• By: OLM Staff

BEST OF OTTAWA 2021: Bikes Paths and Walking Trails

After over 20-years writing about life in Ottawa, we think we have a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer. In this weekly series, we share our picks with you — our top spots for takeout, live music venues, local brews, bands and more. Check, share and discuss #OLMBest every week!

The Great Trail of Canada/Ottawa River Pathway

Directly behind the Chateau Laurier is a paved trail along the river. This path is ideal for cyclists, and allows people to run or walk. Surrounded by nature, this picturesque pathway leads all the way to Britannia.

Pinhey Forest Trail, Nepean

Located just south of the Nepean Sportsplex, the Pinhey Forest offers 6.4 kilometres of trails and is recommended for hiking, walking, running, and cross-country skiing in the winter. The trail is named after the Ottawa resident who donated the land in order to perserve the 10,000-year-old sand dune ecosystem. 

PHOTO: National Capital Commission

Mer Bleue Conservation Loop Trail

Known for its famous boardwalk path, the Mer Bleue Conservation Loop Trail is a scenic route, featuring tall grasses and moss. The trail is home to many rare plant types, typical of a northern boreal landscape.
PHOTO: Sofia Donato

Mud Lake Trail

This 2.4 kilometer trail loops around Ottawa’s Mud Lake and is used for hiking, bird watching and walking but don’t bring your pooch — no dogs allowed. The trail is an NCC protected conservation area that is a great place to spot migratory birds. As summer is approaching, the charming trail is a perfect way to catch some sun! 
PHOTO: Mckenzie Donovan

Pink Lake Loop

Located in Gatineau Park, the Pink Lake Trail is a 2.3 kilometer loop around the lake. With several sets of stairs, this intermediate level trail is one hour long. Don’t forget to pack a water bottle and sunscreen, and you’re good to go!
PHOTO: Mohammed Asif via Alltrails

Leamy Lake Trail

This bike-friendly trail is a 2.4 kilometre loop located in Gatineau. Bring a lunch and picnic at one of the many tables near the beach or jump off onto one of the connecting trails and keep on exploring. With impressive views, the Leamy Lake Trail is a fun way to spend a summer day.
PHOTO: Edward B via Alltrails

Jack Pine Trail

Located in the Stony Swamp Sector of the Greenbelt, the Jack Pine Trail is split into three loops. The trails are perfect for hiking year round, and even skiing or snowshoeing in the winter. The area is also home to many bird species and more than 560 native plants.
PHOTO: Nicole Lavigne via Alltrails

Rideau Canal Pathway

The Rideau Canal Pathway is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll, a morning run or a bike ride. This multi-purpose path hugs the length of the canal on both sides and leads from Hog’s Back Falls towards Ottawa’s downtown core.

Greenbelt Pathways

Ottawa’s Greenbelt pathways feature over 150 kilometers of paths and trails, and is part of a conservation area of over 20, 000 hectares. The paths vary from difficult hikes to smooth paths on level ground. The Greenbelt pathway has something for everyone! Visit the NCC’s website to download a map.
PHOTO: Gordon Holstead via Alltrails

Mackenzie King Estate

Originally owned by Canada’s 10th Prime Minister, the Mackenzie King Estate is open to the public. Visit the tea room (open from the May long weekend until Thanksgiving) for a light lunch or stop for an ice cream after roaming the grounds — the architectural features are make great backdrops for photos and kids loves to run around the the grassy area. Head out along the hiking trails and take in the beautiful view of west Quebec.