47 Best Hiking and Walking Trails in Ottawa (Including Dog Friendly Hikes)

If you’re looking for the best hiking and walking trails in Ottawa, look no further!

This comprehensive list includes 47 of the best trails in the area, from easy hikes for beginners to more challenging routes for experienced hikers.

In addition, I’ve included a section on dog-friendly hikes, so everyone can enjoy nature together.

Hiking is one of my favourite things to do in Canada. And the Ottawa Valley and its surrounding areas are full of excellent nature trails for you to enjoy.

If you’re looking for a good forest trail, I recommend visiting Gatineau Park’s many trails. But if you want a short walk in the City of Ottawa, the Rideau Pathway is one of my favourite spots.

I’m only including day hikes in Southern Ontario and nearby Quebec. You can also find some fun hiking trails in Algonquin Park, but these are multi-day trips with the length of the drive.

So strap on your day pack, fill it with your hiking snacks of choice, and get ready to tour the best hikes near Ottawa!


Best Hiking Trails in Ottawa

1. Pinhey Forest Heritage Conservation Area

Located in Kanata, Pinhey Forest is a great place for a nature walk or hike. The forest has 10km of trails and is home to many different species of birds and animals. The forest is also home to the oldest collection of Eastern White Pine trees in Ottawa!

LocationDistance: 6.4 kms | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: P14 and P15Washrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash.


Rideau River running through perth along the Rideau Trail hike near Ottawa

2. Rideau Trail

The Rideau Trail is a world-famous walking trail that runs from Ottawa to Kingston. The whole trail is 387km long, but there are many different sections that you can hike without committing to the entire trail. The section that runs through Ottawa is particularly lovely, and takes you past some of the city’s best landmarks.

Some of the best Rideau Trail hikes near Ottawa are:

Rideau Trail WebsiteDistance: 387km total | Difficulty: Ranges from easy to challenging | Price: Free | Parking: Use public parking | Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash.


3. Mer Bleue Bog Conservation Area Loop Trail

This short and easy 1.6km loop trail is located in the east end of Ottawa.

The highlight of the hike is the Mer Bleue Bog, which is one of the largest bogs in Ottawa.

Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife as you hike, as the bog is home to many different animals including beavers, otters, and muskrats.

The hike is along a boardwalk, making it easy and accessible.

Nearby, you’ll also find some other lovely hikes (with the blandest names unfortunately). Add them on for a day trip of hiking near Ottawa:

LocationDistance: 1.6 km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: Lot 22 | Washrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: No


Golden retriever looking out over a marsh at Beaver Pond Trail Ottawa walking path

4. Beaver Pond Trail

The Beaver Pond Trail is located in Kanata, just a short drive from downtown Ottawa. The trail is 4km long and takes you through forest and wetlands.

The highlight of the hike is definitely the beaver ponds (surprise!), which are home to many different animals including beavers, otters, and muskrats.

I run along this route most mornings with my dog.

Watch out for goose poop in the spring!

LocationDistance: 4km | Difficulty: Easy to intermediate | Price: Free | Parking: Here  | Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, off leash allowed


5. Hog’s Back Falls Loop

The Hog’s Back Falls Loop is a short and easy 1.5km loop trail located in the heart of Ottawa. The highlight of the hike is the Hog’s Back Falls, which is a beautiful waterfall located on the Rideau River.

The trail is also home to many different birds and animals, so keep your eyes peeled as you hike.

LocationDistance: 1.5km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes


Winter lookout over Ottawa River at Sheila McKee Nature Trail with frozen waves through pine trees

6. Sheila McKee Nature Trail

The Sheila McKee Nature Trail is located outside of Kanata. It’s a short 1.5km trail that’s worth the drive.

This trail’s highlight is a massive waterfall leading onto a sandy beach.

The best time to visit is in winter when the waterfall is completely frozen, as is the shore of the river.

LocationDistance: 1.5km | Difficulty: Intermediate | Price: Free | Parking: Along the road | Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


7. Pine Grove Trail

Pine Grove Trail is a national capital commission hike near Ottawa in the Greenbelt area. It’s famed for its towering pine forests.

The hike along the interpretive panels on the trail is especially beautiful in the winter, when the 4.4km hike is full of towering ice giants.

