Bike the Rideau Canal
We visited Ottawa for the Canada Day long weekend. One of the fun things we found to do was bike the Rideau Canal. The path along the canal runs from downtown through to Dow Lake and beyond to the lock at Hogs Back.
The path is pretty much flat along this route. This makes it easy for riders of all ages and physical condition to cycle.
We travelled to Ottawa without our great eBikes but that was not going to stop us! If you don’t have your own bike, there are several places downtown on the canal to rent a bike. Some places even offer fun tandem bikes. David was disappointed to find they were on a first-come-first-served basis and the tandem bike was out when we got to the rental shop.
Enjoy a Wide Path on Summer Sundays
In the summer on Sunday afternoons, the bike path extends out to the road. Both lanes of Colonel By Drive, located on the east side of the Rideau Canal, are closed from the Laurier Bridge to the Hog’s Back Bridge.
When the path space opens up, the people come out to ride.
There are also a wider network of bike paths in Ottawa and on the Gatineau side of the river if you want a longer challenge.
Enjoy the Scenery
There are lots of places when you bike the Rideau Canal to pull off to sit on a bench, the grass, a dock or at one of the outside patios.
When the weather is nice, the canal and Dows Lake are quite active with boaters.
If you want to cruise up the canal, there are tours available along the canal from downtown. You can get a broader set of cruise options in Ottawa as well. We enjoyed our sunset cruise on the Ottawa River.
Of course, as you head into downtown, the iconic skyline of copper-clad roofs come into view. You will find the iconic Fairmont Chateau Laurier on one side and the Parliament Buildings on the other. Probably best to turn in your bikes before exploring downtown as it gets quite crowded on the summer weekends.
When you visit Ottawa, head outside and rent a bike. It is fun to bike the Rideau Canal. If you visit on a Sunday in the summer, you will have an extra wide path to enjoy.
Did you bike the Rideau Canal in Ottawa? Was there other great bike paths you found in Ottawa?