Hunting in the Carp Hills

People are hearing gunshots in the Carp Hills and asking about whether it’s safe to walk on the Crazy Horse Trail.  The answer is that anyone going out into the bush at this time of year should be aware of the risks and should wear bright orange.

It is now hunting season.   Geese and duck hunting started last month.  Bow season for deer started yesterday, with gun hunting of deer starting on 2 November.  Black bear and small game seasons started back in September. 

The discharge of firearms in the City of Ottawa is governed by the Discharge of Firearms by-law.  The discharge of firearms is allowed throughout the Carp Hills, except within 450 m of the rural estate neighbourhoods.  People may hunt on city-owned land.  They may not hunt on private property without permission from the landowner.

We live in a rural area that has hunting traditions. We expect hunters to hunt legally and responsibly and in turn we need to respect their right to hunt. We hope that hunters will avoid the trail area or use it very early in the morning, knowing that hikers are using it in the fall and likely keeping game away. Hikers should wear bright orange.  We can respect each other’s desire to enjoy the area.

The Crazy Horse Trail lies on city-owned land.  The area is less affected by hunting due to its proximity to the residential areas to the southeast (Westwood), southwest (village of Carp), and northeast (Marchurst Road).  See the figure below.  However, the outer reaches of the property lie outside of the 450m restriction.  For reference, the width of the property is approximately 600m and the length of the property is approximately 1300m.  

Hunting is not permitted in the green cross-hatched area.

For provincial hunting seasons, please see the links below. The Carp Hills are in Wildlife Management Unit 64B.

https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-hunting-regulations-summary/black-bear

https://www.ontario.ca/page/tentative-start-dates-deer-and-moose-hunting-seasons

https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-hunting-regulations-summary/wild-turkey

https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-hunting-regulations-summary/small-game-and-furbearing-mammals

For the hunting of migratory birds, see this link.  We lie in District 4.

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/migratory-game-bird-hunting/regulations-provincial-territorial-summaries/ontario.html

Tick and Lyme Disease Research in Carp

Updated on 21 April 2020.

Message from Dr. Kulkarni:  “The UPTick project is coming soon to a neighbourhood near you! University of Ottawa researchers, led by Dr. Manisha Kulkarni, will be conducting a project on ticks and Lyme disease in the village of Carp and the adjacent Carp Hills over the next two years (2020-2021). The project aims to assess the impacts of urban change on tick populations and tick-borne disease transmission. For more information and FAQ visit www.uptickproject.ca.”

Councillor Eli El-Chantiry and Friends of the Carp Hills are sponsoring a meeting on Tuesday, 14 April at 7:30pm at the Carp Mess Hall, 2240 Craig Side Road, where epidemiology researchers from the University of Ottawa will talk about a new project in Carp and answer questions.

University of Ottawa’s School of Epidemiology & Public Health has a new project on ticks and Lyme disease in Ottawa called UPTick (“Best practices for urban planning in the context of climate change and emerging tick-borne diseases”).  The researchers are sampling four areas in Ottawa and the Carp Village/Carp Hills interface is one.  The project is supported by Ottawa Public Health and Councillor Eli El-Chantiry.

A map shows the study area highlighted in red. The study area is large because sampling sites will be located along a gradient of urban development that includes the three “groups”: 

  1. natural wooded zones,
  2. established residential/woodland interfaces, and
  3. within-neighborhood residential yards and trails.

The researchers will conduct field sampling for ticks and their small mammal hosts (e.g. mice) in different woodlands and neighborhoods where previous research has shown that tick populations are likely present. This will allow them to identify at-risk locations and populations for better targeting of interventions to reduce human exposure to ticks, and to understand the drivers of human risk for tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. 

Three private landowners with large Carp Hills parcels that lie along the village boundary have agreed to provide access to the researchers.  This includes Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Tick populations in Carp and the Carp Hills have grown significantly in the last 7 to 8 years, with residents living along and near the boundary being particularly affected.  Landowners with large parcels of land (e.g. Ducks Unlimited Canada) along the village boundary have been contacted and asked to allow access for the researchers.  Sampling will also occur on publicly owned land in the village in parks and along trails.

For more information, download this six page PDF about Project UPTick.

Map of study area in red. (Map from UPTick Project.)

Winter Photo Contest Winner

Congratulations to Erik Frebold of Vancouver for his winning photograph of a bird nest in winter in the Carp Hills.  Erik’s photo will be our banner for March, a nice reminder that spring is on its way.

We’re visiting from Vancouver and the Carp Hills is our favourite place to ski because it’s so quiet, beautiful, and has great wildlife/birds. We spotted this nest today Feb. 17th; it’s about 1m off the ground and measures only 5cm across. My guess is it’s from a Marsh Wren. Photo was taken with a Pentax Optio W80 digital and lightly edited for contrast with the GIMP 2.10.8 (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) in Linux.

We had five submissions to the contest.  Our judge, Chris Busby, made these comments on Erik’s photo:

Nice composition using the rule of thirds, colours have a nice range (blue shadows contrast nicely with browns and yellows of brush), nice shadow detail of nest.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit photos and to care about the Carp Hills.


Other contest submissions:

“Panoramic shot of Beaver Pond, Crazy Horse Trail.” Photo by Denis Gallant.

“Just having a break on the Crazy Horse trail on a beautiful day.” Photo by Denis Gallant.

“Feb 17th on the Carp Ridge; can’t really describe where this is, and that’s one of the the beauties of the area. I like this because it shows the typical scenery of close forest with suggestions of intriguing open lake areas behind. Taken with a Pentax Optio W80 digital and lightly edited with The GIMP in Gnu-Linux.” Photo by Erik Frebold.

