Stony Swamp

Photo of a forest trail and wooden footbridge
Discover the trails and wetlands of Stony Swamp!

A network of beaver ponds, wetlands and forests is located in Stony Swamp, southwest of Ottawa. At Stony Swamp you will find wetland boardwalks and interpretive exhibits on geology and natural history. There are over 40 kilometres of trails at Stony Swamp, making it the section of the Greenbelt with the most trails. Some Stony Swamp trails connect to the Trans Canada Trail and the Rideau Trail. The Lime Kiln trail passes a historic kiln, the Sarsaparilla Trail has a dock extending onto a beaver pond and the Jack Pine Trail crosses beaver ponds. There is also a Wild Bird Care Centre in Stony Swamp.

Habitats, Flora and Fauna

Stony Swamp is the most ecologically diverse protected area in the Ottawa Valley. The swamps bedrock dates back to Precambrian times, the earliest geologic age. Stony Swamp is classified as a Provincially Significant Wetland and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI). The area has over 700 species of plants — the largest total of any area in Canada’s Capital Region. Stony Swamp is home to 63 species of regionally rare plants, 11 of which exist nowhere else in the Greenbelt.

A variety of reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds make their home at Stony Swamp. The area has 251 regionally rare bird species. This includes 17 species at risk, like the northern goshawk. There are many interesting habitats, such as:

  • a Sugar Maple forest
  • small alvar clearings
  • boggy wetlands
  • regenerating pastures
  • a lichen population designated as a species at risk.

Things to Do at Stony Swamp

Stony Swamp has the most trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the Greenbelt. You can also ride your bike at Stony Swamp, which contains part of the Greenbelt Pathway West and connects to the Trans Canada Trail and the Rideau Trail. There is a toboggan hill at Bruce Pit, as well as areas for off-leash dog walking.


Stony Swamp has outhouses located at the following parking lots: P5, P7, P8, P9, P11, P12 and P13. See the map for more details.

Parking Free, year-round parking is available at the P4 to P13 parking lots.
Picnic Areas There is a picnic area by the Jack Pine Trail and a sheltered picnic area by the Sarsaparilla Trail.
Universal Accessibility The Sarsaparilla Trail is universally accessible. As is the dock extending out onto the beaver pond off the Sarsaparilla Trail.

For more information see the Greenbelt’s visitor information.