This summer, hop on your bike and (re)discover the Outaouais!
If you want to discover the best of the Outaouais from a completely different perspective, cycling is the way to go! Watching the rural and urban landscapes unfold before your eyes, meeting deer along the trail, and stopping to enjoy a local beer is the very definition of a successful two-wheeled getaway! Here are a few places and trails to (re)discover this summer on your trusty two-wheeler.
Gatineau Park, the green lung of the Outaouais!
It’s no wonder that Gatineau Park is nicknamed the green lung of the Outaouais! Despite its proximity to the city, its 361 km2 of unspoiled nature make it an exceptional place to breathe the fresh air. Many trail options are available, including the Capital Pathway, recreational trails, and, in season, mountain bike trails—not to mention the scenic parkways, which are closed to cars until October (except Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday after 1pm) so that cyclists and other active users can enjoy them safely. On your way home, take a break in Chelsea to quench your thirst with a craft beer at the Chelsea Pub or a unique ice cream at La Cigale!
Good to know: No matter which trail you choose, don’t forget to follow the code of ethics and safety rules. For example, share the road, obey the speed limit, ride on the right and pass on the left, and stay two metres away from others. 😊
Gatineau cycling network has close to 300 km of trails.
Gatineau, a bike-friendly city
With close to 300 km of trails, the City of Gatineau’s cycling network gives cycling enthusiasts access to various parks and attractions where they can stop to relax and spend time with family and friends. Whether you choose to ride the Trans Canada Trail or the Route verte, the versatility of the trails and the beautiful natural surroundings make them ideal for a family getaway away from traffic. Take a break on a patio in downtown Gatineau, or end your day watching the sun set over the Ottawa River at the Aylmer Marina or enjoying dinner at one of the many restaurants on Principale Street!
Good to know: Along some of the busier trails, you’ll find bike repair stations at strategic locations.
Cycloparc PPJ is a 92-km recreational path.
Built around a disused railway line in the Pontiac, the Cycloparc PPJ offers a fairly flat and accessible ride for the whole family. Reserved for cyclists and pedestrians, this 92-km recreational path traverses the Pontiac from east to west. Ride through farmland, marshland, plains and forests, admire exceptional views of the Ottawa River, and discover local treasures in the small communities along the way. A stop in Fort-Coulonge is a must to have a bite at Bryson’s Bistro du Bucheron and admire the Coulonge Falls. And why not extend the pleasure by spending the night at the Spruceholme Inn?
Good to know: The Cycloparc PPJ is not paved along its entire length, so it’s advisable to have a mountain or hybrid bike.
Véloroute des Draveurs is a trail over 70 km long.
Part of the Trans Canada Trail, the Véloroute des Draveurs (“log drivers’ bike route”) is a trail over 70 km long, 28 km of which are paved. The picturesque scenery will amaze you, and the rest areas along the way will allow you to enjoy the views to the full! En route, take the opportunity to discover the wealth of local products at the Les saveurs de la Vallée public market in Gracefield, open every Friday from 1 to 6 p.m. For an unbeatable view, take a well-deserved break at Blue Sea to admire its majestic lake. At the end of the day, load your bike onto the car and head to Village Majopial and the L’Huile d’Olive restaurant for a meal prepared with local products.
Good to know: No bike? No problem! CarpeDiem Aventures rents quality sports equipment (including bicycles) and serves tasty takeout meals! Also, there are several parking lots along the route.
Plaisance National Park, a must-see attraction.
For a road trip on two wheels, the Ottawa River Cycl-O Route is the way to go! Start your adventure with a night fit for royalty at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello. After a hearty breakfast, hit the road and ride along Route 148 from Montebello to Thurso, stopping in at local attractions. Les Brasseurs de Montebello brewpub, the 75th meridian sundial in Papineauville, and Plaisance National Park are some of the must-see attractions along the way. For a longer ride, leave the 148 at Papineauville and go through Saint-André-Avellin instead. A stop at the Brasse-Camarade, a convenience store specializing in microbrewery beer, is a must.
Good to know: Depending on the route you take, this is an intermediate-level ride of about 130 km.
Share the road and the path!
At all times, when cycling, apply the few rules that ensure everyone’s safety! Ride on the right and pass on the left; don’t block the path (ride in single file, and if you have to stop, step completely away from the path); be careful and alert at all times; and make sure you’re visible at night. Having fun is good, but doing it safely is better! 😉
Want to explore the region by bike? You’re in luck: we have an online cycling map to help you plan your next ride! Don’t forget to share your #OutaouaisFun moments with us on social media.