Top 7 Biking Routes in Ottawa

July, 2020
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Ottawa, the federal capital city of Canada has the high-spirited culture of biking. The city is covered with a lot of paved multi-use trails and most of the streets have either wide lanes or bicycle lanes. Biking routes in Ottawa are mostly flat or downhill which are used for recreation, tourism and transportation throughout the year. Among numerous pathways we have listed down the Top 7 biking routes in Ottawa for you to have the ultimate biking experience.

According to data reports of 31 December 2015, Ottawa accommodates 900 km (560 mi) of cycling facilities which includes 435 km of multi-use pathways, 8 km (5 mi) of cycling trails, 200 km (120 mi) of on-road biking trails and 257 km (160 mi) of paved shoulders. Moreover, In between 2011 and 2014, 204 km (127 mi) of new more biking trails were added.

Biking is an excellent way to explore the city of Ottawa, for residents as well as for the visitors. Along with many other casual recreational activities (skating, hiking, sailing, golfing, skiing and fishing), biking is a popular pastime among the people of Ottawa.

We have listed top 7 biking routes in Ottawa. These routes are not only fun but also very safe and relaxing.

 Top 7 Biking Routes in Ottawa

Biking Route 1 – The Capital Pathway:

National Capital Commission made the Capital Pathway in 1959. It is informally called the Bike Path. The pathway is 220 km (140 mi) continues paved route which interlinks world-class museums, art galleries, waterways, parks and many other attractions.

This route incorporates the Rideau Canal Pathway, the Ottawa River Pathway, and the Rideau River Pathway in it. In short, this extended route is not limited to the city of Ottawa, Ontario. It is spread till the Gatineau Parks, Quebec.

Biking Route 2 – Rideau Canal Pathway:

According to google maps, this biking route is 6.5 km. Ottawa offers scenic biking pathways for every skill level cyclist. Rideau Canal Pathway is family-friendly and the perfect route for the small children.

The terrain of this biking route is very smooth and gentle when heading south along Rideau Canal to Dows Lake Pavilion and Marina. There are numerous restaurants in Marina and boat renting is also available.

When passing through the western side of this pathway you can enjoy the sight of beautiful flowers and smell the tulips near Commissioners Park. While biking on the eastern side you can make a stop at Vincent Massey Park for a barbecue picnic.

Biking Route 3 – Rideau River Pathway:

This route is 12 km multi-use pathway and it is moderately trafficked. The air is refreshing and it features a waterfall. Biking on this route is a pleasant experience due to the wonderful river and parliament hill views.

Rideau River Pathway is less known to tourists but residents are quite familiar with the east side of this pathway. The River meets Ottawa River at Rideau Falls, from where the route starts. This biking pathway moves southward via New Edinburgh along Riverside Drive. Finally, it ends at Billings Bridge where the beautiful ducks are found.

Biking Route 4 – Ottawa River Pathway:

Ottawa River Pathway is the longer route that is 31 km. It covers almost the whole length of the Ottawa river which lies in the boundaries of the city. Along the way, it passes through several attractions. You can make small stops at Canadian War Museum, Parliament Hill and the Ottawa Locks found at the northern end of the Rideau Canal.

Biking Route 5 – Voyageurs Pathway:

Ottawa and Gatineau are crisscrossed by the 30 km Voyageurs Pathway. Many years ago first nation explorers took this route. Now it has become a spectacular route for biking. On the way, you will enjoy the mesmerizing and wonderful view of Parliament Hill and the Canadian Museum of History. The route is majorly along the Ottawa river.

Biking Route 6 – Greenbelt Pathway:

This route is 4.6 km East and 10.4 km in West. The Greenbelt pathway links to Ottawa River when goes in East direction. This trail is stone dusted and on this route, Cyclists can stop at Shirley’s Bay which the perfect place for a shore picnic.

Whereas in West direction the Greenbelt pathway connects with Watt Creek Pathway and is majorly flat with asphalt and stone dust trails.

Biking Route 7 – Experimental Farm  Pathway:

Cyclists can find both wooded and open areas on this route. It is 8.5 km and multi-use pathway.

Cyclists can bike toward Canada Agriculture and Food Museum situation in South of downtown Ottawa. This pathway has access to public washrooms and public parking on the route.

Final Words:

Ottawa is a city with a vibrant culture of cycling. Ottawa won the “bicycle Friendly Community Award” in 2013. Every year many cycling events are arranged by the city of Ottawa, such as Sunday Bikedays. What happens on Sunday Bikedays is that over 50km of parkways are reserved for bike riding only on public holidays such as Labour Day or Victoria Day.

This beautiful area is surrounded by eye-catching biking destinations. There is a series of biking routes on quiet roads of the city. Ottawa offers such an organized cycling environment with so many calming and refreshing bike routes. It can then rightly be said that the best way to explore the city is by bike!

Ottawa is one of the largest cities of Canada and it has a diversified collection of rural and urban attractions. There are various historic sites, county fairs, vineyards, villages and several natural attributes. Ottawa’s most iconic buildings include the Federal Parliament Buildings, the National Gallery and Arts Centre and many more. Exploring Ottawa by bicycle is an enjoyable way to stay fit on vacations.

View the official cycling map for Ottawa – Gatineau or you can also get a hard copy for from any of the following client service centres in the city of Ottawa:

  • City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West
  • Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive
  • Kanata, 580 Terry Fox Drive
  • Orleans, 255 Centrum Boulevard  
  • Walter Baker Sports Centre, 100 Malvern Drive, Barrhaven

Need a bike or bike tune up service?. Have a look at local stores to get an idea of the bike options like Foster’s sports centre where you can walk in on any day, check out some bikes and walk out with a new bike. We are serving the local bicycle community for over 50 years and have had the pleasure of outfitting entire families with bicycles and sporting equipment.