skuttled the ship and could not come to an arrangement with the powers-that-be on it’s removal. So, thar she lies…. for the rest of us to enjoy!
This summer someone has been using the wreck to moore a sad little white power boat, conveniently blocked by shrubbery in the above photo.
Heading back to Ottawa, one may retrace the route that got you to the wreck, or you can continue north via the blue line on the above map. If you choose to take this route, which is really great and follows paths the entire way, I highly reccomend downloading the above map and checking your progress via GPS as you will encounter many merges and turns with minimal directional signage.