I packed up my lunch at Manotick Branch and proceeded back across the bridge to leave town, heading south along River Road.
River Road is by far the most direct route between Manotick and Osgoode, but the shoulders weren’t paved and I wasn’t particularly thrilled to ride on the road. Fortunately, traffic was fairly sparse and there were lots of sights to see, including charming farms and the Rideau River itself.
My planned route included a left turn onto the gravelly Flag Station Road. I was a bit dubious at first, but quickly realized that the GPS did know best this time, and that after only a short ride, the road intersected with the Osgoode-Leitrim Multi-Use Pathway. Yes!
I cruised along the pathway without a care in the world. It was so nice to forget about traffic and enjoy a shaded ride through the countryside. I also met a new canine friend out for a walk on the path.
The pathway goes straight into Osgoode, and there’s even a bike repair station. I turned left to continue along Main Street through town.
After just a short ride along Main Street I found myself at Osgoode Branch. It was a quiet spot, close to the community centre, park, and several sports fields. I took a few moments to look around, then continued along Main Street for a refuelling stop.
The sky was getting much greyer at this point, so I chose not to dawdle and hopped back on the back to return to the pathway and head for my campsite.
I continued along the pathway until Snake Island Road, then turned left. I crossed the Rideau River at Kars, biked into town and proceeded through the community along a multi-use path. Nice!
I left Kars along Rideau Valley Drive South, which flanks the opposite side of the Rideau River. This was an easy ride without much traffic at all. There were horses! And gliders!
When I turned the bend at the Kars/Rideau Valley Air Park, the weather took a definitive turn toward rain showers. I grabbed my jacket, made sure my pannier covers were well-secured, and braced myself for the final 10 km or so.
I have to say, despite the rain, I was feeling pretty thrilled to have made it to the outer edge of Ottawa, and was positively beaming by the time I made it to the Rideau River Provincial Park.
I set up my tent in the rain, cleaned up for a bit, took a light snooze and woke for an evening stroll around the park. Not a bad way to end a 55 km day.
Twelve branches down, 21 to go.