 

 

“This is my photo taken during the first 1K of the trail today . We went for a very cold snow shoe. Saw one other person. Did entire loop. No filters or processing as I do well to even think to bring out my phone and take a photo.” Photo by Marilyn David.

Winter Evening Snowshoe Event

15 February – Conditions Update – Snowshoes are needed.  The trails are in excellent condition with deep snow.

Join us on Valentine’s and Family Day weekend, 15 February, at 110 Donald B. Munro starting at 7:30pm for a guided ❤️ the Hills Evening Snowshoe in the winter beauty of the Carp Hills.  This private property has one of the highest points in the Hills and scenic views over the Carp River valley.  Following our exertions, we’ll gather at the outdoor bonfire for bonhomie and alcohol-free beverages.

Some degree of physical fitness is required.  There are steep climbs that will be slippery and challenging.  You will need to sign a waiver before participating. This event is suitable for active kids 10 and older.

A nominal charge of $10 per adult is payable on arrival.  Children 16 and under are free. Our organization’s largest expense is our insurance, which we must have in order to offer events like these.

Waiver (PDF) – Please download, print, and bring this with you.  Families or couples can use one waiver.  All adults must sign it.

Parking and Gathering Place

Park across the road at 211 Donald B. Munro Drive (the Gambit Music Academy).  Overflow parking is on the shoulder of Donald B. Munro. Please arrive at least 15-30 minutes before 7:30pm.

Take care parking and crossing the road to the entrance.  We will meet you at the bottom of the hill by the gate where you will register.  Bring your waiver and participation fee.  Then don your snowshoes and follow the trail up the hill to a large open area where we will gather by the bonfire.  

There are no washrooms on the site.

What to Expect

We will have groomed trails available for self-guided snowshoeing.  Guides will be on-site to help people orient themselves.  The trails are wide and easy to navigate on your own.  You must stay on the trail; no off-trail exploration is permitted.

Return to our gathering place around the bonfire for refreshments.

Snowshoes are required.  Skis are not suitable for this site.  We love dogs, but please leave your dog at home.

What to Bring

  • Your wavier and participation fee.
  • Your snowshoes.
  • Appropriate clothing for staying warm and exercising.
  • Optional: a drinking container suitable for a hot beverage (helps to reduce garbage).
  • If you have a head lamp, bring it.  We would like to run the snowshoe under ambient light, but a head lamp will be helpful before and after the hike for getting around in the dark.

Trail Code

The landowners have generously opened their property to the public for this event.  Please respect the land and follow instructions.  Participants must stay on the trail; no off-trail exploration is permitted.

Winter Photography Contest

We are holding a  the Hills in Winter photography contest to celebrate the beauty of the Carp Hills in our coldest season.  The contest runs from now until February 18, 2020.  Along with public glory, the winner receives a one-year new membership or membership renewal to Friends of the Carp Hills.  If the format is suitable (see below), the winning photo will also be used as our Facebook banner for one month and as one of our rotating banners on our website.

Our contest judge is FCH board member Christopher Busby.  Chris has 49 years of experience in every facet of photography—from darkroom manager to professional portraitist to newspaper photographer—and three of his pictures were selected by National Geographic photo editors for publication in Your Shot.

Photographs submitted for the contest will be judged on creative use of composition, lighting, focus, point of view and that indefinable quality of a compelling photograph that captivates the viewer.  Note that you don’t need fancy camera gear to take a great photo: used skilfully and artistically, a smartphone will produce fabulous photos.

The winner will be announced on our Facebook site and website on March 1, 2020.

Contest Rules and Guidelines
 
  1. Your photo must be taken between January 1 and February 18, 2020, in the Carp Hills.
  2. You may submit as many as 5 photos.
  3. Provide some background about your photo: where it was taken, why you took it, what settings you used, and any other information that your fellow photographers might find interesting.
  4. Photos may be submitted in landscape or portrait format, but if you want your photo to be used as a banner on our Facebook page or website, then it should be in landscape format.
  5. All subject matter is acceptable as long as it is in the Carp Hills: landscapes, animals, plants, rocks, people etc.
  6. Some post-processing is acceptable (cropping, colour correction), but adding artificial elements (e.g. a moon in the sky) or erasing features is not acceptable.  We’re looking for photos that celebrate the natural, unenhanced beauty of the Carp Hills.
  7. Submit photos in JPEG format to our contest email: photocontest@carphills.com.  Please send one photo per email, preferably no larger than 2 to 3 MB.  We will request a higher-resolution photo from the winner if needed.

We reserve the right to publish all submitted photos on our website or other media. By submitting your photos and participating in the contest, you are agreeing to give copyrights to Friends of the Carp Hills for the use of your photographs in any of its promotional material:  web site, Facebook page, newsletter, brochures, caps, T shirts, etc.

What We Accomplished in 2019

Our major activities in 2019 were twofold:  adding almost 50m of new boardwalk to the Crazy Horse Trail and conducting a trail impact study on the Carp Barrens.  The study confirmed the site’s high ecological quality, identified 20 regionally significant plant species, and documented evidence for the area being critical habitat for two Threatened Species at Risk:  Blanding’s turtles and Eastern Whip-poor-will.
 
