Canada’s Capital Greenbelt features over 100 kilometres of natural trails, which link to the Capital Pathway network. Find all trails in the tables below, along with their length, starting point and policy regarding dogs.

Be considerate of others, respect nature and stick to the dog-friendly trails if you’re walking with your pet.

Shirleys Bay trails

In the Shirleys Bay area, there are seven kilometres of hiking trails, as well as 19.3 kilometres of pathways for walking, biking (fat biking in winter), skiing and snowshoeing. The trails cross through fallow fields and young forests, and offer striking views of the Ottawa River. This is truly a birder’s paradise.

TrailLength (km)Starting pointDogs
Shoreline Trail0.1P1No dogs year-round
104.2P1 or P2On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
122.7P3
On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)

Stony Swamp trails

With more than 40 kilometres of trails, Stony Swamp is a great spot for a hike. Its trails pass through woodlands, an old quarry with unusual geology, beaver ponds and dams, and an old lime kiln. Kids and adults alike will love the many animals they see along the way. Have fun identifying them — and don’t forget: never feed wildlife. The following trails have boardwalks.

TrailLength (km)Starting pointDogs
203.2P3On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
214.5P4
On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
Old Quarry Trail (21)3.1P5No dogs year-round
235.7P5On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
245.1P6On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
Sarsaparilla Trail (22)0.9P7No dogs year-round
Beaver Trail (28)1.2P8No dogs year-round
Chipmunk Trail (28)0.7P8No dogs year-round
Lime Kiln Trail (25)2.1P10On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
253.9P10On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
Jack Pine Trail (26)3.1P9No dogs year-round
263.8P9 or P11On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
275.3P13On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
293.4P12On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
Bruce PitN/AP12Year-round off-leash dog area

Southern Farm and Pinhey Forest trails

The Southern Farm and Pinhey Forest sector has 6.4 kilometres of trails that pass through farms, and a mix of red maple and mature coniferous forests. This conservation area in the Greenbelt contains a unique natural feature: Ottawa’s only inland sand dune complex.

TrailLength (km)Starting pointDogs
313.6P14On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
322.8P15
On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)

Multi-use pathways in the western sector

Multi-use pathwayLength (km)Surface typeDogs
Watts Creek Pathway9.6Fully pavedOn-leash dog walking year-round
Greenbelt Pathway West21.2Asphalt and stone dust
On-leash dog walking year-round
Ottawa River Pathway (section in the Greenbelt)3.15Asphalt and stone dust
On-leash dog walking year-round

Pine Grove trails

The Pine Grove area has 18.4 kilometres of hiking trails. This large forested area has a mix of native woods and plantations. Pine Grove Forest is an important wildlife habitat, and includes a self-guided forestry interpretation trail and a tree-identification arboretum.

TrailLength (km)Starting pointDogs
422.9P16Winter trail only. No dogs year-round.
Closed until further notice.
434.4P18
On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
Conroy PitN/AP17Year-round off-leash dog area
Pine Grove Forestry Trail1.46P18
On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
443.1P18On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
456.4P19On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)

Mer Bleue trails

At Mer Bleue, there are 21.7 kilometres of hiking trails.

The busiest spot is the Mer Bleue Bog Trail, popular with families because of its universally accessible boardwalk and storytelling route. It’s an ideal spot to take young children for a walk — even with a stroller. Discover the bog’s many interesting facets with a self-guided tour.

For a great hike that’s less crowded, try Trails 50 and 51.

TrailLength (km)Starting pointDogs
517.5P20On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
506.3P20 or P23
On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
Dewberry Trail (50)1P23
No dogs year-round
536.7P21 or P22On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15–Nov. 30)
Mer Bleue Bog Trail1.2P22No dogs year-round

Green’s Creek trails

At Green’s Creek, there are 5.5 kilometres of trails that cut through land with clay and postglacial deposits from the ancient Champlain Sea. Natural lookouts offer striking views of Green’s Creek Valley. The Greenbelt Pathway East offers 4.6 kilometres of paths for walking, and connects to the Ottawa River Pathway.

TrailLength (km)Starting pointDogs
611.1P26No dogs year-round
631.8P26
On-leash dog walking (Apr. 15-Nov. 30)

Multi-use pathways in the eastern sector

Multi-use pathwayLength (km)Surface typeDogs
Greenbelt Pathway East12.5Stone dustOn-leash dog walking year-round
Ottawa River Pathway (section in the Greenbelt)6.57Asphalt and stone dust
On-leash dog walking year-round

Winter on Greenbelt trails

Winter trail courtesy

At all times, be kind and respectful of others. When walking or snowshoeing, please stay well to the side of the ski tracks to avoid damaging them. The ski tracks are groomed by hard-working volunteers so that people can enjoy cross-country skiing.

Share the path — in winter too!

Sharing the path in winter is just as important so that everyone can have fun. Whether you prefer skiing, walking or snowshoeing, it’s always nicer when people are friendly and considerate of one another.

Why are there fewer dog-friendly trails in the winter?

For conservation reasons, dogs are not allowed on any of the natural Greenbelt trails in the winter. They are allowed only on the multi-use pathways and in off-leash dog areas (Bruce Pit and Conroy Pit).

Even when leashed, dogs are a source of stress for wildlife. In winter, the colder temperatures, difficulty moving through snow and scarcity of food make survival difficult for wild animals. To help protect them, the NCC limits the number of places where dogs are allowed during the cold winter months.


If you’re looking for extra possibilities, the trails in the Greenbelt also connect with the Rideau Trail and Trans Canada Trail, which are not managed by the NCC.

Documents