April 20–26: Three running routes in the National Capital Region
Marathon season is coming and it’s time to start training … or just go for a fun run! Here are three running routes in the National Capital Region.
At just 5 km, this is a great route if you don’t have much time (on your lunch hour, for instance). From your starting point at the Canadian Museum of History, cross the Alexandra Bridge. On the far side, take a moment to admire the spectacular façade of the National Gallery of Canada on your left. Head right and go through Major’s Hill Park, a welcome oasis of green in the heart of the city. Imagine life in a castle as you approach the Fairmont Château Laurier, then turn right onto Wellington Street, which takes you past the Parliament of Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada, and Canada’s national library (officially called Library and Archives Canada). Cross the Portage Bridge over the Ottawa River, then follow the riverside bike path through the woods until you get back to the starting point. If you’ve got energy to burn, finish with a quick run up the steps of the Canadian Museum of History!
Along the Rideau Canal
Just over 10 km long, this route is a runners’ favourite. Starting point: the Maison du Tourisme at 103 Laurier Street. Cross the Alexandra Bridge, then turn right onto Sussex Drive, which takes you past the American Embassy, the Fairmont Château Laurier, the Rideau Centre, and the new Shaw Centre (formerly the Ottawa Congress Centre). Resist the temptation to veer left into the ByWard Market to chow down on a BeaverTail! For a few kilometres, follow the path along the Queen Elizabeth Driveway beside the Rideau Canal. A light breeze, warm sun on your face, a beautiful view—perfection! When you get to Dow’s Lake, take Lakeside Boulevard and the Bronson Avenue overpass to Colonel By Drive, which runs along the other side of the canal. Follow the canal to the Alexandra Bridge and return to the starting point.
Into the woods
How about a scenic run through the woods? This 12‑ to 15‑km route is for you! Starting point: Leamy Lake Park (access via Fournier Blvd. or Atawe St.). Follow the Leamy Lake Pathway under the Lady Aberdeen Bridge and continue along the Gatineau River Pathway, then the Voyageurs Pathway along the north shore of the Ottawa River. This route takes you to the Canadian Museum of History, a good spot to take a water break and admire the view. When you’ve rested up, go back the way you came.
All along this route, you’ll be running in a peaceful natural setting, far away from traffic. One of your favourite spots is sure to be the wooden footbridge linking the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge and the Maison des auteurs. When you get back to the starting point, if you still have some energy left, do a 2.5‑km loop around Leamy Lake to bring your total distance to 15 km.
Enjoy your run!