Here’s what we and our dedicated volunteers accomplished in 2019:

  • We contracted ecologist Holly Bickerton to conduct a trail impact study for the Carp Barrens.  Three reports were developed and sent to the City of Ottawa with recommendations for managing human use while protecting ecological integrity and wildlife.
  • We ran two events in 2019: a spring nature walk with Canadian Wildlife Service biologist and Carp Hills resident Rich Russell and a fall mushroom hunt with mycologist George White.
  • With grant funding (see below), we added almost 50m of new boardwalks by bridging wet areas.
  • Our trail coordinator implemented a team approach to managing maintenance of the Crazy Horse Trail, dividing it into three sections with team leads and volunteers.
  • We were awarded a grant from the Rural Community-Building Grant Program for Carp Hills Trail System activities.
  • With grant funding for the signs, fifteen Environmental Protection Zone signs were installed by the city along Thomas Dolan Parkway.
  • We were awarded a grant from the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club for the Carp Barrens Trail Study.
  • We worked with Ducks Unlimited Canada and the City of Ottawa to develop a management plan for DUC’s 440 acre property in the Carp Hills.
  • We held our sixth AGM and public meeting in April and raised over $600 for the Carp Barrens Trail Study.
  • We offered on-line membership application, renewal, and payment.
  • We published another article about the “History of the Hills” and continued to interview “old timers” about what they can remember about the Carp Hills.
  • Our Facebook group grew by over 50 members to 466 at the end of 2019.
  • We sent out 4 newsletters during the year to a subscriber base that grew to 277 by the end of 2019.
  • We chose a logo for our organization.
  • 21 people are contributing their observations of flora and fauna in the Carp Hills to our Carp Hills Bio-Inventory Project in iNaturalist.  We now have 1213 observations and 443 species confirmed.

2019 Events & News

January 2020 – What We Accomplished in 2020

Our major activities in 2019 were twofold:  adding almost 50m of new boardwalk to the Crazy Horse Trail and conducting a trail impact study on the Carp Barrens.  The study confirmed the site’s high ecological quality, identified 20 regionally significant plant species, and documented evidence for the area being critical habitat for two Threatened Species at Risk:  Blanding’s turtles and Eastern Whip-poor-will.  For a complete list of our activities, read our post.

November 2019 – Carp Barrens Trail Study Phase 2 Report

Consulting ecologist Holly Bickerton has completed her Phase 2 report for the Carp Barrens Trail Study. Her focus was on determining the extent of turtle nesting, the presence of species at risk birds and rare/unusual plant species, and the impact of human use. You can read a summary of the report’s finding in our post:  Carp Barrens Trail Study – Phase 2 Report.

The single largest impact of the trail network is the incursion of human presence into a previously inaccessible and regionally significant, high quality natural area. Cyclists, hikers, dog walkers and naturalists have all been observed using the area.

While it may be possible to mitigate some impacts, the effect of intensifying human presence on the critical habitat of species at risk and on the area’s high ecological integrity cannot.  This issue will be addressed in the Phase 3 report.

27 October 2019 – New Boardwalk Completed

The new section of boardwalk beside the snowmobile track is now finished. With the efforts of Brian (Master Craftsman Extraordinaire) Roadhouse, Marc (Louis Cyr) Savard, and Julian (The Machine) Romeskie, we have installed 120 feet of new boardwalk. This involved clearing a new path on the west side of the snowmobile track, and adding an access ramp to the existing plank boardwalk, also on the west side of the snowmobile track. This new section is useful in keeping pedestrian traffic on City-owned land (away from private property), and getting over some chronically wet sections of the trail.

Funding for this project’s materials was provided by the City of Ottawa’s Rural Community Building Grant Program with support from Councillor Eli El-Chantiry. Built by skilled and dedicated volunteer labour. Thank you!

5 October 2019 – Fall Mushroom Guided Hike

Mycologist George White delighted a crowd of about 30 keen-eyed fungi enthusiasts on a beautiful autumn day on the Crazy Horse Trail.  We found Earthstars, Velvetfoot, Cowboy’s Handkerchief, orange jellies, puffballs, and many more. For photos posted by the participants, check out our Facebook page.

 

 

July 2019 – Crazy Horse Trail Bridge Extended

Bridge at the Beaver Pond LoopFCH volunteers extended the bridge at the beaver pond.  Rising water levels had left both ends of the existing bridge under water, making it challenging to cross and complete the loop around the pond.

For a “before” photo, see our Facebook page.

Thank you to our busy beavers:  trail coordinator Bernard Proulx and carpenter extraordinaire Brian Roadhouse, who worked all day in the heat and mosquito clouds.  Thanks also to Rich Russell for providing quick access to the bridge site through his property.

June 2019 – FCH Awarded Rural Community-Building Grant

The City of Ottawa has awarded the Friends of the Carp Hills a grant for its Carp Hills Trail System Project.  The award is from the Rural Community-Building Grants Program.  It will fund:

  • enhancements to the Crazy Horse Trail for new boardwalks across wet areas;
  • Phases 2 and 3 of the Carp Barrens Trail Study to evaluate the impact of human traffic and determine mitigation measures; and
  • signs for the Carp Barrens to educate about its special, fragile ecology.

Thank you to Councillor El-Chantiry for his support of our work.

28 April 2019 – Spring Has Sprung in the Carp Hills

There were many highlights from the 3.5 hour guided nature hike on the Crazy Horse Trail. Canadian Wildlife Service biologist Rich Russell noted about 30 bird species, four frog species, and two turtle species. Some key finds: a Pied-billed Grebe, Chorus Frogs, Blanding’s turtles, Broad-winged Hawk, Pine Warblers, Swamp Sparrows, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

Rich is a Carp Hills resident, wildlife biologist, and outdoors enthusiast.  We were lucky to get some of Rich’s time before he headed up north in May. Thank you, Rich!

16 April 2019 – OFNC Awards Research Grant to Carp Barrens Study

We’re pleased to announce that the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club has awarded FCH a research grant to support the Carp Barrens Trail Study, which will assess the ecological impact of human use on the Carp Barrens.  We have also received a generous donation from the Macnamara Field Naturalists’ Club and have raised over $1500 from individual donors.  To donate, please read about the study:  Carp Barrens Trail Study.

