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Planning To Visit Ottowa

Old 04-26-16, 08:00 PM
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Planning To Visit Ottawa

My wife and I are thinking of visititng Ottawa next fall and I'm looking for local advice on what to expect. We are primarily interested in how any miles/kilometers of paved off street trails to expect. I've looked at maps on the Ottawa website and it's difficult to get a sense of scale. Also, are there suggestions, warning, or recemendations you'd like to share.

Thank you.

Last edited by R88; 04-26-16 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 04-26-16, 08:53 PM
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First suggestion. We usually spell it Ottawa, with an A in the middle.

Just saying.

Having got that out of the way, Ottawa is pretty bike friendly, perhaps surprisingly for a capital city that has the somewhat dubious distinction of being the third coldest capital city in the world (after Ulan Bator in Mongolia and Astana in Kazakhstan). The path along the Rideau Canal is nice and quiet, and there are great (and hilly) rides out in the Gatineau, which is on the Quebec side of the river.

This web site has some ideas, although you probably found it already.

Cycling on the Capital?s Pathways | National Capital Commission

Our Toronto club did their annual out-of-town weekend in Ottawa for a couple of years, based at the University of Ottawa, so I might be able to get hold of some of the route directions if that helps -- there would have been rides of anything from 25 to 250km. I was away the first year, and then injured for the second, so my information is all second hand, sadly. And I have friends who live there if you need more specific information.

Fall is very beautiful though. Golden, red and orange trees.
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Old 04-26-16, 10:48 PM
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Thank you for the kind and patient correction. I have no excuse and my face is red. Also, I would like to thank you for the information. Am I correct in understanding the surrounding country side is quite hilly once one leaves the river valley? When you refer to route directions does that mean traveling on streets & roadways? I was hoping for paved bicycle paths like rails to trails type. I tried Bike Trails, Walking Trails & Trail Maps | TrailLink but they don't cover Canada. Is there a Canadian equavilent?
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Old 04-27-16, 08:32 AM
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I wrote a whole reply, and my computer ate it. Or the BikeForums web site ate it.

Ottawa bike map is here, with bike lanes in green and bike-friendly roads in red. The routes along the canal and along the Ottawa river are paved bike paths.

You have plenty of time -- write or email the Ottawa tourist office and the Quebec tourist office for information on bike routes etc in Ottawa and in the Hull/Gatineau area. They will send you maps and maybe advice as well. I remember the Ontario side of the river as fairly flat, but the Gatineau is hilly, and very lovely. Some roads close to traffic on some weekends so the bikers can go out and play.
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Old 04-28-16, 01:49 PM
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Check out GoBiking.ca for maps etc.
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Old 04-28-16, 04:59 PM
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On the Quebec side it is hilly and beautiful. The Gatineau Parkway is a great ride and it is the go to place for cyclists. Going south of Ottawa is flatter territory and again nice but in a different way.

If your interest is riding within the city limits, then there are many bike paths and routes to suit anyone. There are bike paths on both sides of the Rideau canal and along the Rideau River and Ottawa River. Ottawa has great cycling infrastructure and is a bike friendly city. As Boudicca says, the National Capital Commission closes a few Parkways to cars on Sunday mornings for cyclists, rollerbladers, roller skiers, and pedestrians. That information can be found here.

I grew up in Ottawa and still have family there and I miss the cycling, but I don't miss the winters. Depending on when you go the leaves changing colour is something that is worth the visit by itself. Have fun.
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Old 05-06-16, 01:40 PM
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You might find these links of interest:
Ottawa
https://www.ottawatourism.ca/see-and-do/cycling/
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Old 05-31-16, 10:29 PM
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I hope you both enjoy this fair city, we Ottawan's are privileged to have an extensive network of both paved pathways and MTB trails. As others have mentioned the Gatineau side of the river has even more pathways and trails, which offer a bit more challenging terrain but are essentially part of the same network (the bridges have bike lanes connecting the pathways).

Google maps has a decent layover of much of the network, and when you are here you will be able to pick up paper maps at numerous trail side map stands. PM if you have any questions, I am happy to answer.

https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Ott...971931!5m1!1e3
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