LocationDistance: 4.4km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: P18Washrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


8. Stony Swamp Trail

Stony Swamp Trail is another great national capital commission hike. It’s located in the Greenbelt and is home to many different animals including deer, beavers, and coyotes.

The trail is 8km long and takes you through forests, wetlands, and meadows. There are 40km total of trails in the area.

In the winter, this is an excellent place to go cross-country skiing.

LocationDistance: 8km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: P4 and P13Washrooms: | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


9. Shirley’s Bay Trail

Shirley’s Bay Trail is a beautiful trail located on the Ottawa River. The trail is 4km long and takes you through forests, wetlands, and meadows.

The highlight of the hike is the stunning views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills.

There’s a boat launch as well, if you fancy kayaking after a picnic lunch.

LocationDistance: 4km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: P2Washrooms: | Dogs Allowed: Only in summer, must remain on leash


10. Jack Pine Trail

Jack Pine is an easy trail that you can visit year round.

Much like Mer Bleue Bog, it’s a boardwalk trail through a marshy ecosystem.

It’s the best spot to hike if you want to go bird watching. Keep an eye out for blue jays!

LocationDistance: 2.3km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: P9Washrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: No


11. Beaver & Chipmunk Trails

This lesser-known trail in Nepean is a short 2.6km hike you and your family will love.

The Beaver & Chipmunk Trails take you along a river and through the woods. The highlight of the hike is the beaver dam located at the end of the trail.

And of course expect many chipmunks running past!

LocationDistance: 2.6km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: P8Washrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: No


12. Ottawa Carleton Trailway

The Ottawa Carleton Trailway is a 16-kilometre trail with pleasant scenery and gentle grades for a warm hike through a primarily urban environment.

The trail goes through many different neighbourhoods, so it’s a great way to explore the city.

There are also many different photo opportunities along the way, so don’t forget your camera!

LocationDistance: 16 km | Difficulty: Intermediate | Price: Free | Parking: Britannia BeachWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


13. Sarsaparilla Trail in the Greenbelt Trails

The Sarsaparilla Trail is a short, easy trail located in the Greenbelt. The trail is less than 1km long and takes you through beautiful, down-to-earth scenery.

There’s also a dock overlooking the pond, which is a great spot to relax and take in the scenery.

LocationDistance: 0.8km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: On the road | Washrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: No


14. Old Quarry Trail

If you’re in Kanata, don’t miss this short trail through the region.

The Old Quarry Trail has two loops: one that’s 3km and one that’s 2km.

It’s an easy hike that includes interpretive signage to learn about the area’s geography.

LocationDistance: 5km total | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: P5Washrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: No


15. Dewberry Trail

The Dewberry Trail is a great option for those looking for a nearby hike to Downtown Ottawa.

This trail is about 2 kilometre in length and runs through boreal forest. The trailhead can be found at the end of Dunbar Road.

LocationDistance: 2 km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: P23Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


16. South March Trail

The South March Trail is a great option for those looking for a more challenging hike.

If you don’t live in Kanata, then you’ve probably never heard of this trail!

This trail is 8 kilometres in length and runs through the South March Highlands Conservation Forest.

The trail is hilly and has many different lookouts to take in the scenery.

LocationDistance: 8 km| Difficulty: Intermediate to challenging | Price: Free | Parking:  Lot BWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


17. Mud Lake Trail

The Mud Lake Trail is one of the most popular trails in Ottawa. The trailhead can be found at the corner of Prince of Wales Drive and Carling Avenue.

The trail is 2.8 kilometers in length and runs through a forested Wetland.

The highlight of this hike are the many different bird species that can be seen along the way.

LocationDistance: 2.8km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: On street | Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Only on the north end of the trail


18. Lime Kiln Trail

If you’re looking for an easy and beautiful hike near Ottawa, the Lime Kiln Trail is a great option. This 4.2-km loop trail is located in Gatineau Park and generally takes about 55 minutes to complete.

The trail is well-marked and suitable for strollers and wheelchairs in some sections.

LocationDistance: 4.2km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: P10Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


Best Hiking Trails Near Ottawa

19. Oiseau Rock Trail

Oiseau Rock is a 9 km round-trip hike located in Sheenboro.

The trail is considered to be Intermediate level, and takes you through the Algonquin forest.

The highlight of the hike are the ancient pictographs that can be found on Oiseau Rock.

