The best bike paths in Ottawa are Experimental Farm Pathway, Rideau Canal Western & Eastern Pathway, Ottawa River Pathway East & West, Rideau River Eastern Pathway, Leamy Lake Trail, Mer Bleue Conservation Area Loop, South March Trail, Pinhey Forest 31 Trail, and Voyageurs Pathway.
|Experimental Farm Pathway||7.2km||Easy|
|Rideau Canal Western Pathway||10.5km||Easy|
|Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway||8.5km||Easy|
|Ottawa River Pathway West||33.8km||Intermediate|
|Ottawa River Pathway East||11.6km||Easy|
|Rideau River Eastern Pathway||23.5km||Intermediate|
|Leamy Lake Trail||2.4km||Easy|
|Mer Bleue Conservation Area Loop||7.1km||Intermediate|
|South March Trail||8.4km||Easy|
|Pinhey Forest 31 Trail||3.5km||Easy|
Throughout this article, we’ll discuss each trail thoroughly so that by the end, you’ll be racing to go and try out these bike paths for yourself, a significant other, or friends!
Experimental Farm Pathway
COURSE: Woodroffe Avenue – Central Experimental Farms
Experimental Farm Pathway is an easy 7.2km biking path near Ottawa that takes an average of 1hr 48mins to complete. You can expect a leisurely ride through its flat paved roads and few hills, coupled with charming yet relaxing scenery.
Due to being a popular walking and trail, you’ll most likely come across many other people here, whether they’re joggers, bikers, or simply out for a leisurely walk. Thankfully, this trail is open year-long, regardless of the season.
There are available washrooms along the trail for those traveling to this bike path who need a short bathroom break.
Rideau Canal Western Pathway
COURSE: Somerset St. W – Rideau Canal Western Pathway
The Rideau Canal Western Pathway is another easy biking path near Ottawa with its 10.5km distance that’ll take you an average of 2hrs and 54mins to complete.
Because of its location by the Rideau Canal, it’s also a popular spot for fishing alongside biking.
On this biking path, you’ll be treated to wonderful waterfront views and the beautiful flowers of Commissioner’s Park, which you’ll be passing through.
It’s also open all year, which means you can come here any time and any season you prefer.
Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway
COURSE: Downtown Ottawa – Hog’s Back Park
Opposite the Rideau Canal Western Pathway is the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway, an easy 8.5km route that takes an average of 2hrs and 24mins to complete.
This biking path takes you through Vincent Massey Park, a great picnic and barbecue spot.
It’s an area that’s popular with runners, skiers, and those who just enjoy taking walks outside.
It passes through many historical sites, such as bridges dating back to as early as the 19th century.
Ottawa River Pathway West
COURSE: Bytown Museum – Dick Bell Park
Ottawa River Pathway West is generally considered an intermediate biking path thanks to its length of 33.8km, which will take you 9hrs and 10mins on average to complete. It starts from downtown Ottawa all the way to Brittania Beach.
Despite still being in the city, this biking path will make you feel like you’re in the countryside, thanks to the view of the blue waters of the river, parks, and beaches. You can even travel to Chinatown, Westboro, and Little Italy, thanks to this route.
The western Ottawa River Pathway is popular with skiers and fishermen, so you’ll no doubt come across other people along the way. And because it’s fully paved, you don’t have to worry much about possible accidents.
Open throughout the year, feel free to take your bike through this route to see the scenic views from the Ottawa River and the historical buildings and sites it passes.
Ottawa River Pathway East
COURSE: Rockcliffe Park – Orleans
The Ottawa River East Pathway is a much shorter ride than its counterpart at only 11.6km, making it a generally easy route.
Because it also passes a lot of forestry and flora, it’s a popular location for fishing, paddle sports, and birding.
Normally, it would take 2hrs 34mins to finish the entire trail, but there’s no reason to rush when you can also enjoy a leisurely ride to take in all the nice scenery.
