Hiking Trails of Ottawa  by Michael Haynes

Hiking Trails of Ottawa Guide Book

by Michael Haynes (Goose Lane Editions)
Hiking Trails of Ottawa  by Michael Haynes
Collected here, for the first time, are the best hiking routes in the National Capital Region, including Gatineau Park, Ottawa’s Greenbelt, brand new trails at Manitou Mountain, and Eastern Ontario’s most outstanding provincial parks (Frontenac, Charleston, and Murphy’s Point), as well as gems hidden in the neighbouring Canadian Shield and Laurentian Highlands. All fifty routes are located within a roughly 100-km radius of Ottawa, all within easy reach. Michael Haynes provides GPS coordinates to the trailheads and cell phone coverage gaps on each trail, and his “Trails at a Glance” section highlights each route’s length, suggested completion time, permitted uses, entry fee, and degree of difficulty (ranging from easy walks to demanding hikes), as well as information on the conditions under which pets may or may not be permitted.

© 2010 Michael Haynes/Goose Lane Editions. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Trails of Ottawa" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 50.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 50.

Few hikes will provide you with the opportunity to sample as many recreational resources as this does. You begin and end on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your walk, you will be following the Cataraqui Trail, the Rideau Trail, and the Trans Canada Trail, sometimes simultaneously
Kingston, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 11.9
Charleston Lake Provincial Park comprises more than 2,500 hectares (6,100 acres) of crown land scattered on the shores and islands of large Charleston Lake. This is a phenomenally popular summer destination, and its 238 campsites are filled almost every weekend. A wide variety of hiking options are available within its boundaries, including one trail, Blue Mountain, which requires canoe travel to access the trailhead.
Kingston, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.25
Cycloparc PPJ is a 92 km (57.5 mi) recreational trail located entirely within the Pontiac Regional County Municipality. This essentially rural community, fewer than 15,000 people spread over an area of 13,848 km², has developed a tremendous off-road walking and cycling resource. The Cycloparc follows the route of the abandoned Pontiac Pacific Junction Railway — known affectionately as the “Push, Pull, and Jerk.”
Ottawa, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 16.25
The Forêt-la-Blanche Ecological Reserve was officially established in 2008 to protect the great diversity of plant life found in the Outaouais region. Within its 2,052 hectares (5,070 acres), several rare stands of old-growth forests and a number of endangered plants, such as ginseng, may be found. It also features more than 20 km (12.5 mi) of trails that explore the reserve’s rugged, outstanding landscape. Forêt-la-Blanche is appropriate for novices and families yet worthwhile for more experienced trekkers. Trails are open daily from 10:00 to 17:00.
Ottawa, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.9
Pick up the colourful Doe Lake guide, $1 (2009), at the Park Office before you start; it provides an excellent social and natural history that adds considerably to the experience. Although Frontenac Provincial Park was designed specifically to provide backcountry experiences, there are several worthwhile hikes near the Park Office suitable for families and casual walkers. None are more popular than the 1.5 km (0.9 mi) Arab Lake Gorge, which follows an extensive boardwalk, or the 3 km (1.9 mi) Doe Lake Loop, which visits two lakes and the site of a former mica mine. They can be hiked together or separately.
Kingston, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.7
Frontenac Provincial Park is an outstanding wilderness resource nestled in the most rugged of Canadian Shield terrain between Ottawa and Kingston. Relatively small compared to Gatineau Park, at only 52 km² (20 mi²), it nevertheless contains more than 160 km (100 mi) of hiking trails, oodles of canoe routes, and 48 backcountry campsites. Probably an entire book could be written about just this one park.
Kingston, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 17.5
East of Ottawa between the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers, the terrain is almost as flat as the prairies. Covered by the waters of the Champlain Sea only 10,000 years ago, this vast plain, dotted with woodlands and boggy marshes, is now mostly farmland. The Glengarry Trails are located here, in the predominantly rural Township of North Glengarry. Its largest community, Alexandria, where our walk begins, comprises fewer than 3,500 people.
Ottawa, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.4
Originally constructed in 1880 as the home for an Irish immigrant family trying to farm the thin soil of the Gatineau Hills, Herridge Shelter is now a yearround destination for thousands of outdoor enthusiasts. This would have pleased its namesake, Duncan Herridge, a former Canadian Ambassador to the United States and avid outdoorsman, who, for almost forty years from the early 1920s, used the house as his base to explore the surrounding countryside. The Herridge Shelter is well positioned to be accessed from park trailheads in Wakefield, Lac Philippe, and O’Brien Beach. The trail from less well-known P16 is the shortest and often the least busy.
Wakefield, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.25
