[ This is part one of a two-part ride to Hazeldean and Stittsville branches. ]

When I started this project back in early June, I inadvertently found a gang of library people on a similar mission. You’re met Jane, who is sharing photos on this blog. Today I rode to Hazeldean with Barb and Kevin.

After finding each other at the Remic Bistro, we rode west along the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, taking advantage of the NCC’s NOKIA Sunday Bikedays program. Near Mud Lake, we turned off of the SJAM to proceed along the Ottawa River Pathway toward Britannia Beach.

After snapping a few photos and admiring Barb and Kevin’s new ebikes, we hopped back onto the path. At Andrew Haydon Park, we crossed Carling Avenue to follow the Watts Creek Pathway / Trans Canada Trail through Bayshore toward Moodie Drive. The Queensway and Transitway were nearby, but we cruised along happily on our protected path.

After crossing back under the Queensway, we followed the trail network to Bells Corners. I’ve driven under the rail overpass on Robertson Road many times, but always figured it was for, well, rail. It was at some point, like several of the trails I’ve featured in this blog, but in 2020 it is a nice pea gravelled bike and pedestrian crossing above a busy thoroughfare.

From Bells Corners, the pathway continues in a straight line all the way to Kanata, with the gentle grade that rail trails often have. Before long, the trio arrived in Kanata, and once off the pathway, it was a quick zig zag through a residential neighbourhood to find Hazeldean branch on Castlefrank Road.

To the my non-expert eye, Hazeldean branch is solidly constructed (dare I say, bunker-esque?) with cool angles and close proximity to the Glen Cairn Community Centre, Pool and Tennis Club. Barb filled me in on the renovations that happened here in 2012, and both remembered attending the post-reno reopening.

After looking around and taking our photos, I hemmed and hawed about proceeding onward to Stittsville. I hadn’t originally planned to, but I was reminded that it was only a quick ride down the path and that Quitters Coffee shares a large outdoor patio with an ice cream shop. It didn’t take much convincing. We rode back to the pathway, bid each other farewell, and I continued west.

Nineteen branches down, 14 to go.