This is nature at its most accessible — a band of green encircling Ottawa from west to east. Head out and explore the Greenbelt for yourself!
The Greenbelt is 20,000 hectares of green space, including farms, forests and wetlands. It was created in the 1950s to protect the rural land bordering the Capital from urban sprawl. It has since become the largest publicly owned greenbelt in the world. Most of the Greenbelt (14,950 hectares) is owned by the NCC.
Green’s Creek, to the east of Ottawa, is an area of unusual geology with steep-sided ravines and plateaus. There are several short ski and hiking trails, as well as a toboggan slide. Green’s Creek also marks the eastern end of the...Read more
The Mer Bleue Bog in Ottawa is one of the most outstanding natural features of the Greenbelt. The 3,500-hectare conservation area has a northern ecosystem that is more typical of the Arctic than of the Ottawa Valley.Read more
Pine Grove is the largest forest in the Greenbelt and is a mixture of tree plantations and natural forests.Read more
This conservation area in the Greenbelt contains a unique natural feature: Ottawa’s only inland sand dune complex. The Pinhey sand dune complex extends from Woodroffe Avenue just south of the Nepean Sportsplex to the Grenfell Crescent...Read more
Stony Swamp, southwest of Ottawa, features a network of beaver ponds, wetlands and forests. This area offers over 40 kilometres of trails — more than in any other section of the Greenbelt. In addition, you will find wetland boardwalks...Read more
Shirleys Bay, to the west of Ottawa, is a provincially significant wetland and the largest marshland in the Greenbelt. It’s also one of the best spots in Canada’s Capital Region for birdwatching. The bay is an old channel of the Ottawa...Read more
The Greenbelt protects natural areas like forests, wetlands, streams and sand dunes that sustain biodiversity. The natural areas in the Greenbelt support human and ecological health in Canada’s Capital Region.
The NCC supports sustainable agriculture in the Greenbelt. Greenbelt farms produce milk, meat, grains, fruits and vegetables that contribute to the food supply and economy of the Capital Region.
The Greenbelt attracts 3.5 million visits each year and offers all kinds of outdoor, family-friendly activities:
The Greenbelt features over 150 kilometres of recreational trails, which link to the Capital Pathway network, the Rideau Trail (Ottawa to Kingston) and the Trans Canada Trail. Once completed, the Greenbelt Pathway will be a continuous 56-kilometre recreational corridor extending from one side of the Greenbelt to the other.
Currently the Greenbelt has three recreational paths that are excellent for cycling, walking and running.
Whether you are new to the activity or already an avid hiker, Gatineau Park is an excellent spot for a nature hike. With 165 kilometres of hiking trails, the Park has something for everyone.Walk in the nature
Take a break from your outdoor adventures at one of Gatineau Park’s 15 picnic areas.Take a break
Shirleys Bay is on an important bird migration route along the Ottawa River. More than 270 bird species have been seen in the Shirleys Bay area over the years.Read more
One of the best ways to explore Ottawa–Gatineau is by bike.Visit the Capital
Enjoy many scenic trails with your dog.Walk your dog
In the Greenbelt, you can go boating in the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal.Read more
The Greenbelt is a place of discovery and environmental education. Each year, more and more students from local schools are visiting the Greenbelt to learn about the wonders of the natural environment.
Professional scientists and science enthusiasts engage in activities, including biological inventories, long-term monitoring and scientific experiments.