Ottawa is home to a recreational pathway network that offers more than 170 kilometres (106 miles) of traffic free pathways for people to ride on during the warmer weather months.
It’s easy to ride along these scenic paths to visit many of the city’s attractions as well as the luscious and untamed Gatineau Park. Located at a short 15-minute drive north of Ottawa’s downtown core, Gatineau Park offers an expansive 361-square-kilometres (90,000 acres) of terrain that is loved by hikers and cyclists alike. The expansive park is also a mountain biker’s dream!
If you’re looking for a mountain biking challenge, this is where you’ll want to be. You can even bike to Gatineau Park from the downtown core, if you wish. Browse this information below to find out where to go for great mountain biking in the scenic Ottawa-Gatineau region.
Mountain biking spots
This scenic park is easy to get to, as it is just a short commute by car – 15 minutes – from Ottawa’s downtown core. Here, you’ll find about 90 kilometres (56 miles) of shared trails that are open from mid-May to the end of November.
The trails are open to hikers and mountain bikers, so be aware of those around you as you explore the terrain. Also, as the park’s landscape is dominated by hills, be prepared for a good workout. Here are a few tips to have a good time and stay safe as you mountain bike around Gatineau Park:
- Stay on the trails that are specifically approved for mountain biking.
- Only use the Gatineau Park trails during the permitted mountain biking season (from May to November).
- Give the right-of-way to hikers who are on the trails.
- Stay in control of your speed, especially on curved or on downhill portions of the trails.
- Make a plan! Make sure you know where you are going and bring a water bottle.
For more information on the mountain biking trails, visit Gatineau Park’s website.
Located in Gatineau Park, Camp Fortune is a ski resort during the winter and an extreme mountain biking facility during the warmer weather months. This facility is not recommended for beginners, as its significant vertical is challenging for even the most seasoned mountain bikers.
Here, you will find various scenic and challenging trails as well as a pump track, where you can practice your bike handling skills. Camp Fortune offers more than 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) of scenic cross country trails as well as a vertical drop that competitive bikers use to get ready for the Ontario Cup DH and the Quebec Cup DH.
Camp Fortune is also home to a cross country and downhill racing series that brings youth, novice, sport, expert and elite riders together on the hill. Every second Wednesday from the end of May to mid-August, the Sunset Series brings riders to Camp Fortune for friendly racing and a barbecue.
If you’re planning on going mountain biking at Camp Fortune, its Skyline Lift operates every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from June to August, from 5:00 p.m. to dusk. In September and October, the lift only operates on the weekend from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Epic Indoor Bike Park:
Located at 110 Bentley Avenue in Ottawa’s west end, this expansive 53,000-square-foot indoor bike park is open year-round, welcoming both mountain and BMX bikers.
Here, you’ll find pump tracks, ramps, a half-pipe and a cross country loop. This beginner and expert-friendly facility even has a foam pit, where riders can practice tricks without having to worry about the landing. And if you want to take your riding skills to the next level, Epic also offers certified instructors for private or group lessons.
Go for an hour or spend the whole day here. Epic has various rates that allow riders to customize their experience. And if you weren’t able to bring your equipment to Ottawa with you, there’s no need to worry. You can rent a mountain bike, a BMX bike and even a helmet at Epic.