Ahhhh, the nice weather is here at last! Lace up your running shoes and discover the hundreds of kilometres of recreational trails in our region, ideal for running. Once again this year, the Outaouais will host several races, including the Wakefield Covered Bridge Run and the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Click here for a list of more opportunities to improve your personal best!

As a runner myself, and a big fan of our region with its beautiful scenery and magnificent setting, I have a few suggestions for you. All offer free parking at the starting point. Free trails, free parking: it’s always more fun to run for free!

Here are my three picks:

Leamy Lake Park

Leamy Lake Park is a beautiful spot, a peaceful oasis just minutes from downtown. The loop around the lake is 2.5 km, but you can also link up to other trails such as the Brewery Creek Trail, the Voyageurs Pathway and the Sentier de l’île, for a total distance of up to 12 km. The Saint-Éloi Café-Bistro is a congenial and convenient spot for a post-run meal.

Moussette Park

We’re incredibly lucky to be able to run along the shore of the Ottawa River. When I do that, I always park at Moussette Park and take the Voyageurs Pathway eastbound. In 4.5 km you arrive at the Canadian Museum of History; from here you can do another few kilometres, then go back the way you came. Did you know that the museum cafeteria’s outdoor terrace offers stunning views of the river and Parliament Hill?

Aylmer Marina

Parking is free at the Aylmer Marina in the west end of the city of Gatineau, and it’s steps away from the 30-km Voyageurs Pathway. You can start out westbound towards the Pioneers Trail, which runs alongside Boulevard des Allumettières, or eastbound towards Moussette Park. When you get back, drop by the marina’s restaurant for a little refreshment. If you happen to get there around sunset, you’re in luck: this is one of the best sunset-viewing spots in the city.

For information about other places to go running, visit www.outaouaistourism.com. Happy trails!

Don’t run out of ideas…

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