3 April 2019 – Annual General Meeting and Public Briefing

About 40 people came out to our 6th annual public meeting and AGM. New directors Janet Campbell and Anne Chapman Wong, and returning director Chris Busby were elected to the board. Holly Bickerton delighted the crowd with her natural history presentation about the Carp Hills, and about the special plants and animals she discovered last summer on the Ducks Unlimited Canada property and the Crazy Horse Trail.  We reached our goal of raising an additional $600 through donations to support our Carp Barrens Trail Study. 

We’d like to thank our generous local businesses for providing door prizes for our meeting last night. Please support them.

Carp Massage Therapy and Yoga
Home Hardware(DEKA) Building Supplies
Juke Joint
Alice’s Village Cafe
Pawsh Pets
Christine and Eric Brackenbury
Carp Pizza
Pizza Workz
Ridge Rock Brewing Co.
The Hive.

Thank you to Karen Pritchard for visiting the businesses to request the prizes

March 2019 – Membership

Join us!  Membership fees help make our work possible.  Membership entitles you to participate in and to elect directors at our Annual General Meeting.

Membership runs on a calendar year basis.  Three terms are available:
1 year – $20
2 years – $35
3 years – $45

We’ve added an online membership form and online payment through PayPal for new and renewing members.  You can also renew/purchase a membership at our public meeting on 1 April or send us a cheque via post.  See our Membership web page for details.

New membership applications must be approved by the Board of the Friends of the Carp Hills. By becoming a member, you are agreeing in general with the Vision, Mission, and Goals of the organization.

February 2019 – Carp Barrens Human Impact Study

We need to raise $6000 to conduct an ecological assessment of increased human activity on the Carp Barrens.  Read out post here for more information about the study and how to donate or click the button below to go directly to the payment page.

 

2018 Events & News

January 2019 – What We Accomplished in 2018

2018 stands out as the year we accomplished one of our top strategic goals: to secure the 440 acre Honeywell property near the village for conservation and recreation. Thanks to a three year effort by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the City of Ottawa, the land was acquired in early 2018 to be protected in perpetuity.

Here’s what we and our dedicated volunteers accomplished in 2018:

  • We ran three events in 2018: a moonlit snowshoe, a spring ephemerals guided walk, and a fall colours hike.  
  • Certified guide Andrea Prazmowski conducted two popular Forest Therapy walks on the Crazy Horse Trail in the fall, one of which was featured on the BBC radio show Health Check.
  • We held our fifth public meeting in March 2018. Over 35 people attended, including Councillor El-Chantiry.
  • With grant funding from the Community Foundation of Ottawa, we continued to enhance the Crazy Horse Trail by bridging wet areas.
  • With the securement of the 440 acre property in 2018, we signed an agreement with Ducks Unlimited Canada to be their local partners in stewardship of their property. DUC conducted an ecological study and reported the results at their public meeting in November.
  • We also agreed to assist the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust with stewardship and monitoring of their Whaleback Woodland Reserve acquired in early 2018.
  • We held a public meeting in June to discuss the impact of increasing human use of the Carp Barrens.  The City of Ottawa issued  Interim Conservation Measures in response to the feedback we received. Stay tuned for our plans for 2019.
  • In partnership with the Ottawa Stewardship Council, we sponsored a project for third year Environmental Science students at Carleton University for options on how to communicate interpretive information along the Crazy Horse Trail.
  • We published another article about the “History of the Hills” and continued to interview “old timers” about what they can remember about the Carp Hills.
  • We continued an outreach to interested landowners to discuss conservation of their properties. Our partners for this initiative are Ducks Unlimited Canada and Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust.
  • Our Facebook group grew by close to 100 members to 412 at the end of 2018.
  • We sent out 6 newsletters during the year to a subscriber base that grew to 259 by the end of 2018.
  • We ran a logo contest and will be announcing the results some time in January.
  • Nine people are contributing observations of flora and fauna in the Carp Hills using iNaturalist.

11 December 2018 – FCH Logo Contest

We received 13 beautiful submissions for our logo contest.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to capture the spirit of the Carp Hills in their swoops, swirls, and swooshes. We will announce the results in January. For more information about the contest, please read our Logo Contest post.

27 November 2018 – Ducks Unlimited Canada Public Meeting

Well over 70 people came out to Ducks Unlimited Canada’s meeting last night to hear about the ecological assessment done this year on their 440 acre Carp Hills property. DUC emphasized that the land is private property and was bought for conservation as the number one priority. With assistance from FCH, DUC will develop a management plan for recreation on the property. People were able to provide comments and ask questions. We have posted DUC’s presentation and our notes from the meeting. Thank you to Councillor El-Chantiry and Nick Stow from the City of Ottawa for attending and being available to answer questions.

Prior to the meeting, CBC Radio interviewed Mark Gloutney of DUC and Janet Mason of FCH about the Carp Hills and the DUC property. 

DUC acquired the 440 acre property in early 2018 for conservation purposes and held its first public forum in May to receive community feedback on ideas for the property. DUC committed to completing an ecological assessment of the site before developing a property management plan.  View the presentation and Q&A from this meeting here.

24 October 2018 – FCH and DUC Sign Agreement

The Friends of the Carp Hills has signed an agreement with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) to support stewardship of DUC’s 440 acre (178 hectare) property in the Carp Hills.  Read more in our post here.

 

21 October 2018 – Fall Colours Guided Hike

The sun didn’t shine, but we enjoyed the warmth of good company in our invigorating hike up the Carp escarpment to look out over the Carp River valley.  We then headed into the hills for scenic views of giant boulders, wetlands, ponds, mosses, and colourful leaves, and finished back where we started with a bonfire.  Thank you to landowner Greg for opening his property to the public, and to guides Brian and Bernard for leading the group.

