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5 of the Best Places to Jog In Ottawa This Season

As the seasons change and the surrounding landscape’s palette of summer greens begins to morph into the rich colours of fall, there’s never been a better time to get out and explore the Ottawa area. For those of you who find your warm-weather fitness routines dwindling off in the fall, we’ve rounded up 5 of the best places to get your steps in while enjoying the natural beauty of the Ottawa Valley.

 

 

Rideau Canal Loop

Avid Ottawa-joggers knew it was coming, the Rideau Canal Loop is one of the most popular walking/jogging trails in the city––and for good reason; the river makes for a stunning view as you get your daily exercise in. As the weather changes, the leaves reflected in the water will make for a particularly beautiful morning jog––with the added benefit of never being too far from a coffee shop for a post-workout pick-me-up. The route runs approximately 8km from Confederation Park to Mooney’s Bay and is suitable for all levels of experience, due to its flat, paved walkways.

 

Mer Bleue Conservation Area Loop

While a bit further off the beaten path than some of the other options on this list, the Mer Bleue Conservation Area Loop is a picturesque and moderately challenging jogging trail for those looking to test their skills. The 7km loop takes you around the Mer Bleue Bog, which is an important water filtration site with an interesting ecological makeup that attracts visitors year round. Surrounded by trees and ponds, this loop is an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of the downtown core––but close enough that you can get your steps in before work.

 

 

Gatineau Park

We couldn’t write about the most scenic trails in the area without mentioning Gatineau Park––while not technically in Ottawa, this federal park has over 230km of trails to explore, and makes for the perfect Sunday morning jog. If you’re looking for a challenge, difficulty levels vary throughout the trails, making this a great day trip if you’re looking to commit to a longer run. The park also features a beach, and just outside the bounds of the trees are a few little cafes and restaurants to reload for the rest of your trek.

 

 

Parliament Loop

Like a history lesson and exercise all in one––this loop is 8km in length and takes you from Rideau Hall all the way to Parliament Hill, passing by the Royal Canadian Mint, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the National Gallery. This route is paved and relatively level, making it a good option for beginners, or experienced joggers who enjoy the more historic sites of downtown Ottawa. This is also a conveniently located spot for those who work downtown and want to get their cardio in before or after their 9-5.

 

 

Experimental Farm Pathway

The rolling hills of the experimental farm are probably a strange sight for those just visiting the area––especially as they’re seemingly dropped in the middle of a bustling city. But Ottawa locals know that this is one of the best places for a bit of exercise, whether you prefer to run, walk, or bike. Point to point, this pathway spans about 7km and is considered to be relatively easy, as the terrain is paved––but it does have a few inclines. This is a great option for those who are jogging with strollers or accompanying someone on a bike, as the wide paths are busy but spacious. Autumn at the arboretum along the trail is truly a sight to behold, so be sure to take advantage of this scenic trail.

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