⚠️ COVID-19 | Access to the Greenbelt is fully permitted, for recreational activities. Parking lots are open. 

Recreational amenities, such as outhouses, benches and picnic areas, remain closed. Details here.


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.

Discover the Greenbelt

A place for science

Behind the scenes, the Greenbelt has many scientific research projects taking place to help conserve its important habitats.

Agriculture in the Greenbelt

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.

A scientific laboratory

Professional scientists, students and science enthusiasts engage in activities, including biological inventories, long-term monitoring and scientific experiments to learn about the wonders of the natural environment.

Summer Activities

A place for nature

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.

Mer Bleue

The 3,500-hectare conservation area has a northern ecosystem that is more typical of the Arctic than of the Ottawa Valley.

Green's Creek

Green’s Creek, to the east of Ottawa, is an area of unusual geology with steep-sided ravines and plateaus.

Pine Grove

Pine Grove is the largest forest in the Greenbelt and is a mixture of tree plantations and natural forests.

Southern Farm and Pinhey Forest

This conservation area in the Greenbelt contains a unique natural feature: Ottawa’s only inland sand dune complex.

Stony Swamp

Stony Swamp, southwest of Ottawa, features a network of beaver ponds, wetlands and forests.

Shirleys Bay

Shirleys Bay, to the west of Ottawa, is a provincially significant wetland and the largest marshland in the Greenbelt.

A place for people 

Seasonally, the Greenbelt offers great diversity: hiking trails, picnic areas, and paths for cycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and even horseback riding. There are also dedicated areas for off-leash dog walking. 

Winter Activities

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