LocationDistance: 9 km | Difficulty: Intermediate | Price: $12/vehicle | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


20. Mary Hayden Trail

The Mary Hayden Trail is a 5 km loop trail located in Mont O’Brien.

The trail is considered to be intermediate level, and takes you through the forest and wetlands.

There are many different wildlife species that can be seen along the way, including rare mushrooms.

Note: You will need to sign up for a membership to hike Mount O’Brien.

LocationDistance: 5km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: $30 | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: No


21. Carbide Wilson Ruins

The Carbide Wilson Ruins is a 3.25 km return hike located in Chelsea.

The trail is considered to be easy, and takes you through the Gatineau Park.

The highlight of the hike are the ruins of an old building that was built over 100 years ago.

LocationDistance: 3.25 km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: $13/vehicle | Parking: P11Washrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


22. Rock Dunder

Rock Dunder is a 3.7 km return hike located in Lyndhurst.

The trail is considered to be easy, and takes you through the Rideau Waterway.

The highlight of the hike are the incredible views of the waterway.

LocationDistance: 3.7 km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: $10 | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


23. Terraces Trail

The Terraces Trail is a 3.8 km return hike located in Pakenham in the Fitz Roy Provincial Park.

The trail is considered to be easy, and takes you through the Lanark Forest.

The highlight of the hike are the many different waterfalls that can be found along the way.

LocationDistance: 3.8km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: $18 | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


24. Filmore Park Nut Grove in Baxter Conservation Area

The Filmore Park Nut Grove is in the 5km section of trail located within the Baxter Conservation Area, just south of Ottawa.

The hike is full of boardwalks and marshes, and takes you through the nut grove, where you can expect a gentle loop of almost 1km.

LocationDistance: 5km | Difficulty: Easy |  Price: $7 | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


25. Alf Campbell Trail

If you’re looking for a peaceful hike near Ottawa, the Alf Campbell Trail is a great option.

This 3.5km path winds through the Ferguson Forest Centre, and is part of a larger network of biking and hiking trails.

LocationDistance: 3.5km | Difficulty: Easy |  Price: Free | Parking: HereWashrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


Best Walking Trails in Ottawa

Champman Mills trail with an industrial bridge across the Ottawa River as a lovely walking trail near downtown Ottawa

26. Ottawa River Pathway / Champman Mills Trail

One of the best walking trails in Ottawa is the Ottawa River Pathway / Champman Mills Trail. This trail is a 6-km out-and-back trail that runs along the Ottawa River.

The trail is considered to be easy, and is great for all skill levels.

There are many different scenic lookouts along the way, as well as a few benches to take a break.

LocationDistance: 6km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: Pay for parking in downtown Ottawa | Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


Rideau Canal Pathway trail in winter with people skating on the Rideau Canal from the hiking trail

27. Rideau Canal Pathway

The Rideau Canal Pathway is a 7-km out-and-back trail that runs along the Rideau Canal.

The trail is popular with walkers, runners, and cyclists alike. The pathway is an easy hike with a few small hills. There are several scenic spots along the way where you can stop and take in the view.

The Rideau Canal Pathway is a great option for a casual hike or a longer walk.

LocationDistance: 7km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: Pay for parking in Downtown Ottawa | Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


28. Experimental Farm Pathway Trail

This leisurely hike is perfect for those who want to relax and take in some calming scenery.

The Central Experimental Farm Pathway Trail is home to the Canada Agriculture Museum and includes fields and barns along the way. If you’re looking for a peaceful hike that’s not too challenging, this is the trail for you.

LocationDistance: 7.2km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: Pay for parking at Experimental Farm | Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


29. Mooney’s Bay Walk

The trail is considered to be easy with a few small hills. The Mooney’s Bay Walk takes you through the park, where you can see the beach, the Rideau River, and Mooney’s Bay.

The Mooney’s Bay Walk is a great option for a casual hike or walk with the family.

LocationDistance: 2.7km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: $10 | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


30. Andrew Haydon Park Trail

The Andrew Haydon Park Trail is a 5-km loop trail located in Nepean.

The trail is considered to be easy, and takes you through the park where you can see the Rideau River, grasslands, and forests.

LocationDistance: 3.4km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Pay for parking | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


31. Conroy Pit Loop Trail

The Conroy Pit Loop Trail is a 5-km loop trail located in Nepean.

