Summer is all about blue skies and fresh air right? And one of the greatest things about Ottawa is that you don’t need to drive an hour outside of the city to enjoy waterways, greenery and sports. More than 300 km of pathways crisscross through the city, which also connect Ottawa to Gatineau, Québec, allowing you the opportunity to bike, skate, hike, run or walk virtually anywhere you desire; you’ll be up close and personal with nature – right in the heart of Canada’s capital city!
Hiking: Gatineau Park is an excellent spot for a hike through nature, spanning 361 square kilometres. Located just 15 minutes north of Parliament Hill, Gatineau Park offers over 165 km of trails, with something for everyone whether you are a beginner or an avid hiker.
Running and Cycling: Whether you’re on two wheels or two feet, there are hundreds of kilometres of paved pathways in Ottawa; winding along rivers and the Rideau Canal; flat and easy or mountainous and challenging—the choice is yours. Sunday Bikedays actually close 52 km (32 miles) of the most picturesque rides to motorized vehicles and let cyclists, inline skaters and runners rule from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sunday Bikedays run from Victoria Day weekend in mid-May to Labour Day weekend in early September.
Swimming: Feel like a cool dip? Then head to one of the beautiful lakes at Gatineau Park. There are five public beaches in the Park open from mid-June to Labour Day in early September: Looking for something more adventurous or trying to please kids? Check outCalypso Theme Waterpark, the largest theme waterpark in Canada, located only 20 minutes east of downtown Ottawa. They have more than 35 waterslides to race down, plus Canada’s largest wave pool.
Golfing: Ottawa is a golfer’s dream destination, with everything from challenging courses – including the Robert Trent Jones II designed Marshes at Brookstreet and Stonebridge – to executive par-3 courses and everything in between, you’ll want to pack your clubs for any trip to Ottawa, spring through fall.
Bungee jumping: If adrenaline is what you’re after, brave-hearted visitors can bungee jump from a platform which towers 200 feet above a limestone quarry lagoon, larger than 3 football fields. Great Canadian Bungee is located just 20 minutes north of downtown Ottawa, in Chelsea, Québec. If bungee is not your thing, you can come watch your friends and party! They have B.B.Q. and picnic facilities, a lifeguard beach, a volleyball net and much more at this hidden paradise.
Ziplining & Aerial Parks: Defy gravity at Camp Fortune Aerial Experience. Open from May to October, located just 15 minutes north of downtown Ottawa. The course features suspended walkways, rope bridges and net gangways. Set aside at least three hours for this exhilarating adventure that includes thrilling zipline rides guaranteed to get your heart rate up!