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Macnamara Trail

TRAIL TYPE:Unpaved trails, including boardwalks
DIFFICULTY:Easy slopes

This 4 km long interpretive trail in the Nopiming Game Sanctuary is an exceptional example of its kind, with boardwalks and an observation tower providing a grandstand view of the natural world. Access to the reserve is courtesy of BASF Canada Inc., which owns the land. A booklet written by Michael Runtz is provided at the kiosk and describes Charles Macnamara and the natural features found at each of the 19 numbered stops along the trail.

How to get there
Driving up Hwy 17, from Ottawa, take the first turnoff into Arnprior, along Madawaska Blvd. (Alternatively, leave Hwy 17 at the traffic lights, and approach the town via Daniel St). Turn north off Madawaska Blvd. at McNab St. and park on your right by the kiosk at the entrance to the trail.


  • Follow the blue and white hiking symbols. At STOP #3 are found Showy Lady's-slippers.
  • An old lime kiln is found at STOP #5. Take the left hand trail to STOP #6. Here there are rare Walking Ferns, which walk across the marble outcrop with new plants sprouting where the fine pointed frond touches the limy soil. The look-out tower at STOP #7 gives views over the marsh to the Ottawa River on the right.
  • Other STOPS point out other vegetation, such as striped maple at STOP #10, found along the trail and different forms of tree cavities (STOPS #13 and #15) sculptured by woodpeckers.

Further Information

At the entrance to the trail pick up the excellent Macnamara Trail guide by Michael Runtz published by the Macnamara Field Naturalists' Club.