The trail is considered to be easy, and takes you through the park where you can see the Rideau River, forests, and wetlands.

This is a great spot to walk with your dog, as there’s a dog park.

LocationDistance: 5km | Difficulty: Easy to intermediate | Price: Free | Parking: P17Washrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, off leash park area as well as trails


Major Hill's Park view of tulips during the tulip festival looking out at the Notre Dame Cathedral from the walkway in downtown Ottawa

32. Major Hill’s Park

Major Hill’s Park is a great option for those looking for an easy hike with a few small hills. The park is located in the Byward Market area, it’s a lovely spot to view Parliament Hill.

LocationDistance: 1km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: Paid parking in Downtown Ottawa | Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


33. Dows Lake Loop

Do’s Lake Loop is a 6-km loop trail located in Ottawa.

The trail is considered to be easy with a few small hills. The highlights of the hike include views of Dow’s Lake and the Rideau Canal.

LocationDistance: 6km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: $3 per hour | Parking: HereWashrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


Golden retriever on a red leash smiling for the camera in front of tulips at the Dominion Arboretum hiking trail in Ottawa

34. Dominion Arboretum Trail

The Dominion Arboretum Trail is a 1.5-km loop trail located in Ottawa.

The trail is considered to be easy, and takes you through the park where you can see the Arboretum, a botanical garden, and the Rideau Canal. Visit in spring to see the cherry blossoms.

LocationDistance: 1.5km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


Other great walking trails near Ottawa include:

35. The Ornamental Gardens

36. Aviation Pathway

37. Sentier de Lac-Leamy

38. Remic Rapids Park

39. Rockliffe Park


Golden retriever smiling for camera from rock at a Gatineau Park hiking trail near Ottawa.

Best Hiking Trails in Ottawa at Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park is a beautiful spot for a hike, and is located just minutes outside of Ottawa. The park has over 165 km of hiking trails to choose from, making it the perfect spot for hikers of all levels.

These longer hikes offer great opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to spot rare birds and rare plants.

Some of the best hiking trails in Gatineau Park include:


Ruins of a gazebo at the Mackenzie King Estate hiking trail in Gatineau Park near Ottawa

40. MacKenzie King Estate

The MacKenzie King Estate is a 4-km loop trail that takes you through the historic estate of former Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.

The trail is considered to be easy with a few small hills.

The highlights of the hike include the gardens, the ruins of an old house, and a scenic lookout point.

LocationDistance: 4km | Difficulty: Easy to intermediate | Price: Free in summer | Parking: P6Washrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


41. King Mountain

King Mountain is a 9-km return hike that takes you to the top of King Mountain, the highest point in Gatineau Park.

The trail is considered to be moderate with some steep sections.

The hike takes you through forests and meadows, and offers panoramic views from the summit.

LocationDistance: 9km | Difficulty: Intermediate to challenging | Price: Free | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: No


42. Luskville Falls

Luskville Falls is a 6-km return hike that takes you to Luskville Falls, a series of waterfalls located in Gatineau Park.

The trail is considered to be moderate with some steep sections.

The highlight of the hike is obviously the waterfalls, but you’ll also pass by several scenic lookouts along the path.

LocationDistance: 6km | Difficulty: Intermediate to challenging | Price: Free | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: No


43. Outaouais Trail

The Outaouais Trail is a long distance trail that runs through Gatineau Park. The trail is 165 km long, and can be done in sections.

The trail is considered to be moderate with some strenuous sections.

The highlights of the hike include views of the Ottawa River, forests, and wetlands.

LocationDistance: 20.4km in Gatineau Park | Difficulty: Intermediate | Price: $8.50 | Parking: On road | Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: No


44. Pink Lake

Pink Lake is a 2.3km return hike that takes you to Pink Lake, a turquoise-hued lake located in Gatineau Park.

Named after the Pink family, it’s a common confusion that people expect a pink lake.

The trail is considered to be easy with a few small hills.

The highlight of the hike is the lake, which gets its colour from algae.

LocationDistance: 2.3km | Difficulty: Easy | Price: Free | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: No


45. Champlain Lookout

Champlain Lookout is a 4-km return hike that takes you to Champlain Lookout, a lookout point located in Gatineau Park.