13 October 2018 – Forest Therapy Walk in the Carp Hills

Due to demand, we ran another Forest Therapy Walk on the Crazy Horse Trail on Saturday, 13 October from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. Tickets were $22 (plus fees). A portion of the proceeds went to the Friends of the Carp Hills.

Once again we were led by certified Forest Therapy guide Andrea Prazmowski (http://www.foresttherapyottawa.ca). Over the course of the gentle 2.5 hour exploration, Andrea invited the participants to deepen their connection to the forest and nature. Refreshed and calmed by the forest, the walk ended with snacks and tea.

One of the participants in our first forest therapy walk made a lovely video of her experience, which you can view here

30 September 2018 – Interim Conservation Measures for the Carp Barrens

As a result of the public meeting we held and the feedback we received about the Carp Barrens, the City of Ottawa has instituted Interim Conservation Measures to protect the land that it owns in this ecologically sensitive area.  On 13 September the City sent a letter outlining these measures to organizations connected to or known to use the Carp Barrens. Read the letter in our post.

25 September 2018 – SOLD OUT – Forest Therapy Event in the Carp Hills

May the Forest be with you!  Certified Forest Therapy guide Andrea Prazmowski generously donated her time to lead a walk on the Crazy Horse Trail for peace, reflection, and spiritual health.  We had so much interest in this event that we may run another one this fall.

 

22 July 2018 – Carp Barrens Public Feedback

We’ve published the feedback from our public meeting, survey, and request for comments on human use of the Carp Barrens.  See our Carp Barrens Survey Post.

11 June 2018 – Public Meeting on Use of the Carp Barrens

The Friends of the Carp Hills (FCH) invite you to a public meeting at the Huntley Community Centre Mess Hall at 2240 Craig Side Road, on 11 June at 7 p.m. to share your views on the conservation and use of the Carp Barrens on land owned by the City of Ottawa. Councillor El-Chantiry and City staff will be on hand to participate and answer questions.

Public use of the Carp Barrens has increased substantially. Users have created and marked new trails without City authorization. The sensitive vegetation and wildlife of the area have experienced damage and disturbance. Parking on the narrow shoulder of Thomas A. Dolan Parkway creates a safety hazard.

City staff will consider feedback from this meeting in a review of its management practices for sensitive habitats.

For more information about this meeting and how you can participate, please see our Carp Barrens Post.

9 May 2018 – Public Meeting About New DUC Acquisition in the Carp Hills

To see the presentation and the Q&A from the meeting, see our post DUC Carp Hills Property.

5 May 2018 – Ephemeral Nature of Spring Guided Hike

We had perfect weather, no bugs, and a capacity crowd for our spring ephemeral nature hike. Thank you to our guides:  ecologist Cathy Keddy and vocally-challenged field naturalist Art Goldsmith, and to Karen Kreuger who gave voice to Art’s bird sightings and information.  Thanks also to everyone who came out and to those who helped with a donation.  Highlights of the tour were the Yellow-rumped Warbler, the Painted Turtles sunning themselves next to a nesting Canada Goose, and all the beautiful wildflowers: Hepaticas, Trout Lilies, Bloodroot, and Wild Ginger. Photos can be viewed on our Facebook page.

April 2018 – Hidden Lake

The beautiful 121 acre Hidden Lake property will soon have a new resident.  Meet Greg Bell, a young farmer who purchased the land at the end of  2013.  “I was searching for farm land and for some reason the agent brought me to see the Hidden Lake property,” said Greg.  “Although not suitable for farming, its natural beauty and tranquillity resonated with me.  I wanted to live there.”  Read more about Greg and his property.

23 April 2018 – DUC Announces Acquisition of 440 Acres in the Carp Hills

Ducks Unlimited Canada, the City of Ottawa, the Government of Canada and several private donors have joined forces to ensure that a 178 hectare (440-acres) property in the Carp Hills landscape, will remain pristine for wildlife and for people – now, and into the future.   Read DUC’s News Release and more information about this new protected property in the Carp Hills.

20 April 2018 – Whaleback Woodland Reserve Commemoration Ceremony

The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) honoured Carolyn Canfield for her generous donation of the 15.7 acre Whaleback Woodland Reserve in the Carp Hills.  Carolyn gave a passionate speech about the importance of preserving our biodiversity and letting the land evolve naturally.  Read more about Whaleback Woodland Reserve here.

30 March 2018 – MMLT Acquires Conservation Property in the Carp Hills

The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) announced at its AGM last night that it has acquired through donation a 15.7 acre property in the Carp Hills called the Whaleback Woodland Reserve. MMLT will announce further details about the property later in April. The Friends of the Carp Hills are partnered with MMLT for land conservation.  For more information, see Preserving the Carp Hills.

27 March 2018 – Door Prizes and Ducks Unlimited Canada at our AGM and Public Meeting

Over thirty people came out to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Public Meeting on Tuesday night at the Carp Memorial Hall to hear about what we accomplished last year and what we plan for 2018+.  Our guest speaker was Mark Gloutney, Regional Director for Ducks Unlimited Canada, who told us about DUC’s conservation mandate, its activities in the area, and its partnership with Friends of the Carp Hills to conserve land.

Mark tantalized the audience with his comment that there will be a significant announcement on 23 April about the Carp Hills.  Stay tuned!