For this particular trail, you can expect to see the most beautiful views from April to November.
From the Ottawa River to the Canadian Museum of History, and even the city of Gatineau, you can see them all if you decide to take a leisurely ride through this pathway.
Rideau River Eastern Pathway
COURSE: Rideau Falls – Hog’s Back Park
The Rideau River Eastern Pathway is an intermediate-level biking path with a length of 23.5km that takes 5hrs 50mins to finish on average. It begins at Rideau Falls and follows the river to Mooney’s Bay Park.
You get the best of both worlds here, as the sight of the blue water and the abundant lush greenery that surrounds the trail accompany you until the end of the path.
Although you’ll get fewer views of the city here, the surrounding nature more than makes up for it.
And if you take a break from all that biking, there are also picnic tables along the path where you can have a nice snack. It’s only partially paved, so just be careful when you’re cycling here to prevent accidents.
Leamy Lake Trail
COURSE: Leamy Lake
Leamy Lake Trail is a short and easy 2.4km trail near Ottawa that circles Leamy Lake and takes 37mins to complete. It’s definitely the kind of trail that beginners can enjoy leisurely.
A popular trail for activities like biking, hiking, and birding, you’ll no doubt pass by other people along the length of the path doing their own thing and enjoying the scenery.
It’s recommended that you visit during sunrise/sunset to be able to see a different side of the trail. While it may be a bit too easy, especially for experienced bikers, it’s still a great path to travel, even if just for the sights it offers.
Mer Bleue Conservation Area Loop
COURSE: Mer Bleue Bog
The Mer Bleue Conservation Area Loop is an intermediate-level 7.1km trail near Ottawa that generally takes 1hr 35mins to complete.
Because it’s still within the city limits, residents can easily enjoy this trail and even partake in activities like bird feeding.
Speaking of activities, the trail is actually popular for snowshoeing, hiking, and skiing, so you can perhaps try those out while you’re there. It’s open throughout the year, and when winter arrives, so do winter sports enthusiasts, so stay vigilant during that season.
Just remember to dress appropriately and bring bug spray to ward against the local mosquitoes during the warm seasons.
South March Trail
COURSE: South March Highlands Conservation Forest – Klondike Rd.
South March Trail, which is located within the South March Highlands Conservation Forest, is an easy 8.4km loop trail near Ottawa. Bikers generally take around 1hr 52mins to complete the entire trail.
The best time to visit here is around May to September, when you can enjoy the green spring up until they turn an eye-catching burnt orange at the start of the fall season.
It’s an area that’s popular with bikers, hikers, and bird watchers.
This trail has rocky, uneven terrain since it goes around a sanctuary, so be prepared for some amazing wildlife and flora, plus mountain bikers who are there for the challenge. Be careful because it can get muddy here.
Pinhey Forest 31 Trail
COURSE: Pinhey Forest
Pinhey Forest 31 Trail is an easy 3.5km trail near Ottawa that, as its name suggests, loops around Pinhey Forest. It takes the average biker around 50mins to finish, making it the perfect leisurely bike ride through the forest’s lush greenery.
Flat and well-maintained, this makes it easy for even beginners, which is why accidents will be minimal at the most. It’s open throughout the year and what’s amazing is its calming natural views that are also beautiful all year round.
COURSE: Voyageurs’ Pathway – Parc de la Francophonie
Voyageurs Pathway is located just across the river from Ottawa in Gatineau and is an easy 8.5km trail that takes an average of 1hr 43mins to complete.
If you take this bike path, you’ll be treated to beautiful riverside views of Ottawa throughout your ride.
Through this trail, you’ll come across picnic tables, restaurants, snack bars, washrooms, and other shops, so you can take a break any time you need.
What’s more, you actually pass by Lake Leamy Park, and you can even move to use the park’s trail instead.
Thanks to its very accessible and scenic location, runners, bikers, and even hikers enjoy using Voyageurs Pathway.