How to Stay Active in Ottawa this Spring & Summer
One of the greatest things about Ottawa is that you don’t need to drive an hour outside of the city to enjoy waterways, greenery and sports. More than 300 km (186 miles) of pathways crisscross through the city, which also connect Ottawa to Gatineau, Québec, allowing you the opportunity to bike, in-line skate, hike, run or walk virtually anywhere you desire; world-class golf courses are located within and around Ottawa, including Marchwood , a PGA-approved short course. You won’t believe you can get this close to nature this close to a major city!
Ottawa Race Weekend
Join thousands of runners from around the world during the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend this May 24-25, 2014. Children, youth, and veteran runners take over Ottawa during this weekend for a number of events, including a kid’s marathon and two- and five-kilometre runs. The centrepiece of the weekend, though, is the Ottawa marathon, celebrating its 40th edition in 2014. As the largest marathon in the country, and cited as one of the must-run routes, some of the best runners from all corners of the world enter for a chance to win this prestigious event. If watching is more your sport, the marathon passes many of Ottawa’s major landmarks, so there are plenty of great spots to cheer on these athletes.
Gatineau Park is an excellent spot for a hike through nature, spanning 361 square kilometres (over 89,000 acres). Located just 15 minutes north of Parliament Hill, Gatineau Park offers over 165 km (102 miles) of trails, with something for everyone whether you are a beginner or an avid hiker.
Use your bike or inline skates or just hoof it and explore hundreds of kilometres of paved pathways; winding along rivers and the Rideau Canal; flat and easy or mountainous and challenging—the choice is yours. Sunday Bikedays actually close 52 km (32 miles) of the most picturesque rides to motorized vehicles and let cyclists, inline skaters and runners rule from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sunday Bikedays run from Victoria Day weekend in mid-May to Labour Day weekend in early September.
Gatineau Park offers plenty of scenic options for cyclists, located just 15 minutes north of Parliament Hill. Enjoy the Park’s parkways which consist of 32.5 km (19 miles) of panoramic winding roads (these can be quite challenging!). And as the season continues, the park becomes a haven for mountain bikers, who enjoy 90 km (55 miles) of trails.
Take a dip in one of the beautiful lakes at Gatineau Park. There are five public beaches in the Park open from mid-June to Labour Day in early September:
- O’Brien Beach (Meech Lake)
- Blanchet Beach (Meech Lake)
- Breton Beach (Philippe Lake)
- Parent Beach (Philippe Lake)
- La Pêche Beach (La Pêche Lake)
City of Ottawa Beaches
Spend an afternoon at the beach. These City of Ottawa beaches are open from mid-June to the end of August. Lifeguards are on duty weekday hours Monday to Friday from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m. and weekend hours Saturday, Sunday and statutory holidays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Britannia Beach: 2805 Carling Avenue
- Mooney’s Bay Beach: 3000 Riverside Drive
- Westboro Beach: 234 Atlantis Road
- Petrie Island Beach: 727 Trim Road
Calypso Theme Waterpark
Open from early June to early September, fun awaits you at Calypso Theme Waterpark, the largest theme waterpark in Canada, located only 20 minutes east of downtown Ottawa! Calypso covers more than 100 acres, with wet and wild adventures for everyone. Looking to slip and slide? Well, they have more than 35 waterslides to race down. Prefer to take on the waves? You’re in luck, as they have Canada’s largest wave pool. Hankering for a thrill ride? You can take on Aqualoops, a roller coaster-like slide that drops you into the ride through a trap door!
Ottawa is a golfer's dream destination, with what many claim is more golf courses per capita within easy driving distance of downtown than any other Canadian city – and most in North America. From challenging courses – including the Robert Trent Jones II designed Marshes at Brookstreet and Stonebridge, the public club that feels private – to executive par-3 courses and everything in between, you'll want to pack your clubs for any trip to Ottawa, spring through fall.
Great Canadian Bungee
If adrenaline is what you’re after, brave-hearted visitors can bungee jump from a platform which towers 200 feet above a limestone quarry lagoon, larger than 3 football fields. Great Canadian Bungee is located just 20 minutes north of downtown Ottawa, in Chelsea, Québec. If bungee is not your thing, you can come watch your friends and party! They have B.B.Q. and picnic facilities, a lifeguard beach, a volleyball net and much more at this hidden paradise.
Ziplining & Aeriel Parks
Camp Fortune Aerial Experience
Defy gravity at Camp Fortune Aerial Experience. Open from May to October, located just 15 minutes north of downtown Ottawa. The course features suspended walkways, rope bridges and net gangways. Set aside at least three hours for this exhilarating adventure that includes thrilling zipline rides guaranteed to get your heart rate up!
Great Canadian Bungee
Have you always wanted to fly like a bird? Now’s your chance! The Great Canadian Bungee’s RIPRIDE is a 1015 foot cable slide that starts at a spine-chilling 200 feet above the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon. The first 100 ft. of the ride, an accelerating cruise over land, doesn’t even begin to prepare you for the remainder. You start to scream as you approach the now visible 150 ft. shear drop-off, but you are strapped in and past the point of no return. You now have 915 ft. of cable to zip down at an average speed of 85 km/hr.