We were able to raise over $200 with the generous donation of door prizes from many local Carp businesses. Many thanks to the following donors:

  • DEKA Home Hardware – bird feeder and bag of bird seed
  • Carp Ag. Society – 2 admission tickets to the Carp Fair
  • Pawsh Pets – free dog grooming certificate
  • Gloss Hair Salon – $25 gift certificate
  • Pizza Workz – $25 gift certificate
  • Juke Joint – $25 gift certificate
  • Moonstones Gallery and Markerplace (formerly at The Hive, moving soon to D. B. Munro) – lavender candle
  • Carp Bakery – box of a dozen delicious baked goods
  • Maureen Rae – jar of her own maple syrup

28 January 2018 – Celebrate the Winter Blues Moonlight Snowshoe Event

The Blue Moon sailed among the drifting clouds and lit our way over the forest trail.  About twenty people donned snowshoes and crampons to trek a packed snow trail on a mild night at the Carp EcoWellness Centre.  Thank you to our host, Katherine, and to our volunteers for the après snowshoe hot chocolate and goodies.  

2017 Events & News

January 2018 – What We Accomplished in 2017

If you review our Facebook postings from 2017, the words “wet”, “rain”, flooded trail”, and “bugs” are the recurring themes!  2017 was a record year for precipitation, keeping many off the trail all summer and delaying our trail work until the fall, when we finally experienced warm and somewhat drier conditions. 

In 2018 there is more work to do on the trail.   We will also continue to work on conservation activities, and on learning about the ecology and history of the Carp Hills.

Here’s what we and our dedicated volunteers accomplished in 2017:

  • We ran a popular evening snowshoe event in February, which was enjoyed by 60 people from as far away as Crysler and Carleton Place.
  • We held our fourth public meeting in March 2017. Over 35 people attended, including Councillor El-Chantiry.
  • In April we ran a nature photography course, generously offered by Allan Joyner.
  • With grant funding from the Community Foundation of Ottawa, we added directional trail signs in May and we expanded the boardwalks in wet areas in October on the Crazy Horse Trail.
  • We signed an agreement with the City of Ottawa to manage the trail.
  • Botanist Colin Chapman identified rare plants in a fen near the Crazy Horse Trail, including a regionally significant cotton grass that, within Ottawa, had only been found at Mer Bleu.
  • In Carp we hosted the Ontario East Nature Network and took the members on a fall hike in the Hills.
  • Suzanne Monnon led a guided walk about mushrooms in the beautiful woodlands of the Carp EcoWellness Centre.
  • Lichenologist Dr. Troy McMullin checked out the Crazy Horse Trail in November to look for two uncommon lichens and to lend his expertise to identifying some of the lichens on the trail.
  • In partnership with the Ottawa Stewardship Council, we sponsored a project for third year Environmental Science students at Carleton University for a study on human use of the Carp Barrens.
  • Judy Makin and Maureen Rae started interviewing “old timers” about what they can remember about the Carp Hills.
  • We continued an outreach to interested landowners to discuss conservation of their properties. Our partners for this initiative are Ducks Unlimited Canada and Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust.
  • Our Facebook group grew to 330 members at the end of 2017.
  • We sent out 4 newsletters during the year to a subscriber base that had grown to over 240 by the end of 2017.
  • We continued to document the flora and fauna of the Carp Hills using iNaturalist.

26 November 2017 – “Lichen” the Hills

Lichenologist Dr. Troy McMullin checked out the Crazy Horse Trail yesterday to look for two uncommon lichens and to lend his expertise to identifying some of the lichens on the trail. Troy is a research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature and co-author of the book “Common Lichens of Northeastern North America.” In the photo he is showing us Maple Dust, Lecanora thysanophora.

 

13 October 2017 – New Boardwalks

Finally!  The drier weather allowed us to get out and work on the Crazy Horse Trail, clearing overgrown areas and adding two new boardwalks to cross wet areas:  one near the trailhead on the approach to the existing boardwalk and one along the final stretch of the road allowance.  As you can from the photo, it’s wet work!  Board member Brian is a dedicated volunteer and we hope he helps out in 2018, because more trail work is needed.

 

1 October 2017 – ‘Schrooming in the Hills

Fall is a great time to look for mushrooms.  We are holding a guided nature hike about Mushrooms in the Carp Hills on Sunday, 1 October, starting at 1:30pm, on the 4 km trail at the Carp EcoWellness Centre.  Our guide will be Suzanne Monnon, who has been an avid amateur mycologist for many years. She will share her knowledge and enthusiasm in a way that will intrigue adults and children alike and open their eyes to the wonders of the mushroom world.  The guided portion of the hike is expected to last about two hours.Those wishing to then complete the rugged trail loop can do so.   

This is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Carp Hills, so we are requesting a donation of $10 per person (children 16 and under are free).

The Carp EcoWellness Centre is located at 2386 Thomas Dolan Parkway.  Our hosts have generously opened their property to the public for this hike.  Last year botanist Dr. Ted Mosquin walked this property in the fall and was thrilled to find many mushroom species.  Such bio-diversity is an indicator of a healthy and undisturbed forest ecosystem.

Please arrive between 1:00pm and 1:20pm.  You must register and sign a waiver when you arrive.  There is no-preregistration required for this event, but if you’d like to print and fill-out the waiver ahead of time to speed things up, you can download the Waiver here.

Wear hiking boots, suitable clothing, and tuck your pants into your socks.  There may be ticks on the property.  You can bring a knife and small magnifier if you want to examine the mushrooms we will find.

The event will run rain or shine, unless it is really pouring. Mushrooms like rain!

30 September 2017 – We’re Hosting the Ontario East Nature Network in Carp

The Friends of the Carp Hills is hosting the next meeting of the Ontario East Nature Network in Carp on Saturday, 30 September.   We are members of the Nature Network, a group of more than 150 conservation and nature organisations who are members of Ontario Nature, a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members from across Ontario. We are pleased to host the Ontario East meeting and to introduce other nature organizations to our great community and, in particular, to our natural treasure of the Carp Hills.  By introducing like-minded organizations to the Carp Hills, we intend to develop provincial allies in our work to preserve the Hills.

