Rideau Canal – Park Trail Rideau Canal, Ottawa
Updated September 29, 2017
Rideau Canal – Park Trail
Listing Types : Park Trail
Location : Eastern Ontario
Note : EPIC Ride
Total Trail Km : 10
Park Path % : 90
Road % : 10
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : paved, crushed gravel, bridges, flat sections
Faclities : parking, food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, trailhead map, good trail signage, trails maintained, bike rentals
Trail Fee : free

Length – 10 km (one way) about 19 km total

80% park path
20% road, detours

Elevation –  flat as it follows canal, drops to Ottawa River at locks

Terrain – asphalt wide path with line, some crushed stone, gravel sections

Skill – easy

Maps – map at trailhead, signs on trail

Facilities –  parking on side street, washrooms at Patterson Creek, at Lansdowne Park and also at Dows Lake Pavilion. bike rental – RentABike

Highlights – canal locks, bridges,  Hogs Back Falls, visit Parliament Hill, Agri Museum

Trail Fee – free

Phone – 613-580-2400

WebsiteOttawa Tourism   Rideau Info   City of Ottawa

Similar Trails – Rideau River, Welland Canal

Local Clubs –  Ottawa Bike Club ,  Kanata Bike Club 

Access –  numerous points along the route, parking on side streets by the trail,likely easier to find a spot further away from downtown and at Dow Lake Park

A  popular park trail locals love to cruise on in Ottawa, is the Rideau Canal. As it winds from Hogs Back locks up to the Ottawa River  10 km, it offers an ever changing scenery of well kept parklands and canal water craft activity.

Well maintained and flat , as trails are along rivers tend to be, this is an easy ride for the whole family. One has even a choice of making it a loop as it has paths on both sides of the canal waterway for most of it.

From the south end, visit the Hogs Back Falls, as the water rushing over it is rather spectacular. (now you know why there is a canal)  Cruising north along the canal behind Carleton University to Hartwell’s Locks you have a choice of continuing along on the east side or crossing on top of the narrow lock gates and heading up the other side.

If I were to recommend which side is better for bike riding, it would be the west side which is a little bit longer going around Dow’s Lake but also more scenic, with fewer cars in sight. Were as the east side is a bit more of a commuter path along the road. (still enjoyable)

So here on the westside you can make a stop at the wildlife gardens and the Agriculture and Food Museum. Onward next to it, the path curves around Dow’s Lake offering side trails you can explore.

Both park paths continue right to up to downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill where they join the Ottawa R. trail going NW.

There are only a few bridges to cross along the way to turn back up the other side of the canal. One of interest, the Corktown footbridge has locks on the rails from lovers visiting, pledging their affection .

The total loop there and back is about 19km, through easy terrain, for little ones perhaps too much in one go soooo…why not visit the Hill, look at the locks by Chateau Laurier and grab a bite at the many eateries around.

Also another excellent option to make a return loop back on is, riding the Rideau River itself. My review on that ride real soon…

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