Renfrew County sits on the boundary between southern and northern Ontario, and that borderline makeup shows in its geography, which features productive farmland near the Ottawa River and forested Canadian Shield hills in its interior. The section of the K&P Trail between Calabogie and Ashdad touches both facets of the region, providing glimpses of the rugged nature of the Shield in the many rock cuts near the Madawaska River, while finishing alongside the cultivated fields around Ashdad.
Ottawa, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.2
The 2.5 km (1.6 mi) King Mountain Trail loop starting from Lac Black is one of the most popular trails in Gatineau Park and features some of its most highly structured boardwalks and stair systems. The King Mountain Trail is also home to an elaborate system of interpretive panels. It is constantly busy, so to provide some relief from the crowds, I have included a relatively easy 2 km (1.25 mi) approach walk from P7 on the Kingsmere Road along quiet Trail 8.
Chelsea, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
This walk offers something for almost everyone, with the probable exception of the backcountry enthusiast. Your route passes next to picnic grounds, restaurants, and a swimmable lake; provides scenic views of the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers; offers inviting side trips; and is of a sufficient length that you will feel as though you’ve truly exercised. There are numerous pleasant locations en route for rest breaks and the opportunity to include a visit to the celebrated Museum of Civilization.
Ottawa, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.2
William Lyon Mackenzie King was one of Canada’s greatest, and most fascinating, prime ministers. A master politician, and the longest ever to serve as prime minister at nearly 22 years, he was a lifelong bachelor whose diaries reveal a deep interest in the occult.
Ottawa, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
Caves are rare in the Canadian Shield, but in the Gatineau Valley there are pockets of marble, a rock that can be dissolved by water. Lusk Cave is one of these and is a popular destination at all times of the year.
Wakefield, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.4
This trail is for those who like to climb — or who enjoy gasping for breath and speaking in very short sentences. In barely 2.5 km (1.6 mi), this path rises 270 m/yd, much of it over rocky, jagged terrain, and passes one of the prettiest waterfalls in Gatineau Park. No other climb in this book is so steep or so rugged. It is definitely not for everyone, but some will loved it!
Luskville, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.1
The 532 hectares (1,315 acres) of the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area include fields, forests, and wetlands surrounding a reservoir that was once known as the Back Pond, and are a provincially significant habitat of plant, animal, and bird life. Long a popular local recreation site, the property has been developed with the addition of picnic facilities, a stacked-loop trail system, an interpretive program, and a nature centre. Perhaps its most distinctive feature is its breeding pair of trumpeter swans. Their call must be heard to be fully appreciated.
Kingston, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.25
Few trails are found on corporate property, but the Macnamara Nature Trail, created and maintained entirely by volunteers, wends through land owned by Nylene Canada Incorporated, whose plant is nearby. This is also part of the Nopiming Game Preserve, one of the few in Ontario on private land. The trail is named after Charles Macnamara, an ardent field naturalist, who, in the early 20th century, documented wild orchids, birds, beavers, and the natural history of the Arnprior area.
Ottawa, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
This trail officially opened in June 2009, but it has quickly become known as one of the most admired local options for hiking enthusiasts. Climbing to the top of Dickson Mountain, the summit of the Calabogie Peaks Resort’s downhill ski trails, this challenging trek features steep climbs, several expansive vistas, and a first-rate workout for anyone who undertakes it.
Ottawa, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.2
Although not terribly long, the Marble Rock Trail passes through difficult terrain, including rocky, sometimes steep slopes. Navigation is its principal challenge, however, as one extended stretch crosses a nearly treeless expanse of flat stone, where it is very easy to become disoriented. Coincidentally, cellphone reception in this area is very poor.
Kingston, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 7
Encompassing more than 12,000 hectares (29,500 acres), the Marlborough Forest is the third-largest municipally owned woodland in Ontario — even larger than the Larose Forest east of Ottawa. Ownership is split evenly between private and public, with management of the public portions being undertaken by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
Ottawa, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.75
The trails at Mer Bleue are situated on parallel ridges separated by extensive wetlands and make up two stand-alone networks. The ones profiled here — trails 50, 51, and 52, — are organized into three connected, or “stacked,” loops that permit users to select the distance appropriate for them. I have elected to describe the outer perimeter, providing the longest hike possible without repeating any section.
Ottawa, ON - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.25