Grab your hiking shoes, Ottawa! Summer is on the horizon in the National Capital Region, and the weather is getting warmer and brighter every day. It’s the perfect time to slap on some sunscreen, pack a picnic, and head out into nature. If you’re looking for easy and enjoyable hikes near Ottawa, we’ve got you covered.
Now that the winter season is well and truly behind us, it’s time to start thinking about how we’re going to make the most out of this summer.
The sunshine has officially arrived in the capital region, and the mosquitos are back to let us know that the hot season is just around the corner.
This means that it’s time to get our hiking bucket list back out, and start thinking about where we can find the best views that Ottawa and the nearby areas have to offer.
Whether you’re looking to find glorious lakeside scenes or extraordinary canyon lookouts, there’s so many opportunities near the city to find that picture-perfect Instagram shot.
Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced hiker, most of these walks are perfect for both beginners and keen-climbers.
Whether you take the shortcut around, or enjoy the lengthy route, it’s what you find at the end that really matters.
Grab your hiking boots, sunscreen and your bug spray, it’s time to get out of the city!
Pink Lake Trail
Length: 2.1 km
Address: Gatineau Park, Gatineau, QC
Why You Need To Go: While this lake is not actually pink, the stunning colour will still take your breath away. In the summer months, it's bright turquoise and totally beautiful. You won't want to miss a photo opportunity here!
It's a fairly easy trip, but be aware that there's plenty of stairs to climb.
Hemlock Bluff Trail
Length: 3.5 km
Address: Highway 60 at km 27.2, Algonquin Park, ON
Why You Need To Go: This 3.5 km loop has got a little bit of everything, including forest, hills and an incredible view of Jack Lake. Located just three hours from Ottawa, this is an idyllic spot for a scenic afternoon in the sun.
King Mountain Trail
Length: 1.9 km
Address: King Mountain Trail, Chelsea, QC
Why You Need To Go: This gorgeous hike is super popular and super easy, and there's several lookout spots to snap a perfect picture. While pets aren't allowed on this route, it's worth going alone to enjoy the spectacular views of the Ottawa River Valley.
Pinhey Forest Trail
Length: 3.2 km
Address: Pinhey Forest, Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: This place is described by the NCC as a "unique ecosystem," as it's home to an abundance of wildlife and plantlife. Here, you can enjoy an easy boardwalk adventure, and if you look hard enough, you might find Ottawa's secret sand dunes.
Mer Bleue Bog Trail
Length: 1.2 km
Address: Ridge Road, Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: This relaxing trail is the perfect place to go on a super-hot day, when you don't want to be climbing and scrambling. It's a peaceful and easy trip along a boardwalk, and it has beautiful views of the water and local wildlife. It's located just beside the city, too!
Beaver Pond Trail
Length: 2.1 km
Address: Walden Dr., Kanata, ON
Why You Need To Go: The best view you'll find here is the wildlife. It's known as the “Chipmunk and Beaver Trail” for the huge number of furry friends you’ll spot hanging around, especially near the two huge lakes. This easy hike should be on every animal-lovers to-do list!
Barron Canyon Trail
Length: 1.5 km
Address: Barron Canyon Trail, Unorganized South Nipissing District, ON
Why You Need To Go: This is an easy and fun hike for anybody who loves an extraordinary view, but isn't afraid of heights! The trail leads around a canyon that is 100 m deep, so this might be one to skip if you're nervous on steep edges.
Length: 3.7 km
Address: Stanley Lash Lane, Lyndhurst, ON
Why You Need To Go: Located just an hour outside of the city, this is a great place to go to truly appreciate how pretty Ontario can be. You'll discover incredible views of the Rideau Waterway, and the experience will make you feel so lucky to actually live here.
You will need to purchase a $10 day pass to hike here, though.
Manitou Mountain Trail
Length: 9 km
Address: Barrett Chute Road, Calabogie, ON
Why You Need To Go: This is the hardest and the longest hike on this list, but it's good to challenge yourself sometimes. This trail offers three extraordinary viewing spots; Eagles Nest, Manitou Mountain, and Red Arrow Rock, and the scenes you'll find will be worth the blood, sweat and tears!
Carbide Willson Ruins
Length: 4.3 km
Address: Meech Lake, Gatineau Park, Chelsea, QC
Why You Need To Go: If you're looking for a fun walk that's not too far from the city, this place is perfect. It's loaded with history and has a beautiful waterfall nearby. Be sure to check out the story of these ruins before visiting, it will give you a whole new perspective!
Booth's Rock Trail
Length: 5.1 km
Address: Rock Lake Road, Algonquin Highlands, ON
Why You Need To Go: Lakeside views? Check. Amazing lookout? Check. Abandoned railway? Check. This medium-length hike has a little bit of everything, and it should be on every Ottawa hiker's bucket list.
Luskville Falls Trail
Length: 4 km
Address: Luskville Falls Trail, Pontiac, QC
Why You Need To Go: This walk will give you some wonderful views of the Ottawa River Valley, as well an amazing waterfall experience. It's worth the little extra climb, for sure.
Track and Tower Trail
Length: 7.5 km
Address: Highway 60 at km 25, Algonquin Provincial Park, Unorganized South Nipissing District, ON
Why You Need To Go: As one of the more difficult hikes in Algonquin Provincial Park, it's easy to be put off by the length of this trail. That said, the views you'll find en-route are seriously spectacular, and you'll even walk alongside an abandoned railway track.
It's not the easiest option for total beginners, but it's a good place to explore if you're looking for a challenge.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.