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Take the scenic route on your next cycling adventure

April 21, 2017
Feature Stories

Ottawa’s vast rural areas are great cycling destinations, criss-crossed by quiet country roads and a network of trails. We’ve mapped out some rural cycling routes that have a lot to offer for riders, including country stores, wineries, farms and markets, historic attractions, conservation areas, wildlife, fitness and more. The routes are available in a variety of different lengths, degrees of difficulty and road surfaces, and show points of interest and rest areas.

We also provide a Ride with GPS link so you can take your favourite route with you on a smartphone or other mobile device. Ride with GPS not only shows your route, it includes a Ride Reports feature which makes it easy to create and share the stories of your cycling trip, complete with interactive maps, photo collages and other storytelling tools.

Here’s some of what you can look forward to on a rural cycling adventure:

Kanata

Kanata

Total Distance: 38 km
Experience Level: Experienced
Route Surface: Paved country roads
Start/Finish: Kanata North
Roll out of the tech hub of Kanata North onto the bike lanes connecting to pretty farm- and tree-lined March Valley Road. Running parallel to the Ottawa River, take in the scenic views across to the Gatineau Hills from Sheila McKee Park or Pinhey's Point Historic Site. Cruise to the picturesque wetlands of Constance Creek, then fuel up with cold refreshments at the four corners of Dunrobin before taking Second Line south past the South March Highlands.

Carp & Country Debunker

Diefenbunker

Total Distance: 45.9 km
Experience Level: Moderate to experienced
Route Surface: Paved country roads, short unpaved segment
Start/Finish: Carp Village
Head out from the village of Carp into the surrounding countryside for a pleasant, looped ride on some of the quietest roads west of the city. Enjoy the panoramic views from Carp Ridge and stop in at the Herb Garden, where heritage log barns are filled with local art treasures and aromatic greenhouses. There are many attractions waiting back in Carp: the Diefenbunker, the historic fairground and the popular Saturday farmer’s market.

Munster Meander

Munster Meandor

Total Distance: 50 km
Experience Level: Moderate to experienced
Route Surface: Paved and unpaved country roads and stone-dust trail
Start/Finish: Munster
Enjoy a varied-surface ride that’s sure to please the relaxed cycling crowd. Don't miss out on the Goulbourn Museum, with exhibits on military history and more. Make a stop in Ashton and see the Old Mill, an authentic English-style pub and brewery on the banks of Jock River. Follow gravel and paved roads around past Jabulani Vineyard and Winery as a last stop before returning to Munster. 

Manotick South and West

Manotick

Total Distance: 56 km
Experience Level: Moderate
Route Surface: Paved roads
Enjoy rural village ambience, farmer’s markets and the natural beauty of the Rideau River. Manotick Village has many excellent restaurants and cafés. Watson’s Mill is an historic flour and gristmill, still in operation today. Baxter Conservation Area is a natural park with hiking trails and a beach on the Rideau River. Strathmere Country Retreat has a 6,000 square foot spa, just what you need after a long ride.

The Osgoode Ride

Osgoode

Total Distance: 59 km
Experience Level: Experienced
Route Surface: Paved country roads
Start/Finish: Osgoode
Starting from the village of Osgoode, take in the rural ambiance of Ottawa’s south end, including views from the Osgoode Link Pathway, a stone-dust surfaced trail that was once a rail line. Stop in Metcalfe for refreshments, or if your timing is right, the annual fall agricultural fair. After finishing the route, treat yourself to a meal at the popular Red Dot Café in Osgoode.

Rail Trail

Rail Trail

Total Distance: 23.5 km
Experience Level: Easy to moderate
Route Surface: Stone-dust trail, gravel and paved roads
Start/Finish: Navan Village
Enjoy the well-maintained Ottawa Prescott Russell rail trail just south of village of Navan with tree canopy coverage and scenic farmland views. At Sarsfield Road connect to a series of quiet unpaved country back roads looping back towards Navan past farms of all sizes, fields of corn and dairy cows. Make sure to stop in at the two wineries en route to enjoy the scenic surroundings and sample vintages with grapes grown on nearby fields.

Cumber Tour de Land

Cumberland

Total Distance: 69 km (20.5 km short)
Experience Level: Moderate to advanced
Route Surface: Paved country roads (gravel on short route only)
Start/Finish: Cumberland Village for Short; Navan Memorial Centre and Arena for Long
Start from the village of Cumberland and learn more about this 19th century outpost at the Heritage Museum. Ride out of the river valley woodlands past country estates and through the flat farm lands to quiet country back roads. Before heading back down to the river, stop in at Proulx Farms for seasonal berries, maple syrup and other farm fresh goodies. For a shorter route, include a small gravel stretch on scenic Sarsfield Road. Coast back downhill to the river, making sure to leave time for refreshments at the Black Walnut Bakery Café.

Park to Park

Morris Island causeway

Total Distance: 45 km
Experience Level: Moderate
Route Surface: Paved country roads
Start/Finish: Morris Island Conservation Area
Explore the Ottawa River from the stunning natural settings of Fitzroy Provincial Park and Morris Island Conservation Area. Pack a picnic or consider an overnight camp-out at Fitzroy Provincial Park. Experience a little slice of Québec countryside in Quyon including a ferry ride over the Ottawa River.

Out a way

Out a way

Total Distance: 101 km
Experience Level: Experienced
Route Surface: Paved country roads
Start/Finish: Kanata North
A stunning tour of northwestern Ottawa. Take in the rural landscapes on routes popular for training and events, including a variety of smooth paved roads with low traffic, challenging hill climbs and joyful descents. Make refreshment stops in Dunrobin, Fitzroy Harbour and Kinburn.

Check out the full list and map at ottawa.ca/selfguidedbicycletours.

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