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Bill Holland Trail


The BILL HOLLAND Trail (2.4 km, about 45 minutes) is named after a local naturalist and birder who catalogued much of the wildlife on Petrie Island in the 1960s. The trail was so named at the request of the Grandmaitre family when the sold the island to the Regional Municipality in 1982. It starts at the end of Turtle Trail and follows the access road which passes a private house and proceeds in an upstream direction with the Ottawa River on the right and several inland ponds on the left. A viewing platform, gate and information board mark the entry to a more sensitive area where bicycles are prohibited. On the right is a privately owned lot that was raised with stone many years ago. This site is home to the rare Goats-rue flower and Black Locust tree. Continuing along the trail there are wooden boxes mounted on trees these are Wood duck breeding boxes maintained by the Ottawa Duck Club . This section of the trail supports a wide variety of wildflowers from May through September.

The rocky base for most of this trail is not natural but was built as a road for cottage lots, surveyed but never developed. Portions of the trail are prime turtle nesting areas and fragments of turtle egg shells that have been predated by raccoons are often visible. The trail continues through a wooded area until another pond, Muskrat Bay, is observed on the left. It ends at an observation platform overlooking a small pond divided by a sand spit that is a popular snapping turtle nesting area. The west end of the island beyond this point is a wildlife refuge, and people are requested to stay out of this area. To return, retrace the trail or follow the side trail along the main river shore (River Loop) - a short path leads from the observation platform north to the Ottawa river and a natural sandy shoreline follows this back to the main trail. Cross the Bill Holland Trail southward to Beaver Loop, on Muskrat Bay, where Beaver lodges can be viewed on the banks. The trail then goes through a large stand of the rare Hackberry tree with a ground cover of Ostrich and Lady ferns beneath the trees. Heading back on the main trail you will pass two low areas on the river side where Speckled Alder shrubs and other plants that can tolerate very wet conditions grow.


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Have you traveled this trail?

If you have any corrections or new information you'd like to send us, we'd love your input. Also, any photos or videos you may have taken of your adventures on this or any other trail are welcome as well. Be a part of our trail community!

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