Top Hiking Trails in and Around the City
We extensively test and research all services we review. Here's why you can trust us.

Ottawa’s Nature Gems: Top Hiking Trails in and Around the City

Yearning a break from the vibrant city pace every now and then? Well, we’ve got the perfect antidote – enchanting hiking trails in and around Ottawa. 

No more worrying about the downtown rush hour; here, the path is all yours (well, almost – you might meet a fellow hiker or two along the way). 

We have everything for every skill level, so you can ease your worries – no Mount Logan-level training for the road ahead!

1. Shirley’s Bay Loop 

Shirley’s Bay Loop


Address: Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON K2H 8B2, Canada

Shirley’s Bay Loop is an easy trail that calls to anyone looking for a well-rounded outdoor adventure. It doesn’t take more than an hour to complete, offering verdant landscapes and lush groves where various wildlife make their habitat. 

There’s also a gorgeous river view to enjoy in the middle of your exploration. However, make sure to bring mosquito repellent, especially during the summer!

2. Rideau Canal Western Pathway 

Rideau Canal Western Pathway


Address: Ottawa, ON, Canada

The Rideau Canal Western Pathway is a thrilling urban hiking trail that starts at Somerset and ends at Dow’s Lake Pavilion. 

This scenic route offers a good mixture of urban landscapes and nature views, making it a unique destination for avid hikers. Do note, however, that this one’s considered moderately challenging, so expect to break a sweat! 

It takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete, but you might catch yourself lingering for longer, especially if you decide to indulge in the views along the way. 

3. Ottawa River Pathway 


Address: Ottawa, ON, Canada

The eastern area of the Ottawa River Pathway is an enchanting location where one can enjoy a nice, paved path with captivating river views that unfold throughout the duration of your hike. 

Another urban trail, this path is also popular for biking, fishing, and bird watching. 

It takes around 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete, but since most part of the trail is flat, conquering it won’t be too much of a challenge. 

4. Mud Lake Trail 

Mud Lake Trail


Address: Lincoln Heights Park, 265 Britannia Rd, Ottawa, ON K2B 5X1, Canada

Want to do some outdoor exploration without much difficulty? The Mud Lake Trail might just be your best bet. 

Don’t worry – it’s not as messy as the name entails. It only takes about 15 minutes to complete, so you can even go back and forth without any fuss!

You can bring your dogs here, but remember – they must be on the leash at all times. 

5. Pinhey Forest

Pinhey Forest


Address: Ottawa, ON K2G 1W2, Canada

Pinhey Forest is an easy trail that can be conquered in less than an hour. Though it’s not the most well-maintained path on the list, it’s still a popular spot among many outdoor explorers.

The reason for its popularity is because of how enchanting the route is no matter what time of year it is. The lush forest looks enchanting and the abundance of wildlife is a huge plus.  

6. Stoney Creek South Loop 

Stoney Creek South Loop


Address: Hamilton, ON 

Located 4 hours outside Ottawa, Stoney Creek South Loop calls for an exciting road trip to Hamilton with the whole family.

It’s an easy loop that takes less than an hour to complete, making it a favored destination for hikers who want to focus on appreciating the scenic views and watching the rich wildlife in the area. 

Unfortunately, this trail is not for those who are looking to bring their pups with them, so better check the other locations on this list!

7. Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park


Address: 33 Chem. Scott, Chelsea, QC J9B 1R5, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-239-5000

Gatineau Park is one of the nearest hiking trails outside Ottawa, being just a 12-minute drive from the heart of the city. Unsurprisingly, it remains a popular hiking destination for Ottawan outdoor enthusiasts.

There are many hiking trails to explore, so this location welcomes all hikes of any skill level. 

Oh, and if you have time, make sure to check out the restaurants nearby. There are so many delightful eats in the area! 

8. Old Quarry Trail 

Old Quarry Trail


Address: Eagleson Rd, Kanata, ON K2M 1P1, Canada

A significant portion of the Old Quarry Trail consists of a serene meadow, which is why it’s well-known among Ottawans who want to bask in the beauty of nature. 

With just an average of 37 minutes to complete, it’s considered an extremely easy route where one can prioritize sightseeing and wildlife spotting.   

Conveniently, it’s just a 40-minute drive from Ottawa.