Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, boasts an extensive network of scenic and diverse bike paths that cater to the outdoor enthusiast, leisure cyclist, and avid nature lover. With an array of trails spanning throughout the city and surrounding areas, these top 20 bike paths offer an adventure for every rider, from tranquil riverside routes to exhilarating woodland paths, showcasing the breathtaking beauty of Ottawa’s landscapes and ensuring a memorable cycling experience for all.
Bike paths in Ottawa
Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway: The Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway is a prominent and picturesque biking path that runs along the eastern side of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario. This pathway is part of the Capital Pathway network, which includes various interconnected trails throughout the city. The pathway provides stunning views of the Rideau Canal, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cyclists can enjoy the peaceful waters of the canal, with boats navigating the locks during the warmer months. The pathway spans approximately 8 kilometres, providing a pleasant biking route that extends from the downtown area near the University of Ottawa and ByWard Market, heading towards the Mooney’s Bay Park area. The pathway is open year-round, and during the winter, when the canal freezes over, it often becomes part of the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink, attracting skaters from both Ottawa and visitors worldwide.
Ottawa River Pathway: The Ottawa River Pathway is a scenic, arguably spectacular biking route that runs alongside the Ottawa River, offering cyclists stunning views and an easy amazing riding experience. The pathway follows the Ottawa River, providing sublime views of not only river, but also the surrounding green spaces, parliament buildings, museums and the city’s skyline. The beautiful scenery along the riverbank makes it a favoured choice for bikers both local and visiting. It extends for approximately 30 kilometres, providing a long stretch of trail that passes through various sections of the city. The Ottawa River Pathway extends from Britannia Beach in the west to Rideau Falls in the east, crossing downtown Ottawa.
The Watts Creek Pathway is a multi-use trail in Ottawa, offering a pleasant outdoor experience for walkers, cyclists, and outdoor enthusiasts.The Watts Creek Pathway is situated in the western part of Ottawa and is part of the city’s pathway network. This multi-use pathway is designed for walking, cycling, in-line skating, jogging, and other recreational activities. The trail provides a paved surface, offering ease for various users. The pathway winds along Watts Creek, illuminating breathtaking views and natural surroundings as it passes through green spaces, parks, and possibly residential areas. Users can appreciate the natural beauty and tranquility of the creek’s surroundings.
The Rockcliffe Pathway is a scenic trail located in Ottawa. The Rockcliffe Pathway is situated in the Rockcliffe Park area, known for its beautiful natural surroundings and historic significance. This pathway is a walking and cycling trail that winds through the Rockcliffe neighborhood. It provides a tranquil and charming route for pedestrians and cyclists. The trail meanders through lush greenery and offers serene views of the Rockcliffe Park area, which is characterized by stately homes, mature trees, and well-maintained landscapes. The pathway may offer glimpses of the Ottawa River and nearby parks.
Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway: The Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway is a impressive and popular biking route situated along the Ottawa River, offering an incredible cycling experience. The pathway runs parallel to the Ottawa River, providing cyclists with stunning views of the river and its surroundings. The route offers gorgeous vistas of the water, parks, and green spaces along the riverbank. The Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway extends for approximately 9 kilometres, beginning in the west near Westboro Beach and extending eastward towards the downtown core of Ottawa, eventually connecting to the Ottawa River Pathway and the city’s central areas.
The Queen Elizabeth Driveway boasts a scenic roadway that runs parallel to the Rideau Canal, offering a spectacular and enjoyable biking experience. The Queen Elizabeth Driveway provides magnificent views of the Rideau Canal and its adjacent green spaces. Bikers can enjoy serene water views and the lush surroundings while cycling along the route.The Driveway extends for approximately 4.4 kilometers, beginning at Pretoria Bridge and continuing south to Dow’s Lake. It runs adjacent to the canal, providing an excellent vantage point for viewing the waterwaySurface and Accessibility. Along the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, there are opportunities for picnics and relaxation. The surrounding parks and green spaces offer rest stops and opportunities for outdoor activities.
The Greenbelt Pathway West is a brilliant natural trail situated within Ottawa’s Greenbelt, a protected green space that offers outdoor enthusiasts a serene environment for various recreational activities, including walking, jogging, and biking. The Greenbelt Pathway West winds through the western section of Ottawa’s Greenbelt, offering a beautiful and natural environment for cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy. It provides a peaceful escape into nature, with lush greenery and a mix of wooded areas and open spaces. The pathway extends for approximately 10 kilometers, offering a relatively long trail within the Greenbelt. Cyclists and hikers can explore a considerable stretch of the area, enjoying the tranquility and natural beauty along the route.
