NeilyWorld  Birding Ottawa - Southeast - Mer Bleue / French Hill Loop


DOLMAN RIDGE ROAD & TRAILS

Spring: **  Summer: **  Fall: **  Winter: ***

        Independent Directions to this Site: From Highway 417 (The Queensway) take exit 112 (Innes Road). If travelling west, the 0.2 km offramp dumps you right or northeast onto Innes. If driving east, a 0.3 km offramp brings you to Innes Road, where you will turn left or northeast onto it and in 0.5 km join the westbound offramp traffic. Both groups will now follow Innes Road northeast 1.8 km from here to Anderson Road. Turn right or southeast into Anderson Road and go 3.0 km to Dolman Ridge Road. Turn left or east into Dolman Ridge.
        Mer Bleue - French Hill Loop Route Directions: From Highway 417 (The Queensway) take exit 112 (Innes Road). If travelling west, the 0.2 km offramp dumps you right or northeast onto Innes. If driving east, a 0.3 km offramp brings you to Innes Road, where you will turn left or northeast onto it and in 0.5 km join the westbound offramp traffic. Both groups will now follow Innes Road northeast 1.8 km from here to Anderson Road. Turn right or southeast into Anderson Road and go 3.0 km to Dolman Ridge Road. Turn left or east into Dolman Ridge.
Map of Dolman Ridge Road area
Map of Dolman Ridge Road area
        Site Description and Birding Information: This road, beginning at the Anderson Road or western end, offers one entry point to view parts of the Mer Bleue complex. Check the west end of the Dolman Ridge Road, in the field to the north, for Northern Shrike, present some years. There are hiking and skiing trails accessible from the Dewberry Trail parking area 0.9 km east on Dolman Ridge, where there is also a small winter feeding station on the south side of the parking lot. The feeder is operated by the OFNC. The Dewberry Trail is a short 1 km loop. But trail # 50 also passes here. Trail # 50 makes a 6.3 km loop, crossing Dolman Ridge Road once and Anderson Road twice before returning. It connects this site to the Anderson Road Trails site.
OFNC Feeder at Dewberry Trail Parking Area
OFNC Feeder at Dewberry Trail Parking Area
         Another area to explore here is the east end of Dolman Ridge Road, now gated farther west than before, where you can park and walk the old roadbed and trail heading east. WARNING: There is a warning sign here to beware unexploded Second World War bombs. It was an airforce practice area then. So you enter at your own risk. But since hundreds of people walk the trail itself, as long as you don't wander off the beaten path, you should be okay. This trail eventually crosses Mer Bleue. Many good birds have been seen here, especially in winter. Among them Northern Hawk Owl (Dec. 2, 1990 to Feb. 23, 1991) and Gray Jay (Dec. 9, 1990).
View of the East End of Dolman Ridge Road
View of the East End of Dolman Ridge Road
         The coniferous forest in Mer Bleue provides a boreal element, attractive to northern birds wintering here. Seen in the area are such species as Pine Grosbeak, Bohemian Waxwing, American Tree Sparrow, Northern Goshawk, Pergrine Falcon, Northern Shrike, Common Redpoll, and once in a long while a Hoary Redpoll. Great Horned Owl can be seen along the road at dusk. A Gyrfalcon made a trip through once in the distant past (Feb. 1973). You never know.
         If you have done this loop so that you've finished it here, rather than beginning it here, and have time to spare, the following Ottawa River East: Ontario sites are only 7 to 10 km to the north: Mouth of Green's Creek, Teal Cove Marshes and Petrie Islands. As well the Airport Loop's Pine Grove Trails (Davidson Road) site is only 5 km to the SSW.
        Mer Bleue - French Hill Loop Route Directions: From the junction of Dolman Ridge Road and Anderson Road, turn left or SSE onto Anderson and proceed 0.7 km to the parking area on the right for the this loop's next site, the Anderson Road Trails.
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Copyright 2000 - 2009     Larry E. Neily
Last update:  October 27, 2009