The trail is considered to be easy with a few small hills.

The highlight of the hike is the panoramic views from the lookout point.

LocationDistance: 4km | Difficulty: Easy to intermediate | Price: Free | Parking: HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


Best Hikes Near Ottawa in Calabogie

46. Manitou Mountain Trail

This 9km trail is located in Calabogie and is rated as an intermediate-level hike. The trail features three stunning mountaintop lookouts, making it a great option for those who want to appreciate the beauty of the Ottawa area.

LocationDistance: 9km | Difficulty: Intermediate to challenging | Price: Free | Parking:  HereWashrooms: Yes | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


Eagle's Nest lookout and rock outcropping in Calabogie, a great hiking trail near Ottawa. view of pine forests from above

47. Eagle’s Nest Trail

This 8km trail is located in the Ottawa Valley and is considered a sacred site to First Nations peoples. The trail offers an incredible view of the surrounding landscape, making it a great option for those who want to appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

It’s an Instagram famous spot for shots of people sitting on the edge of the cliffs.

LocationDistance: 8km | Difficulty: Intermediate | Price: Free | Parking: Free on street | Washrooms: No | Dogs Allowed: Yes, but must remain on leash


7 Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Ottawa

  1. Eagle’s Nest Trail
  2. Conroy Pit Trail
  3. Sheila McKee Nature Trail
  4. South March Trail
  5. Ottawa River Pathway
  6. Dominion Arboretum Trail
  7. MacKenzie King Estate

What to Wear Hiking in Ottawa

If you’re planning on hitting the trails in Ottawa, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper gear.

Depending on the time of year and the weather conditions, you’ll need to dress appropriately.

Pack the following:

  • Hiking boots
  • Sun screen and a hat in the summer
  • SPF clothing to prevent sunburns
  • Lots of water
  • Snacks
  • A towel for muddy boots

Getting to Ottawa Hikes

Ottawa is filled with beautiful nature trails and it’s easy to get to them no matter where you’re coming from.

If you’re driving, many of the trails have parking available.

There are many car rental companies in the city, and it’s a convenient way to get around.

Plus, you’ll have the flexibility to explore different trails.

If you’re taking public transit, there are a few different options depending on where you’re coming from.

In summer, Ottawa runs a free shuttle to the Gatineau Park Trails. Within Ottawa, you can take public transit to many trails.

There are many different routes and schedules, so be sure to plan ahead.


Wrap Up: Best Hiking and Walking Trails Near Ottawa

Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or an easy walk, Ottawa has something to offer everyone.

With so many trails located close to the city, it’s easy to get out and explore nature.

If you’re looking for more things to do in Ottawa, be sure to check out the rest of our website.

We have information on attractions, events, and restaurants in the city.

You’ll find everything you need to plan your perfect trip.

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Ottawa Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Ottawa travel insurance?

100% YES! — There’s a misconception that Canada has “free healthcare” for everyone. Nope! Only Canadians. So you’ll need to get travel insurance to visit Ottawa. I recommend this one.

💧Can you drink the tap water in Ottawa?

Yes – ish — While you can technically drink the tap water in Ottawa, as a local I don’t recommend it. Old hotels especially can have some nasty things in their pipes. Instead, get a filtered water bottle. (Read more)

🚙💨 Do I need to rent a car in Ottawa?

Yes — Renting a car in Ottawa is one of the best ways to get around! You’ll be able to see more of the city and beyond, like the epic hiking trails. I recommend Discover Cars for the cheapest rates possible.

📲 Do I need to know French in Ottawa?

Nope! — The primary language of Ottawa is English. While French is also spoken and on some signs, you can easily get by without knowing any French. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book my Ottawa accommodations?

For Ottawa hotels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering an Ottawa Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb. My #1 hotel recommendation in Ottawa is the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Ottawa flights?

For finding cheap Ottawa flights, I recommend Skyscanner. You can even set a price alert to find out when flights are on sale.

🎫 Do I need a Visa for Ottawa?

Likely Not — U.S. and most European Passport holders don’t need a Visa to visit Canada.

📍 Where is Ottawa? And what’s nearby?

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, located in Ontario. It’s right on the border of Quebec. It’s about 2 hours from Mont Tremblant, 3 hours from Montreal, or 5 hours from Toronto. You can take a road trip to get to other places or fly.

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