Ottawa Valley Treasure ~ Eagle’s Nest Lookout

  • Published on May 11 2012 |
  • This article is tagged as: storyteller

Imagine being an eagle - soaring on your great, powerful wings across a cool, clear, spring sky. Below you see a quiet, lush pond surrounded by trees as your eye scans in all directions.  From below, humans stand quietly watching you fly by.

Eagle’s Nest Sacred Site is among one of the Ottawa Valley’s treasures. Located no more than 4 KM from Calabogie Peaks Resort, Eagle’s Nest Sacred Site is a breathtaking lookout point that is sacred to the Aboriginal peoples of the area.  The area’s first inhabitants were the Algonquin and to some extent the Ojibway.  These peoples have always regarded the eagle as a very spiritual creature or “manitou”, meaning spirit.

On your way up to this point you’ll see a sign that reads:

The Eagle is sacred to all First Nations People upon Turtle Island (North America). Eagle soars in the sky and sees things clearly in all the sacred directions and colours; east, south, west, north, below, above and centre. Thus, the Eagle is a bird of Great wisdom and vision and when we visit its nest to be nourished and inspired by all the Eagle represents. When Eagle flies highest he transforms into Thunderbird, the Manitou or Spirit that flies closest to Kitchi Manitou – The Great Spirit. Where Eagle exists is considered sacred; a place of power and good medicines where people may come to see a “great view” or even to “vision quest” for spiritual guidance not only from Eagle, but from all Manitous and the Great Spirit.

Visitors can hike up just to see the Eagle’s Nest, or take a longer hike through the magnificent trails. The total hike is 8km from Calabogie Peaks Resort and back, but there is also an alternate entrance off Calabogie Road for those who may wish for a more speedy ascent to the lookout.

On your trek you may observe a vast array of wildlife ~ but only if you are quiet and attentive to your surroundings. You may encounter raccoons, squirrels, porcupines, beavers, chipmunks, deer, mice, striped skunks, minks, red otters, and – very rare, but still present – coyotes, timber wolves, and black bears. Birds may be witnessed as well, flying overhead or gliding across the water include turkey vultures, ravens, blue herons or, if you’re lucky a bald eagle. The towering native trees of this area include Red Oak, Sugar Maple, Big Tooth Aspen, Eastern White Cedar, White Pine, and Eastern Hemlock, and engulf the region, providing shade, shelter and nutrients to the wildlife that call this area home.

My last visit to Eagle’s Nest I had the privilege of watching a majestic bird soaring back and forth across the sky above, perhaps scouting the area for a meal, or as I like to believe, it was the Great Spirit making its presence known in our lives.