If you're looking for fall hikes around Ottawa and want to avoid the massive crowds, here are eight quieter trails to check out this season, and none of them are in Gatineau Park.
Address: Pinhey Forest, Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: The forest boasts over six kilometres of trails that connect and loop together for a range of hike lengths. There are two parking lots, P14 and P15, leading to two main trails. Trail 32 goes through the dense forest and also features rare sand dunes.
Parliament Hill Staircase
Address: Parliament Hill, Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: This urban stroll is a great way to get in your cardio while admiring a stunning fall view. The stairs behind Parliament Hill are surrounded by trees that pop with autumn colours and feature a view over the Ottawa River.
Address: 1175 Limerick Rd., Oxford Station & 167 Scotch Line Rd. & 195 Craig Rd., Merrickville, ON
Why You Need To Go: This massive forest is separated into two sections, North and South, with different parking lots and trail options. You can hike over marsh boardwalks, along forest paths and to various lookouts where you'll admire the changing fall colours.
Gillies Grove Nature Trail
Address: 25 Division St. N. &161 Ottawa St., Arnprior, ON
Why You Need To Go: This historic forest is home to towering trees and flat walking trails where you can surround yourself with fall leaves. The loop connects to other easy trails and is close to downtown Arnprior.
Address: 502 Hills of Peace Rd., Lanark, ON
Why You Need To Go: This hiking trail is part of a network in a large, protected wilderness area full of various types of trees. It is one of the highest points in the region and has been voted by local residents as "one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County."
Jack Pine Trail
Address: NCC Greenbelt P9, Moodie Dr., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: This easy forested trail is part of the Stony Swamp Conservation Area along with Old Quarry Trail and Lime Kiln Trail. There is a boardwalk section that crosses over a pond where you may be able to spot a variety of wildlife.
The Crazy Horse Trail
Address: March Rd. at Huntmar Dr., Carp, ON
Why You Need To Go: The trail is just over six kilometres in length and loops around a beaver pond with connecting side trails to follow. You'll admire a mix of forest, ponds and rocky escarpments from a number of lookout points.
Mer Bleue Bog
Address: NCC Greenbelt P22, Ridge Rd., Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: Even some of the coniferous trees change colours in the fall and you can admire them as you stroll over a marsh boardwalk. There are other trails within the area full of colour so you can add time to your adventure.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.