The Pinecrest Creek Pathway, as part of the Trans Canada Trail, is situated within Ottawa and offers a local section of this extensive cross-country trail system. This pathway is part of the larger Trans Canada Trail and extends for a specific distance within the Ottawa area, offering a portion of the extensive cross-country network. The trail provides a mix of natural landscapes, running alongside Pinecrest Creek, offering tranquil views of the water and green surroundings.
The Airport Parkway is a roadway in Ottawa that serves as a key route connecting the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport to the city center. It’s an important transportation corridor for travelers heading to and from the airport. The Airport Parkway serves as a crucial transportation link for travelers, providing direct access between downtown Ottawa and the airport. It offers a convenient and efficient route for commuters, airport employees, and visitors traveling to catch flights or arriving in the city. Starting at Hunt Club Road, the Parkway extends towards the airport, providing a direct path for those traveling to and from the airport. The road is designed to offer a smooth and efficient journey for travelers, passing through areas that facilitate ease of access to the airport terminals. The route passes through various parklands and green spaces along its path. These green areas not only contribute to the aesthetics of the journey but also offer a pleasant and serene environment for those traveling to or from the airport. The road is designed to blend with the natural surroundings, providing a more tranquil and enjoyable drive.
The Kanata Trail is a network of trails located in the community of Kanata, within the city of Ottawa. Situated in Kanata, a suburban area in Ottawa, the Kanata Trail covers various pathways and natural areas, catering to outdoor enthusiasts and residents in the region.The trail system offers a mix of pathways suitable for various activities such as walking, hiking, trail running, and in some sections, cycling. The trails are well-maintained and provide a range of terrains, from easy and leisurely walks to more rugged and challenging paths.The Kanata Trail winds through a blend of natural environments, including woodlands, parks, and green spaces. The trails offer wonderful views and a relaxing atmosphere, allowing users to immerse themselves in nature and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
Gatineau Bike Paths
The Leamy Lake Pathway, located in Gatineau, Quebec, adjacent to Ottawa in the National Capital Region, offers a splendid and natural setting. The pathway winds through Leamy Lake Park, presenting stunning views of Leamy Lake and the surrounding green spaces. It offers a peaceful and tranquil environment for outdoor activities. Extending for several kilometres, the pathway features a combination of paved and unpaved surfaces. It accommodates various activities, including walking, jogging, cycling, and nature appreciation.
Gatineau Park, a beautiful and expansive natural area near Ottawa offers numerous biking trails and paths that cater to various skill levels and interests. The park features a variety of biking trails that wind through its picturesque landscapes, encompassing forests, lakes, and scenic vistas. The trails offer a mix of terrain, from smooth paths to more challenging routes, providing options for both leisurely rides and more adventurous cycling experiences. The biking paths within Gatineau Park offer a range of trail types suitable for different skill levels. Cyclists can find routes tailored to beginners, intermediate riders, and those seeking more technical or challenging trails. The trails are well-maintained, and some are designed specifically for mountain biking, featuring more rugged terrain and obstacles. The park’s biking paths cater to various preferences, from families seeking easy, family-friendly trails to more experienced riders wanting technical or hilly terrain. Some trails are designated for specific activities, such as mountain biking, offering a more adrenaline-fueled experience. Cyclists can enjoy the natural allure of Gatineau Park while riding through its diverse landscapes, including lush forests, rolling hills, and exquisite views of the Ottawa River and nearby lakes. The park’s scenic beauty makes for an immersive and rewarding biking experience.
Other Bike Paths not too far from Ottawa
Prescott bike path
The Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail, located in Eastern Ontario is a popular multi-use trail catering to outdoor enthusiasts seeking a range of recreational activities. The Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail spans approximately 72 kilometers (45 miles) and stretches through the countryside of Eastern Ontario, passing through communities in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell. This multi-use trail primarily consists of former railway lines converted into a recreational pathway. The flat and well-maintained trail offers a pleasant surface for various activities, including cycling, hiking, walking, running, horseback riding, and snowmobiling in the winter months. The trail meanders through diverse landscapes, including woodlands, open fields, and rural areas. As it winds through the countryside, it offers dazzling natural views, providing an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the peaceful and serene surroundings.
Prince Edward County bike path
The Millennium Trail is a well-known recreational pathway located in Prince Edward County. Stretching approximately 49 kilometers (30 miles), the Millennium Trail traverses through the scenic landscapes of Prince Edward County in southeastern Ontario. Originally a railway line, the Millennium Trail has been repurposed as a multi-use trail, offering a flat and well-maintained route for various recreational activities. It’s suitable for cycling, walking, hiking, running, horseback riding, and in some sections, snowmobiling in the winter months. The trail winds through the angelic countryside and diverse environments, featuring farmland, forests, wetlands, and rural communities. It offers surreal views and an opportunity to appreciate the considerable beauty and tranquility of Prince Edward County. Cyclists, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the trail, exploring its extensive network that spans multiple communities and points of interest. Whether for a long-distance adventure or a leisurely stroll, the trail accommodates a range of activities.
