I work from my home office here in Kemptville Ontario. I talk to my mum just about every other day over the phone. On this day (Monday November 4th, 2019) my mother suggested that we go for a walk. I agreed and thought that if she came to Kemptville from her home in Mountain, we could enjoy the Ferguson Tree Nursery – with my lovely dog Oakley. Walks are so much better when you bring your dog and your mom! She agreed and said she that was “leaving right now” and arrived 90 minutes later.
The Ferguson Tree Nursery, formerly called the Ferguson Forest Center (F.F.C.) is literally steps away from the Town of Kemptville. It is located behind the St. Michael’s Catholic High School and is Easter Ontario’s largest supplier of high-quality trees and shrubs. Our community is very proud of the Ferguson Tree Nursery and all that it has to offer. The community advocates to keep the forest as it is, and any local long term resident will be able to see how much this land is used by residents and visitors, and how valuable it is to this community.
I have lived in Kemptville since I was 12 years old and enjoyed the Ferguson Tree Nursery trails as a young teen. Back then the trails were much smaller and less travelled. There was more deer – you could take a drive at nighttime and count twenty, thirty, or forty or more deer in the fields grazing. Now the Ferguson Tree Nursery is a popular spot for residents and visitors and is becoming more prevalent all the time.
We drove over to the trails in two vehicles because we wanted to conserve our energy for the forest, and my mother does not tolerate a dog in her vehicle. I don’t blame her because Oakley can get fairly dirty.. We parked our vehicles behind the nursery just behind the North Grenville Fire Service building (another gem of this community) next to the start of the Forest Management Trail. Oakley of course bounced out of the car and onto the forest floor with that beautiful thumping forest floor sound. I love that hollow sound!
Once inside the trees the weather was perfect! While we were initially concerned about the November wind, it was completely still once in the cover of the trees.
Oakley thundered through the trails, in and off the path; chasing squirrels, chipmunks, and who knows what. You’re really not supposed to have your dog off leash in the North Grenville area however people are generally tolerant so long as you respect others’ enjoyment of the trails and promptly put your pup back on leash when within in ear or eye shot of other humans.
It didn’t take long for Oakley to get work up some heat and decided to take a mud bath. It’s a good thing we brought two cars! A puppy s’paw’ day.
Oakley and I take this trail loop regularly however usually on my mountain bike. While a little short for the avid mountain biker/cyclist, it does provide an excellent opportunity to at least get out and ride (you can always do the loop twice).
We very much enjoyed our walk with good chats. At one point we hid on Oakley to see how she would react. Adorable but I couldn’t endure her feeling lost for too long and let her know where we were – of course I was then greeted by fully relieved and happy dog.
On our way back we found some beautiful pinecones which had naturally fallen from the trees due to the recent strong winds at the tips. My mother and I collected them while Oakley bounced around – we will use them for the upcoming Christmas season – they also smell amazing.
North Grenville is actively expanding their trail network via the Trails Strategy. At one time you could expect to be alone in this forest, now you can expect to see at least one or two groups of people on your nature walk. I think the best time to enjoy the F.F.C trails is during the week while most people are at their day routine. It is much busier around lunch time on the weekends and holidays.
The F.F.C also has an off-leash dog park now, so your pup can socialize with other four legged ‘frens’. There is also a beautiful trail called the Turtle Trail that meanders along the South Branch of the Rideau River (aka Kemptville Creak). This trail offers a shelter ideal for picnic or community event, and a docking facility ideal for canoes and other non-motorized boats. If you follow Honour Way back far enough, it will take you to the ‘mouth’ of the South Branch of the Rideau River. This is a pupular area to bring your ice fishing hut out onto the ice in the winter.
I hope you have enjoyed this Blog post. My name is Krista George and I am a REALTOR® in the Kemptville, North Grenville, Ontario area. I have lived, worked and played in this area since 1992. I take a lot of pride in my community and knowing the lay of the land. If there is anything I can do to help you buy or sell in this area I encourage you to reach out.
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