Explore the Best of Ottawa’s Outdoors this Summer

Explore the best of Ottawa this summer by cycling through the Gatineau Hills to hiking up the Eardley Escarpment. Ottawa is not only a government city but, one full of nature and hidden gems. Celebrate the best of Ottawa, this summer, through exploring the city by bike, to hiking through the Gatineau forests, and traversing the Ottawa River by river rafting.

Test your limits at Owl Rafting Ottawa this summer! This third generation, family owned and operated waterfront resort is located just a little over an hour outside of centretown. OWL Rafting offers trips and packages for everyone including family rafting, adventure rafting and sport rafting. If white water rafting isn’t already on your summer bucket list, be sure to add it to the list before the season ends.

Ottawa offers many cycling tours throughout the city. You can explore the city streets and landmarks with guided tours or visit the nature in bike trails in the Gatineau park. Escape Bicycle Tours & Rentals includes scheduled bike tours of the Ottawa Gatineau region, as well as rentals for Adults, Kids and Tandem. The tours vary – from taste testing Ottawa restaurants to visiting the Holtz Spa, Escape Bicycle Tours & Rentals is great for families, couples and anyone in between.

Hiking is a well loved pastime in Canada and can be done no matter the weather. This summer hike up King Mountain Trail in Gatineau Park. King Mountain Trail is 1.9 kilometres and climbs to the top of the Eardley Escarpment, giving an excellent view of the Ottawa valley. The trail includes 10 lookouts and information panels. Get off the beaten path and explore the Willson Carbide Ruins, an unofficial trail in Gatineau Park. The ruins are remnants of a past industry, created by Thomas Willson, an inventor in the late 1800s and early 20th Century. He discovered how to produce Calcium Carbide, and by 1895, Willson had patents in 40 other countries. He then built a nitrogen plant in Meech Lake but, due to financial struggles, it fell into disrepair. The plant caught fire, leaving only the base to stand before the waterfall, leaving a hint of a memory of the industry. 

Dow's Lake

Dow’s Lake offers a wide range of activities, including canoeing, peddle boating and kayaking. Rentals are available from May to September. The canoes can accommodate 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 small children for 20 dollars for the first hour. Kayaks, the traditional open faced Inuit boat, come in various options such as single sit in kayaks and sit on top tandem kayaks. The single kayaks cost 20 dollars for the first hour and 26 dollars for tandem kayaks. 

Take the whole family to Calypso Theme Park! Explore the adventurous rides and cool off with a smoothie at Expédition Juice Box and fill up with a Greek-inspired meal at Ulysses Bar & Grill. Opens June 7, 2019.

Though the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is closed for the season, there’s still plenty to do. Stretching to nearly 8 kilometres from Confederation Park/University of Ottawa to Mooney’s Bay Park, you can walk, run or ride down the path enclosing the Rideau Canal. 

Luskville Falls

The Luskville Falls Trail is a challenging 4.5 kilometre trail climbing 290 metres up the Eardley Escarpment. Learn about the ecosystem along the way to the breathtaking falls on this 45-60 minute walk.

Relax in yoga class at the Parliament Hill every Wednesday from 12pm to 1pm! Each 1 hour class is free, hosted by Lululemon Athletica, a Canadian yoga inspired athletic apparel retailer. The instructor hosts the classes over loud speakers while other instructors roam through the crowds to aid the students. Bring your own mat, water and sunscreen. 

Be adventurous and Zipline at Camp Fortune, located in Chelsea, Quebec, a 15 minute drive from downtown Ottawa. With Camp Fortune Explorer Park, test your abilities ziplining through the Gatineau Hills! At Camp Fortune, “Climb ladders, amble across zigzag bridges, crawl through barrels, and fly through the air on [their] zip lines”. 

Mer Bleue Bog

Discover one of the most studied bogs in the world, Mer Bleue Bog! At 7,700 years old, the bog is still thriving and is home to numerous species and wildlife populations that are similar to those of the north. Explore the 3,500 hectare conservation which includes sand ridges in the summer months and 1.2 kilometres of boardwalks all year long. The bog hosts tamarack trees, blueberry bushes, the endangered spotted turtle and the grey owl. Hike up the 6 kilometre forest trail overlooking the bog or take the Mer Bleue Bog Trail boardwalk which leads to the centre!

Celebrate Ottawa this summer in nature, whether it’s relaxing outdoors at yoga class or its climbing through forest trails in the Gatineau Park or the Mer Bleue Bog. Experience the many aspects of Ottawa with friends and family in the multiple activities nature offers!