One morning this past weekend we went exploring a new-to-us trail in the Greater Madawaska Valley, the Eagle’s Nest, a trail which leads to an Algonquin sacred site.
Walking up the trail we saw signs of autumn’s arrival all around us, on the ground beneath us as well as in the sky above.
The kids had so much fun spotting and showing me all the various and beautiful fungi and berries. It makes me so happy when the boys are the ones excited to show me their discoveries, rather than the always having it the other way around.
There were many wonderful, unexpected surprises too. At about the halfway point on the trail, we came across a community of inuksuit. How fun!
Don’t worry, Sam was careful. Did you know it is forbidden to destroy an inuksuk in traditional Inuit culture?
As the trail wove its way through the woods we saw so many little holes and crevices that we imagined were the homes to all sorts of creatures, this one maybe for the chipmunks… I love the lichen covered “doorway”.
And can’t you just imagine a small litter of wolf pups peeking out of these rocks in early spring?… or, more eerily, a cougar slinking out for the hunt?
Our trail followed a ledge of cliffs and every now and then we would get a glimpse of the view below.
Until finally, we reached our destination, the Eagle’s Nest.
The entrance sign to the Eagle’s Nest sacred site 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, Eagle’s a bird of Great Wisdom and Vision and when we visit its nest to be nourished and inspired by all 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 “vision quest” for spiritual guidance not only from Eagle, but from ALL Manitous and The Great Spirit.
What a view! I admit I will probably enjoy it better when the kids are older and not as likely to cause my heart to skip a beat with each step they take closer to the precipice… but perhaps that is part of my own spirit quest… in any case, this was an experience none of us will forget soon.
Thank you for joining me on our journey. Have you gone on any memorable adventures recently? What did you see? I’d love to hear about it.
Wishing you a wonderful day, full of discovery.
p.s. For any of you in the Ottawa Valley area interested in hiking this trail, you can find more information (directions, trailhead, alternate access etc. ) about it here.