This summer, rediscover the National Capital Region through the NCC’s parks, trails, pathways and parkways.

Use our summer activities interactive map to find things to do and places to explore all over Ottawa–Gatineau. Whether you feel like hiking, cycling, picnicking, swimming, canoeing or just taking in the views, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Top summer activities

Hiking and walking

Walking is great for your physical and mental health — plus, it’s free and it offers a wide range of experiences. From trails in Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt, to the paved multi-use pathways in Ottawa–Gatineau, to the parkways open exclusively for active use — the options are endless!

Be considerate of others: keep right, pass left and make sure that there’s room for others to pass.

Interactive map: Suggested hiking and walking routes

Blog: Lesser-known hiking and walking trails in and around Ottawa–Gatineau

Dog walking

From April 15 to November 30, leashed dogs are welcome on most NCC trails. This includes the Capital Pathway, urban parks and most Gatineau Park and Greenbelt trails. That’s over 500 km of dog-friendly trails to explore!

Keep your dog on a short leash and clean up after them. To let your dog run off-leash, go to Bruce Pit or Conroy Pit.

Interactive map: Suggested dog walking routes


Cycling will take you past some of the most scenic locations in Ottawa–Gatineau. There are bike paths and routes for all ability levels. Please be respectful of others: ride at safe speeds, be predictable and share the path.

Besides the 200 km of multi-use pathways in the Capital Pathway network, there are nearly 50 km of parkways open exclusively for active use this summer. Obey signs and speed limits, ride in single file on the right-hand side of the road and share the road.

Interactive map: Suggested cycling routes

Blog: NCC’s guide to cycling in Ottawa–Gatineau

Mountain biking

As soon as the trails are dry, Gatineau Park features 90 km of trails for mountain biking. To tackle this hilly terrain on a bike, you need to be in good shape and have some mountain biking skills.

The Park’s mountain biking trails are shared with hikers — always yield the right-of-way to them. Help us protect our natural areas by using only the trails that are open for mountain biking.

Interactive map: Suggested mountain biking routes


Nothing says summer like a picnic! Most of the NCC’s urban parks in Ottawa–Gatineau boast great areas to grab a bite. There are also sheltered and unsheltered picnic areas in the Greenbelt and Gatineau Park. Choose a table, or spread out a blanket on the rolling lawn.

Or, head to a seasonal outdoor canteen or patio — like a scenic NCC Bistro, Tavern on the Falls, Tavern on the Hill or Tavern at the Gallery. They all offer locally sourced food and stunning views.

New waterfront concessions at Bate Island, Leamy Lake Park and Hog’s Back Park will open this summer!

Interactive map: Suggested picnic areas


Beat the summer heat at one of the NCC-maintained beaches in the region, or at the NCC River House swimming area! Most beaches offer accessible picnic tables, change rooms, washroom facilities and convenient pay parking.

Get an early start on weekends, or visit on weekdays to avoid the crowds. 

Our interactive map also includes beaches from our partners at the Ville de Gatineau and City of Ottawa, providing more options to spread out in the sunshine!

Interactive map: Suggested beaches for swimming

Canoeing, kayaking and other water sports

From lakes to creeks to rivers, Ottawa–Gatineau has many waterways to discover. Choose your watercraft — canoe, kayak, rowboat or stand-up paddleboard — and spend some peaceful time on the water. Always wear a life jacket when boating.

Our interactive map shows boat launches and equipment rental locations operated by the NCC and private operators. Access to most boat launches is free. Equipment rental fees apply.

With a Quebec fishing licence, you can fish in Gatineau Park, except at Pink, Harrington and Édouard lakes. Likewise, with an Ontario fishing licence, you can drop your line in either the Rideau River or the Ottawa River.

Interactive map: Suggested boating starting points

Summer activity suggestions from our partners

There are many more places to enjoy summer around Ottawa–Gatineau, in Eastern Ontario and in the Outaouais region. Check out some suggestions from our partners at Ottawa Tourism and Outaouais Tourism.

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