Ottawa’s Hidden Treasures – Hogs Back Falls

by DaniGirl on September 23, 2007 · 8 comments

in Ottawa's hidden treasures

I love the light in September. It’s warm and golden, and instead of glaring overhead it comes dappled through the leaves at a gentle angle. And then, of course, the trees are starting to change colours, green giving way to gold and even scarlet.

Stone steps, Hogs Back

Every year in September, when the light gets like this, I get drawn to Hogs Back Falls. It’s one of my favourite places to go for an easy hike right in the city, a little oasis of trees and rough-hewn paths along side the Rideau River where it splits from the canal at Mooney’s Bay. I was telling the boys this morning that I’ve been drawn there in every season, but I never miss a walk at Hogs Back Falls in September, and I usually can’t resist bringing my camera along with me.

This was the boys two years ago, in September 2005.

Sharing birdseed, 2005

We forgot to bring birdseed to feed the nuthatches and peanuts to feed the chipmunks today.

Back in the day, we’d walk along the wide gravel path at a snail’s pace, first pushing a stroller and then holding the hand of a creeping toddler.

Simon at Hogs Back, September 2005

Suddenly, taking these two intrepid on a hike is a lot of work. Paths must be followed, rocks climbed over, trails explored. The boys surged ahead while it was me who brought up the rear, sweating lightly despite the early autumnal chill. And this used to be such a leisurely stroll!

Tristan and Simon, Hogs Back Falls, September 2007

Hogs Back Falls

Fall colours

No doubt, Hogs Back Falls is gorgeous any time of year. But on a sunny September day, when summer forgets to submit to fall and the air is warm and golden, it may just be one of the most beautiful places in the city.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon September 24, 2007 at 7:06 am

I’ve never walked there but there is a place near here that I used to take Miranda too every fall when she was young. The Petite Nation Falls, Or as we anglo’s call the North Nation Falls. It’s beautiful. I haven’t been there in years. I should so take Nathan. SIGH…Thanks for bringing that back Dani.

2 Sharon September 24, 2007 at 7:07 am

Wait? What? Bob and Doug were there? Shit I missed them!

3 Loukia September 24, 2007 at 9:24 am

It is great there, we take Christos often, and he loves it! My in-laws used to own the ‘umbrella’ food canteen there, too and I worked there for a few summers. Which was great because I got to eat pogos and fries and ice cream all day – back in the day when I wouldn’t gain 10 pounds by just looking at food! 😉 Glad you had fun!

4 Kerith September 25, 2007 at 3:45 pm

i live in iowa and we don’t have ANYTHING like that here…it looks like your kids had a fantastic time.

5 Fawn September 25, 2007 at 6:06 pm

Ah, Hog’s Back Falls! I lived at the corner of Prince of Wales and Meadowlands during my university days, so this post brings back memories. One of my favourites is a picnic that Michael and I had there one evening. After eating, we tidied up and went to throw things in the garbage, only to encounter a couple of racoons having their own dinner.

6 Lianne October 5, 2007 at 1:12 pm

I’ve been to HB three times in the past month. I was schocked and delighted to discover that if you come armed with seeds and nuts, the black-capped chickadees and chipmunks will eat out of your hand. Was it ever exhilarating to have the chickadees appear out of nowhere, perched on the end of my outstretched hand!! Who needs to drive for hours and pay admission to animal parks when you can do this for free right in the heart of the city! 🙂

7 Anonymous October 23, 2007 at 1:53 pm


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