When you step outside of the Ottawa city centre, you’ll run into a number of lush green spaces. There is no better way to explore Ottawa’s natural beauty than hiking through some of its many trails. While Ontario itself is known for amazing hiking options, you don’t have to leave Ottawa to enjoy many of them. When you buy a home for sale in Ottawa, you can be certain that an epic hiking trail will be right at your front door. If you are an avid hiker and want to discover all that Ottawa has to offer, check out the following hiking spots. These spots won’t require mountaineering boots, but you might want the best hiking shoes if you plan to tackle them all.
Pinhey Forest Trails
This soothing walk through Ottawa’s vast greenery is suitable for all ages and skill levels. The Pinhey Forest Trail Loop runs for 6.7km with little incline or obstacles on the way. You can make your hike at Pinhey Forest Trails as easy or advanced as you desire, with two trails to choose from.
Trail 30 and 31 snake through 3.5km of mature forest space, while trails 32 and 33 consist of a 3.2km walk through Pinhey Forest. Both trails are more than suitable for beginners, but if you’re looking for a challenge, the fitness trail on Trail 30 is sure to get your blood pumping.
You can access the trailhead for the Pinhey Forest Trails by heading to the year-round parking at Slack Road or the dedicated parking behind the Nepean Sportsplex. Dogs are welcome to join you on the trails as long as they are leashed, except for the months between December and April.
Rideau Trail is the hiking path you want to go to whether you want a quick 2km stroll or a multi-day trek. With 387km of trails within the Rideau Trail network, you’ll find a variety of loops of all different levels, from beginner to advanced. However, if you are a brave and avid hiker, you can hike the entire trail from Kingston to Ottawa in 9-16 days!
On the Ottawa side of the trail, the Ottawa Hiking Club often organizes outings on the Rideau Trail including anything from snowshoeing to cross-country skiing. However, there are also several smaller loops along the northern border of the trail for you to meander through if you aren’t wanting to make a weekend trip out of it. You can bring your pets on a leash to hike with you in most cases, so long as you aren’t planning on taking them across the entire trail.
Pine Grove Trail
Nestled in the midst of the Pine Grove Forest in south Ottawa, the Pine Grove Trail provides an easy, 6 mile loop for visitors to enjoy. Great for a light stroll or a power walk, these trails give you an opportunity to not only hike, but to snowshoe, cross-country ski, and bike. Pine Grove Trail is pretty popular among the locals, but it’s a big enough area to still have some peace and quiet.
While Pine Grove Trail is open year-round, the best months to go are April through October. Once you get to the end of the summer months, the trail transforms into a picturesque fall environment that looks straight out of a picture frame. No matter what time of year you visit, though, feel free to bring your pup along with you, as the Pine Grove Trail welcomes dogs year round!
For a quicker hike through the Greenbelt, Sarsaparilla Trail offers a 0.8km universally accessible trail. This popular trail is wheelchair and stroller friendly, allowing anyone and everyone to enjoy brisk, fall days or warm, summer evenings along the trail. If you want to spend a little more time outdoors, you can take a picnic after you hike, as the trail features a dock overlooking a beaver pond and picnic areas.
You can find public parking for Sarsaparilla Trail along Richmond Road, which is also where you’ll find the trailhead. Whether you’re looking for a brisk jog or a calm afternoon in the fresh air, Sarsaparilla Trail will deliver.
Old Quarry Trail
Located right in the city, the Old Quarry Trail is popular among Ottawa locals. Otherwise known as Trail 23, Old Quarry Trail offers a shorter loop and a longer loop to choose from, so it’s a great trail no matter how much time you have on your hands. Feel free to take a hike around the shorter loop closest to the parking lot, and if you need a little more challenge, continue further into the second trail. The best part about the convenient location of the trail is that directly after your hike you can head just a few minutes into town and get coffee or lunch on your way back home.
The Old Quarry Trailhead is directly across from the Hazeldean Mall and offers picnic tables and restroom facilities to use before or after your hike. No dogs are allowed on the trail, but that leaves more free space for biking, snowshoeing, and skiing when the seasons call for it.
Best Hiking Trails in Ottawa
There you have it! Some of the best hiking spots in beautiful Ottawa. Whether you are just beginning your hiking journey or have been an adventurous hiker for a long time, Ottawa has some of the most enjoyable trails you’ll ever encounter. From steep inclines to serene paths, it’s always a good time for Ottawa residents to grab those hiking boots and hit the trails!