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Petawawa Research Forest

START / FINISH:-Petawawa Research Forest
-On the west side Hwy 17, north of Petawawa.
HIGHLIGHTS:-National Research Forest
-Trail with forest descriptions
SURFACE:-Pavement: 4 km
-Gravel: 7 km
TIME ALLOWANCE:-Beginner: 1.5 hr
-Intermediate: 1 hr
-Advanced: 45 minutes

Petawawa Research Forest, established in 1917, is a 100 sq km tract of forested land. This public resource has been an area for research studies and demonstrations, as well as logging activities. The forest lies on the edge of the vast Canadian Shield and within the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence forest region. The terrain is covered with mixed forest. The prime forest species are white pine and aspen, followed by red oak, red pine, white birch, maple and white spruce.

In 1998, the Petawawa Research Forest established an interpretive bike trail to allow access to some of the trails in the forest. This interpretive trail is well marked with red bike signs. Along the way, stop at the large green “Forest Description” signs that describe some of the research activities currently underway at the Petawawa Research Forest.


  • Park in parking lot behind the Visitor Centre. You can pick up a detailed trail map at the Visitor Centre.
  • From parking lot, turn left for 1.5 km. You will see a red bike sign on your left. Turn left onto gravel road and walk around the fence.
  • Following the red bike signs will lead you through this network of trails. (At just over 2 km, red bike sign can be difficult to see at Y-intersection.)
  • This trail takes you through a sugar bush where you can see a sugar shack.
  • From the sugar shack, continue on the road until you come to a paved road (Clouthier Rd).
  • Turn right on the paved road and ride back to the parking area.

Points of Interest

The Petawawa Research Forest has a number of interesting individual trees and tree plots. At the junction of Branstead Rd and Clouthier Rd you will find a number of unusual trees including a Amur Cork, a Black Walnut and a yellow leaved Petawawa Sunburst Spruce (See map). Also, while biking back on Clouthier Rd look out for towering White Pines planted in 1912 on two of the oldest sample plots in the forest reserve (See map).