Places to Day Hike or Trail Run Around Ottawa

Looking for a new place to take a hike or go for a run? Here are some spots you may not have found yet. Follow the links to get more information about each trail.

Marlboro Forest

Located south of Ottawa with three parking areas along Roger Stevens Drive, Marlboro Forest contains 29 km of hiking trails. The most popular is the 4.0 km Cedar Grove Waling Trail which starts at parking lot E3. The Rideau Trail from Ottawa to Kingston also passes through Marlboro Forest. There is a 12.5 km section south of Rodger Stevens Drive with a lean-to near the halfway point. The trail can be accessed at E3. The Rideau Trail comes out onto Palen Road at the 12.5 km mark. You can’t park there but it does work as a pick-up or drop off point. There is also a 9 km section North of Rodger Stevens which starts between E3 and E4. At the 9 km mark the Rideau Trail comes out onto Kettles Road which has limited parking. The Cedar Grove Trail is reserved for non-motorized use. The Rideau Trail is a mix of walking trails and dirt roads which are used by snowmobiles in winter. All trails are well marked. There are several different types of wetland. Hiking in wet conditions will be rather muddy! Hunting is allowed so stay on the trails and dress appropriately in hunting season.

Blueberry Mountain

This is a 4.5 km out and back trail on private land near Lanark Highlands. Great views from the top with information signs along the route. The parking lot is small so avoid peak times.  This trail is one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County!

Mud Lake Trail

This trail just east of Britannia  Beach is a 2.4 km loop around Mud Lake with many side trails. A popular spot with bird watchers and nature photographers. You can find some amazing photos in the Friends of Mud Lake Facebook Group. A great spot for a walk with the kids. You can park at Britannia Beach  and stop at Beachconers for an ice cream on the way back to the car.

Crazy Horse Trail

Located on the northwest side of the intersection of March Road and Huntmar this trail is operated by the Friends of the Carp Hills. The main loop is 6.2 km with two side trails and a 1.7 km extension. The trail is well marked but we managed to miss the re-entry to the main trail from the extension. The trail is quite rugged and features several different types of forest and a beaver pond. The Carp Hills are known for ticks so dress appropriately. Hunting is also allowed in the area in fall.  Parking is on March Road and quite limited. While you are in the area check out the Carp Barrens Trail.

Ferguson Forest Trails

Ferguson Forest Centre is a blend of mixed forests, meadows and wetlands, as well as landscaped and seasonally maintained public spaces, roads and trails, including direct access to Kemptville Creek for paddlecraft. There are over 22 km of marked multi-use trails. Located just North of Kempville with several parking areas along Country Road 44.

Eagle’s Nest

Located just past Calabogie this 8 km out and back trail ends with a cliff-top lookout with awesome views. Eagle’s Nest is a Sacred Site for area First Nation’s People. Avoid peak times particularly in the fall.

Morris Island

Morris Island Conservation Area is located along the Ottawa River near the community of Fitzroy Harbour. This 47 hectare site consists of forested woodlands and wetlands. With 6 km of trails, this beautiful island encourages you to enjoy the best of Ontario’s weather throughout the seasons. There is a small parking area and a $6 daily fee. you can also buy a season’s pass for $47. Lots of great views of the Ottawa River.

Gatineau Park

An obvious choice for good reason. The park includes many wonderful trails worth a visit. Check out the full trail map and discover your own lesser know hikes.

The Greenbelt Trails

These trails are close to home and a popular choice but if you avoid peak times you can still have some alone time with nature.

Limerick Forest

Located just south of Kemptville. The Interpretive centre is at 1175 Limerick Road. The smaller trail network from the interpretive centre is for hiking only. The trails are very well maintained and include lots of interpretive signs. The is a kids trail and play area and bathrooms! The forest contains 180 km of multi-use trails, which range in size from single track to roads for emergency access. Motorized ATVs, dirt bikes and snowmobiles are allowed but with 180 km of trail there is room for everyone.

Goodwood Marsh Trail 

A 3.7 km nature trail near Beckwith. Well maintained with a play structure at the parking entrance to add some fun for the kids.

High Lonesome Nature Reserve 

There are 8 km of trails winding through this property located in the Pakenham Hills , providing opportunities to see the varied habitats and if you’re lucky, to see some interesting wildlife.  The property is open to the public and parking is available at the end of Carbine Rd., just outside the gate, which limits ATV access.  There is a small gate for pedestrians.

Baxter Conservation Area

Situated on 80 hectares along the shores of the Rideau River, Baxter is a beautiful example of river floodplain. Explore, year-round, the mixed hardwood forests, meadows and wetlands over the 5 km of trails. There is a $7 parking fee.

Mill of Kintail

Situated on 154 hectares amidst field, forest and the Indian River, with 6km of trails and serveal picnic areas. There is a $6 fee per vehicle

South March Highlands

Located in Kanata and maintained by OMBA. Lots of great trails. This area is very popular with local mountain bikers but the trails are open to all

Have a trail suggestion we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Published by judyapiel

Runner, triathlete and coach. Owner of RunK2J, Community Events at Bushtukah. Always looking for a new travel adventure.

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