Ottawa Valley bike path
The Almonte – Carp Rail Trail, also known as the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail, is a popular multi-use trail located in Eastern Ontario. The Almonte – Carp Rail Trail extends between Almonte and Carp, covering a distance of approximately 20 kilometers. The trail is part of the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail, which forms a section of the larger Trans Canada Trail network. Once a former railway line, the Almonte – Carp Rail Trail has been repurposed into a multi-use pathway. The trail provides a level and well-maintained surface, suitable for various recreational activities, such as walking, hiking, running, cycling, and cross-country skiing in winter. This trail offers majestic views and passes through a mix of natural landscapes, including woodlands, farmlands, and rural areas. Users can enjoy the natural beauty of the region and appreciate the serene surroundings as they traverse the trail. The trail accommodates different activities and skill levels, making it an ideal destination for leisurely walks, family outings, and more strenuous activities like cycling or running.
Renfrew County bike path
The Renfrew County All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Trails offer riders an extensive network of paths and routes for exploring the beautiful landscapes of Renfrew County, Ontario. These trails are designed to accommodate ATV enthusiasts seeking diverse off-road adventures. Renfrew County boasts an extensive network of ATV trails that traverse diverse terrain, including forests, woodlands, rugged paths, and scenic landscapes. The trails cover a vast area, allowing riders to explore various regions and natural settings.The ATV trails are designed to cater specifically to off-road vehicles, providing a thrilling experience for ATV riders. However, they also encompass multi-use trails that might be shared with other recreational users, like hikers, cyclists, and snowmobilers in certain seasons. Riders can enjoy the vast beauty of Renfrew County while navigating these trails. The trails often provide exceptional views of the region’s diverse environments, including forests, valleys, waterways, and other picturesque landscapes To ride on these trails, it’s important for ATV users to follow regulations and guidelines set forth by local authorities. Ensuring compliance with regulations, such as having proper permits or adhering to specific trail rules, is crucial to maintain safety and preserve the environment. Overall, the Renfrew County ATV Trails provide ATV enthusiasts with a range of off-road experiences amidst the region’s diverse landscapes. These trails offer a thrilling adventure, allowing riders to explore the natural beauty and terrain of Renfrew County while adhering to regulations to ensure safety and environmental preservation.
Kingston and Pembroke Bike Path
The K&P Trail, short for the Kingston and Pembroke Trail, is a significant multi-use recreational trail that spans a considerable distance from Kingston to Pembroke. The K&P Trail follows the route of a former railway line and stretches for approximately 180 kilometers (112 miles). The trail’s extensive length makes it an attractive option for outdoor enthusiasts and trail users. It’s a multi-use trail that accommodates a variety of activities, such as walking, hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ATV use in certain sections. The trail surface is well-maintained and offers a blend of terrains, providing different experiences for users. The trail traverses diverse landscapes, including rural areas, forests, fields, and various natural environments. Bikers can enjoy incredible views and experience the region while traveling along the pathway. The K&P Trail caters to various skill levels and preferences, making it suitable for both leisurely strolls and more challenging outdoor activities. The trail provides an opportunity for outdoor exploration and adventure.
Ottawa to Kingston bike path
Last but certainly not least is the Rideau Trail, extending from the city of Kingston to the city of Ottawa covering a distance of approximately 327 kilometres (203 miles)! The trail traverses through stunning landscapes, following a historic route and offering a diverse hiking experience. The trail is primarily designed for hikers and is known for its natural beauty, marked pathways, and some rugged terrains. It’s divided into sections, offering different challenges and sceneries, ranging from flat sections to more hilly or rugged portions. Hikers can enjoy a variety of landscapes, including forests, wetlands, fields, and rural areas. The trail passes through various conservation areas, offering picturesque views and natural beauty along the way. The Rideau Trail caters to hiking enthusiasts of different skill levels. It provides the chance for both day hikes and longer multi-day treks. Hikers can explore the trail’s diverse sections, which offer different levels of difficulty and various points of interest.
Final thoughts on Ottawa and area bike paths
With a collection of top-tier biking paths, Ottawa presents an outdoor haven for cyclists seeking a blend of natural beauty, recreational adventure, and historical exploration. These top 20 bike paths in Ottawa promise an enriching journey through picturesque surroundings, providing not only an escape into nature but also an opportunity to discover the city’s rich heritage while fostering a community of cyclists embracing the joy of exploration and active living. Whether enjoying the scenic routes along rivers or exploring the green spaces within the city, these biking trails encapsulate the essence of Ottawa’s charm and are a testament to its commitment to fostering a vibrant and active community of cyclists.
by Myles Shane