July 2017 – Flooded Trail

It has been a record spring and summer for rainfall.  In one eleven day period in late June/early July, 7.5 inches (190mm) of rain fell in Carp.  On 24 July we had 1.5 inches (39 mm) in less than 24 hours.  All this rain has made the Crazy Horse Trail extraordinarily wet to the point of impassable, especially on the access along the snowmobile trail.  We planned to install a boardwalk on the south side of this section, but it’s been too wet for us to do the work.  Let’s hope for some drier weather in August!

12 May 2017 – New Signs Installed on the Crazy Horse Trail

We installed new directional identification signs on the Crazy Horse Trail to help hikers orient themselves on the trail, especially at intersections with loops.  We added the signs in response to comments from those unfamiliar with the trail who found it difficult to determine how to return to the trailhead.  We also posted tick warning signs.

 

May 2017 – Spring is Tick Season

Photo: Oxford Veterinary Hospital

The Carp Hills host a healthy population of blacklegged ticks, which are the species that carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.  We had the University of Guelph drag a Carp Hills property for blacklegged ticks in the fall of 2016 as part of a research project about Lyme disease.  450 larva, 103 adults, and 3 nymphs were collected.  The 106 adults and nymphs were sent to the lab in Winnipeg.  Of these 53% tested positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.  The property is accessed from Saddlebrook Estates, right in the middle of the Hills between March Road and Thomas Dolan Parkway.  However, it’s likely that this level of infection is typical for the rest of the Hills and this area. Check out Ottawa Public Health’s web page about how to minimize your exposure to ticks.  Read our Ticked Off in the Carp Hills for more information.

29 April 2017 – Outdoor Photography Workshop

How to Get the Photos You Want – Saturday, 29 April, 9am to 4pm, $100 per person

Photo and Copyright by Allan Joyner

You’re on the Crazy Horse Trail and want to capture the brilliant colours of the autumn leaves reflecting in the beaver pond or the white freshness of newly fallen snow backlit by a winter’s sun.  You eagerly download your photos to your computer only to find that the colours are washed out, the snow scene is over-exposed, and the composition is uninspiring.

The Friends of the Carp Hills, in partnership with Carp-based professional photographer Allan Joyner, are offering a photography workshop for people who would like to improve their outdoor photography skills.  Proceeds will be shared with Friends of the Carp Hills.

28 March 2017 – Annual General Meeting and Public Briefing

We’re holding our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, 28 March at 7pm at the Carp Memorial Hall, 3739 Carp Road.  It will be followed at approximately 7:30pm by our fourth public briefing where we’ll talk about our activities and plans for 2017+.  We welcome the community to the AGM, but only members in good standing can vote on the budget and the slate of directors. 

Join us to find out what’s happening, provide feedback, and find out how you can help.  As a community organization we rely on your support and involvement.

11 February 2017 – 60 People Enjoyed Our Night Time Snowshoe Event

Wow!  Sixty people from Ottawa, Almonte, Renfrew, Carleton Place, Crysler, Kanata, and the Carp area came out to enjoy snowshoeing on a beautiful winter’s night in the Carp Hills.  Although the moon did not make an appearance, the ambient light reflected from the snow and the clouds lit our way up rocky slopes and through the White Pine forest on the beautiful 50 acre private property near the village.  We enjoyed the view over the Carp River valley from two lookouts, and then wound our way down the hill, returning to share hot mulled cider, hot chocolate, cookies, and good company.  We’ll have to do this again next year!

2016 Events & News

January 2017 – What We Accomplished in 2016

Alarmed by the expanding urban boundary and the threat this posed to preserving both the wild areas and public recreational use of the Carp Hills, we formed the Friends of the Carp Hills in late 2013.  Because of you – volunteers, donors, the community, and local businesses – we have a new trail on public land, a strong volunteer base, a partnership with a local land trust and with a national organization, an active Facebook page of engaged citizens, and 212 subscribers to our newsletter. Thank you for caring about the Carp Hills.

There is more work to do on the trail in 2017, but we also plan to spend more of our time on conservation activities and on learning about the ecology and history of the Carp Hills.

Here’s what we and our fellow volunteers accomplished in 2016:

  • We changed our name to the Friends of the Carp Hills to better reflect the area we are committed to protecting.
  • We opened the organization to public membership.  For a small fee, members can support our work and participate in how we run the organization.
  • We held our third public meeting in March 2016. About 50 people attended, including Councillor El-Chantiry.
  • We ran two sold out ecological and geological tours along the Crazy Horse Trail in May.
  • With grant funding from the Community Foundation of Ottawa, we enhanced the Crazy Horse Trail experience by adding a boardwalk across a wet area, building a bridge across a channel, adding trail markers, opening new side trails, and installing a trailhead sign. We published new trail maps.
  • We logged 177 volunteer hours of physical work on the trail.
  • We held the official opening of the Crazy Horse Trail in October with the unveiling of the trailhead sign and led a guided hike through the rain with dedicated hikers.
  • We completed two interpretive guides for the Crazy Horse Trail – a detailed version and an abridged version – which are available for download from our web site.
  • We began an outreach to interested landowners to discuss conservation of their properties. Our partners for this initiative are the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust and Ducks Unlimited Canada.
  • Our Facebook group grew to 256 members at the end of 2016.
  • We sent out 4 newsletters during the year to a subscriber base that had grown to 212 by the end of 2016.
  • We held an open house for Hidden Lake residents in February.
  • We began documenting the flora and fauna of the Carp Hills using iNaturalist.

