Are you planning an outing by bike? The following paths (presented in alphabetical order) will take you past some of the best scenery in Ottawa and Gatineau.
Visit the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum along the way.
Explore Shirleys Bay, and stop for a picnic by the shore of the Ottawa River.
This 31-kilometre pathway follows the Ottawa River and passes a number of Ottawa’s attractions. Stop along the way at the Canadian War Museum, Parliament Hill and the Ottawa Locks at the northern entrance to the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Delight your senses on this pathway, as you pass through Commissioners Park and its extraordinary flower displays.
Cycle along the northern side of the Ottawa River, and take in spectacular views of Parliament Hill and the Canadian Museum of History.
The paths are shared with in-line skaters, runners and walkers, so be sure to follow the rules for courtesy and safety on the pathway.
In Gatineau Park, there are plenty of options for cyclists. The parkways offer 32.5 kilometres of scenic, winding roads. Be prepared to encounter hilly terrain: you need to be in good shape and have some skill in cycling.
Sections of the Gatineau Parkway will be closed to motor vehicles from May 27 to October 22, 2017, on Saturday mornings until the end of August, and on both weekend mornings in September and October. During these times, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy 8.2 kilometres of scenic parkways in Gatineau Park that are closed to motor vehicles and open for cyclists, in-line skaters, runners and walkers.
Due to recent heavy rainfalls, trails no. 3 and 32 in Gatineau Park are closed until further notice. The National Capital Commission invites mountain bikers and walkers to stay away from trails that are wet and muddy and to use the main trails such as no. 1 and 50.
Gatineau Park’s mountain biking season runs from May 15 to November 30. The multi-use trails are open to hikers and mountain bikers, so be sure to follow the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s rules of the trail.
With some 90 kilometres of shared trails, there are lots of places for mountain biking in Gatineau Park. But be prepared! To tackle the Park’s hilly terrain, you need to be in good shape and have a few mountain biking skills.
For ecological reasons, mountain biking is not allowed on any trails other than the ones indicated in the map.
For thrill-seekers, there is mountain biking at Camp Fortune, which opens its ski slopes for biking during the summer. (Fees may apply.)
Following discussions with the mountain biking community in the region, the NCC ran a pilot project (which ended on November 30, 2016). The project increased the mountain biking offer in Gatineau Park by adding 7.8 kilometres to the shared trail network (on trails 3, 14 and 33, as well as on sections of trails 2 and 32). See the map here.
The project aimed to help improve the routes in the Park’s shared trail network, and alleviate some of the pressure on the other trails.
The following rules are promoted and recognized worldwide by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. They are intended to help ensure the safety of hikers and mountain bikers, as well as protect the environment.
Enjoy biking in the Greenbelt on the following pathways, all of which are part of the Capital Pathway network.
The western section of the Greenbelt Pathway is 10.4 kilometres in length. The path is mostly flat, with some hills, and passes through forests, fields and farm landscapes. It connects to the Watts Creek Pathway and is part of the Trans Canada Trail. The Greenbelt Pathway West has an asphalt and stone dust surface.
The Watts Creek Pathway is west of Ottawa in the Shirleys Bay area. This 9.3-kilometre trail connects to the Greenbelt Pathway West and the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway (previously known as the Ottawa River Parkway), and is part of the Trans Canada Trail. The Watts Creek Pathway has an asphalt surface.
The eastern portion of the Greenbelt Pathway is 4.6 kilometres in length, and connects to the Ottawa River Pathway. The Greenbelt Pathway East has a stone dust surface.