H - Big Ottawa Loop

Follow multi-purpose pathways through Experimental Farms, across the Rideau Canal, up to University of Ottawa, crossing the Canal again, following Laurier segregated bike lane and along Ottawa River back to Baseline Station. 31 km

Ride with GPS directions

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My ride

This ride is one of several that are entirely on segregated pathways. Many local residents will be familiar with this loop, which has a number of attractive sections, including the Experimental Farm, the Pinecrest Creek Pathway, and the Ottawa River Pathway with multiple lookout points and several beaches. There are ice cream vendors, cafes and pubs along the route or just off it, in neighbourhoods like Westboro and Little Italy.

My wife and youngest daughter (on a Trail-a-Bike) enjoyed doing this ride as a Saturday afternoon outing, fading into Saturday evening. Which of course meant food. We tried out one of the many Italian restaurants on Preston Street, which meant shortening the ride and skipping the section through downtown and along the Rideau Canal. Since we ride that area almost daily, it seemed sensible to put pasta ahead of a faithful following of the route.

That kind of flexibility is one of the great things about these routes, especially if you are or are with someone from Ottawa. In our case, we started the route from home, near Dow's Lake, and returned on the lovely O-Train path parallel to Preston St. after supper.

Heads up: the Ottawa River Pathway behind the Parliament Buildings is closed for the entire 2017 season and likely much of 2018, thanks to the major flood of 2017 forcing a substantial redesign and rebuild. There is a very good detour option using bike lanes through downtown.

loop 1  loop 3