Take a two-wheel trip through Ottawa
- Ottawa Travel Guide
- Tuesday, 12 February 2013 06:52
Though the city of Ottawa has plenty of sights, sounds and smells. to explore during one's vacation, some travellers heading to the Canadian capital are hoping to make their stay an active experience. Fortunately for these adventurous vacationers, the city boasts a wealth of outdoor attractions that will definitely get the heart pumping. While there are any number of ways to enjoy the city's natural amenities as vacationers travel in Canada, one of the best ways to enjoy Bytown is from atop a bicycle. Whether they prefer a relaxing ride through the city, or like to get down and dirty on a rugged off-road trail, Ottawa has something for active adventurers looking to bike through Ottawa.
Cycling through Gatineau Park
One of the most beautiful spots in all of Canada, Gatineau Park is a sizable crop of well-maintained land found just north of Ottawa. The park boasts 90 kilometers of biking trails, from casual paths through scenic gardens to challenging trails that wind through the region's hilly terrain. While there are plenty of trails to make one's way through, it's important to note that some are off limits for mountain bikes due to ongoing preservation and agricultural programs.
As one of the region's premier parks, Gatineau is a popular destination for bikers. That being said, many clubs and organizations have developed special days and events for cyclists hoping to explore its wonders. For several weekends throughout the year, officials close parts of Gatineau Parkway to automotive traffic, allowing bikers, hikers and skaters to enjoy more of the park without concern of passing motorists.
Biking season in Gatineau runs from May 15 through November 30, and cyclists will have to share the road with hikers and walkers, so exercising caution is a must.
See the city from the big loop
If travellers prefer to spend your time within Ottawa itself then they might want to take their bike across the popular pathway colloquially known as "the big loop." Though not a firmly established trail, the big loop is a commonly travelled bikeway that leads cyclists around the center of town, including stretches along the Rideau River, Rideau Canal and Ottawa River. The loop is ideal for bikers looking to see the sites on unstructured tours of Ottawa, as the pathway includes stellar views of the Parliament Buildings as well as the Central Experimental Farm.
As it is not a true bike path, there is no real season for this route, though this also means the pathway can often grow congested with both foot and automotive traffic.