December 2016 – Year End Charitable Donations

If you’re thinking of making a year-end charitable donation and want to contribute to land preservation in the Carp Hills, you can make a donation in cash, cheque, credit or debit card, PayPal) or securities to the Carp Hills Opportunity Fund.  This is a charitable fund administered for the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust by the Community Foundation of Ottawa.  MMLT uses the funds for costs directly linked to the acquisition or donation of land or to the establishment of conservation easements in the Carp Hills. A receipt for tax purposes will be issued. For more information please see Carp Hills Opportunity Fund, where you can make a donation on-line.

Crazy Horse Trail Beaver Pond - photo by Anne Chapman Wong

10 November 2016 – Trailhead Sign Installation Completed

img_1148We completed installation of the Crazy Horse Trail sign at the trailhead on March Road.  We were waiting on our contractor to install the posts.  The sign conforms to City of Ottawa standards and was funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Ottawa.  We have more work planned for the trail next year to deal with wet areas beside the road allowance and to add some interpretive signs.  Thank you to Bernard and Brian for completing the installation.

16 October 2016 – Trailhead Sign Ceremony & Group Hike

bernard-and-eliWe unveiled the Crazy Horse trailhead sign and held a short ceremony to thank all those who have contributed to improvements of the trail:  the volunteers, the Community Foundation of Ottawa (funding), Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (charitable partner), Councillor Eli El-Chantiry (pictured at the left with Bernard, our trail coordinator), and Deka Home Building in Carp.  It takes a community to build a 200 foot boardwalk and a bridge, put up trail markers, clear new trails, and develop a trailhead sign.  Thank you!

some-intrepid-hikersDespite the rain, intrepid hikers set out on the trail and completed either the shorter side loops or the longer main trail and loop around the beaver pond.  The rain-washed autumn colours were brilliant!

4 October 2016 – Bridge Completed

img_1092Volunteers have completed the bridge across the beaver pond channel.  With thanks to a private landowner in Westwood Estates, we had a “short cut” across his property to haul in the lumber out to the site.  This was still a significant distance, so thank you to the strong armed volunteers for helping with this physically demanding work.

 

 

1 October 2016 – Trail Clearing

bernard-with-trimmerMaintenance of the Crazy Horse Trail and side loops started last weekend with routine cutting back of summer growth.  We also started major work on clearing a new section of trail to the south of and parallel to the road allowance, which is frequently flooded.  Most of this area is on higher ground, but it will still require some bridging over low areas, which will be possible without interfering with the snowmobiles.

September 2016 – Volunteers Needed For Trail Maintenance

Message from Bernard, Trail Coordinator:  “The hot and dry weather we have had over the summer was good for the trail.  People have been using the main trail, which means that it is well worn and relatively free from overgrowth.  That said, the two new loops need some work as they have seen less traffic.  There are a couple of sections on those trails that show lots of overgrowth, but nothing that can’t easily be fixed with some loppers and cutters.”

This fall five days have been scheduled for trail maintenance: four for clearing and one for building a bridge that connects a channel by the large beaver pond.  Please see our Facebook page for dates.  If you’d like to volunteer, but haven’t received an email, please contact us.

August 2016 – New Side Loops Added to Crazy Horse Trail

IMG_1108We’ve marked two new side loops with scenic lookouts on the Crazy Horse Trail.  A few hundred meters after you leave the snowmobile road allowance and enter the main trail, look for yellow trail markers on your left.  One side loop takes you beside a grassy wetland and around a small pond.  The other takes you over rock barrens and through a pine forest.  Look for blue trail markers and lookout signs for scenic views.  We’ve also published a new trail map and an abridged interpretive guide to help you enjoy the new additions to the trail.

8 June 2016 – Trail Boardwalk Completed!

IMG_0858

We have completed construction of the 200 foot boardwalk through a wet area of the Crazy Horse Trail.  The boardwalk will keep people on the trail and prevent the creation of ever-widening circles by hikers seeking drier ground. There is still more work to do bridging other wet areas on the trail, but this was the longest span. Funding was provided by a grant from the Community Foundation of Ottawa. Lumber at an excellent price was provided by Deka Home Building Centre in Carp.

Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped with the construction, and especially Bernard and Brian.

4 June 2016 – Trail Boardwalk Construction Underway

BridgeThe dry weather allowed us to begin construction of the 200 foot boardwalk over the small  creek and wet area near the beginning of the trail.  Planned with military precision by our trail coordinator Bernard, the project unfolded with pre-cut lumber and delivered boards being assembled and placed on site.

 

DekaThank you to Deka Home Building Centre in Carp for helping with the cost of the lumber.  Your support is appreciated!!!

This project has been made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of Ottawa and by our dedicated volunteers.

Team

7 May 2016 – Crazy Horse Nature Tours Enjoyed By All

Over fifty participants attended our two guided tours on the Crazy Horse Trail to learn more about the natural history of the Carp Hills and how this affects the terrain and the plants that inhabit the forest, uplands, and wetlands.  We learned that the composition of the underlying bedrock determines what type of plants like to grow on it.  The trail offers a stark contrast between calcareous (lime) loving forest plants at its beginning and plants that tolerate acid, poor soils as the bedrock changes abruptly from marble to mainly monzonite and gneiss.

More information about the trail’s natural history and ecology is available in our interpretive guide, which we revise in an ongoing basis as we learn more about this special area of the Canadian Shield, unique within the City of Ottawa.

Owen and ButternutThank you to Owen Clarkin for donating his time and sharing his extensive knowledge of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.

 

 

John and FoliationThank you to John McEwen for donating his time and expertise, and telling us about the turbulent history of the Carp Hills, whose rocks began their formation between 1.6 and 1.3 billion years ago.