Being an outdoor enthusiast during non-mosquito season, I am always looking for new places to see and photograph. If there is a walking trail, great; if a body of water is nearby, even better.
In August, I stumbled upon Remic Rapids Park; as soon as I looked at the photo and saw the rock sculptures created by John Felice Ceprano, I knew I would go there - and I have visited the park multiple times, taken various photos at different angles and, yet, there are areas I have yet to explore.
Come along! I will show you moments of a few afternoons spent at Remic Rapids Park - some during summer and, the others, during winter.
During summer, the park is a scenic waterfront location offering its visitors a walking trail, picnic tables and areas to sit and immerse themselves in nature. They can walk the rocky areas of the shoreline, if they so desire, looking for the perfect angle to capture photos of the rock sculptures and surrounding area.
The rock sculptures and rapids are not the only areas of interest at Remic Rapids; the trees demand attention as well. Some provide a little shade for picnics while others would be the center of attention in many photos. On a personal note, I enjoy sitting on one of the branches to relax and take photos from various angles. Other times, I enjoy bringing a chair or picnic blanket, looking out at the water until the sun begins to set while using a tree as my personal canopy.
Sometimes there are ducks to captivate my attention; as I am relaxing they come closer and look at me then move away. One time, a duck waddled its way onto shore coming within a couple of feet from me as I was sitting in my chair at ground level. We looked each other in the eye for a few minutes before it turned and went back into the water.
During winter, the Remic Rapids Park has a different kind of beauty. Though most rock sculptures would have fallen apart from varying water levels and ice accumulation, the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail is used for walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing; it even has a little descent in part of the trail which some skiers use to practice their downhill skiing techniques.
To get some distance from skiers, snowshoers can go off the trail toward the shore area. Parents can pull their children on sleds in the park, too - and the park is pet-friendly. A point worthy of mention is the year-round washroom - a definite bonus for anyone planning to be in the area for more than an hour or two.
As in summer, the trees can still be photographed and enjoyed. Leave the snow on the branches or brush it off and sit for a few minutes; the choice is yours - but I LOVE trees! They provide many wonderful photo opportunities and, if you are adventurous and would like to have a picnic outside during winter, there are a few picnic tables which can be used.
I have enjoyed my visits to NCC's Bistro during summer; the food and atmosphere was great - not to mention views of the water on a warm, sunny day. Though I have dined on outside patios as an extension of a restaurant, they usually close for the winter. As such, no opportunity presented itself to experience what it feels like to be in an outside dining area during winter months.
Skiers can stand their skis and poles in a certain area of The Bistro; as for snowshoes, I wore mine inside (if I may use that term) since there was ample space to move.
The menu depends upon the season. During winter, it definitely focuses on keeping people warm - so soup and chili would be a common dining item, as well as a variety of panini sandwiches. There is a selection of hot and cold beverages, as well. During summer, there is a more varied menu since there isn't the concern about food freezing before customers can finish eating.
The Bistro is awesome during summer; during winter, though, it seems to have a magical effect. I enjoy the way it is set up, making it look comfortable and cozy despite the snow blanketing its floor. Of course, the trees lined along the wall facing the water helps provide this effect since it helps block any wind coming from that direction. There are a few areas where customers can sit to relax and other areas where they can stand, if preferred; I enjoy standing so I can look at the water and trees as I watch skiers move along the trail. The Bistro definitely provides a very quaint atmosphere.
I was smitten with the area from the first time I took a glance into the magical Winter Wonderland of the NCC Bistro. Brad wears numerous hats - including being the President of Nature's Window - a 36-year-old giftware manufacturer and distributor of home decor products catering to nature, wildlife and pet enthusiasts - but The Bistro has become his outdoor sanctuary.
Before leaving The Bistro, I asked Brad if I could take a photo of him and the guy working with him, whose name I later learned was Kirk; they were happy to oblige. Little did I know CTV News would be interviewing Brad about the little bistro. I enjoyed watching it and, if you would like to see it, you can see the video clip here at CTV News.
NCC has three scenic Ottawa patios but only the Remic Rapids Bistro is open. The hours are 11:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Depending upon customer demand, they may stay open a little later.
I can now enjoy snowshoeing adventures most weekends and return to The Bistro to enjoy the atmosphere. There's a charm about it; I cannot imagine ever growing tired of being there.
Published Monday, January 23, 2023