20 Breathtaking Fall Hikes In And Around Ottawa

Most hikes are enjoyable in their own right, but admittedly there are some that pack in a stronger jaw-dropping reaction than others. These kind of trails are normally in abundance in other areas of the country, (ahem…rockies) but does Ottawa have anything that will take your breath away and leave you feeling inspired? Hell ya, we do. Of course we do! Put on your adventure pants because I’ve listed my favourite fall hikes that are not to be missed this season.

The hikes listed below offer the most incredible and colourful landscape views. They are the perfect backdrops to meditate, count your blessings, share with friends, enjoy a picnic, or let’s be honest…take all-the-pictures.

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These are more than my just suggestions for fall hikes – each trail specifically highlights what our surrounding countryside has to offer and encourages us all to get outside and explore!

Fall Foliage Trifecta

There are three types of fall hikes that you’ll find in and around the Ottawa area to enjoy.  There is of course, the trails that boast those incredible vista views. Those are the ones that we all tend to rush to once the leaves start turning. Then there are the total forest immersion type trails. The ones that cover you with a ceiling of red, orange, and yellow hues. And lastly, but certainly not least, are the marshes of gold. We certainly have an abundance of them, most with boardwalks that allow us to venture out to witness those golden yellow hues that then tend to turn (like the larches at Mer Bleu) or a firey red from the sumac bushes.

Note: click on the image to access the detailed hiking guide for each trail listed below.

Frontenac County

PALMERSTON-CANONTO

Located in North Frontenac. Features two vista lookouts, lake views, and a public beach. Very well marked trails. Short spurts of elevation gain. 1.5 hrs from Ottawa. Suggested stop in Perth.

rock dunder

ROCK DUNDER

Located in Lyndhurst. Features a large vista lookout, rustic cabins, and lake views. Suggested stop in Wesport or Perth. NOTE: Starting Sept 18, 2020, visitation will be limited to 30 groups per hour.

Lanark County

Blueberry Mountain

BLUEBERRY MOUNTAIN

Located in Flower Station. Features a large vista lookout, valley views, and interpretive trail. Very well marked trail. Easy trail family friendly and dog friendly. 1.5 hrs from Ottawa.

HIGH LONESOME

Located in Pakenham. Features multiple lookouts, lake views. Family friendly and dog friendly. 45mins from Ottawa. Suggested stop in Pakenham + Almonte. (image from www.mmlt.ca)

Les Laurentides

MONTAGNES NOIRES

Located in Ripon. Features a vista lookout and a 12m tower with 360' panoramic views. Very well marked trail. Drive to lookout or hike. Multiple trails. 1 hr from Ottawa.

Kenauk Nature

KENAUK NATURE

Located in Montebello. Features two trails with fire towers that you can climb up. shorter trials with riverviews. Cabin and luxury cabin rentals. Lake sports and fishery. 1hr from Ottawa.

Leeds & Grenville County

LIMERICK FOREST

Located in Oxford Station. Features an intrepretive trail, boardwalks, marsh views. Excellent for trail running, family friendly, and dog friendly. 45mins from Ottawa.

CHARLESTON LAKE PP

Located in Lansdowne. Tallow Rock trail is a moderate 10km hike with multiple viewpoints and floating bridge. Enjoy Quiddity Trail 2.5kms to a lookout over the park. 1 hr from Ottawa.

Lennox & Addington County

rose hill nature reserve

ROSE HILL

Located near Denbigh. Features pond views, lake views, and a memorial rock. Newly acquired property by MMLT. West of Bon Echo (or suggest return thru Calabogie). 1.5 hrs from Ottawa.

SHEFFIELD CONSERVATION

Located in Stone Mills. Features granite outcropping, lake views, stargazing. Two lake view lookouts. 4.5km trail. Dog friendly. 1 hr 45mins from Ottawa. (image by quinteconservation.ca)

City of Ottawa

Morris Island Conservation Area

MORRIS ISLAND

Located near Fitroy Harbour. Features river and island views. Accessible trails and facilities. Forestlands. Nearby Crazy Horse Trail for added hike. Suggested stops include Alice's Cafe in Carp.

Marlborough Forest

MARLBOROUGH FOREST

Located in Marlborough. Features a large pond view, wood bridges, wood structures. Rich in flora and fauna. Links with Rideau Trail. Suggested stops include the Marlborough Pub.

L'Outaouais

mont morrisette

MONT MORISETTE

Located in Blue Sea. Features 12m tower with 360' views, fire tower, and second lookout. 3 trails. Can drive or hike to base of tower. Excellent for sunrise. 1.5 hrs from Ottawa.

FORET BOWMAN

Located in Bowman. Features 1 looped 6km trail that includes 6 grottos and 3 vista lookout points on Montagnes de la grottes.. Picnic area and lake with dock at trailhead. 1 hr from Ottawa.

Prescott-Russell County

NOKOMIS PARK

Located in Limoges. Features an easy 1km loop trail through the forest and small picnic area. Not the best marked trail. 45mins from Ottawa.

NEW YORK CENTRAL

Located in Russell. Features a 7km paved trail that is great for bikes, rollerblades, wheelchairs, and strollers. Nearby J.Henry Tweed Conservation Area. Only 30mins from Ottawa.

Renfrew County

wabun lake

WABUN LAKE

Located in Calabogie. Steep incline, 1.5km to lookout. Not marked. Follow hiking guide directions. Suggested stops are Calabogie and easily combined Blueberry Mountain. 1hr from Ottawa.

Deacon Escarpment

DEACON ESCARPMENT

Located near Golden Lake. Features a wonderful lookout, multiple trails, private lake with canoes. Very well marked. Cabin rentals. 1.5hr from Ottawa.

Stormont, Dundas, & Glengarry County

Garry Fen - Glengarry Trails

GLENGARRY TRAILS

Located in Alexandria. Try the Glen Fen trail that brings you to a boardwalk around the marsh. Easy trail with no elevation. Suggested stops in Alexandria are The Quirky Carrot, Zengarry Fauxmagerie, and Left & Wrote Paperie. 1hr from Ottawa.

Reveler Conservation Area

REVELER CONSERVATION

Located near Chrysler and Embrun. Easy trail that is family friendly and dog friendly. Sumac bushes and forestlands. Suggested stops include Cannamore Orchards. 45mins from Ottawa.

Wrapping up

There are plenty of great hikes in and around Ottawa waiting to be explored! I’m constantly out on the weekends traveling the countryside, with hiking gear prepped in the truck and ready to go. Why? Because I love highlighting the natural wonders that we have in our own backyard and sharing them with others. One of the main drives for GirlGoneGood is to inspire and encourage everyone to break away from city life every so often and recharge in nature.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Laura

    Took the article’s advice and explored somewhere new – loved the hike at Montagnes Noires! Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. GirlGoneGood

      Oh that’s awesome, glad you enjoyed the hike Laura! I was there again yesterday myself – such a fun hike and those views…

  2. D

    What about Princess Louis Falls in Orleans? I lived in Ottawa my whole life and this is the best kept secret. Only just discovered it a few months ago. It’s a must see

    1. GirlGoneGood

      Yes, Princess Louise is a well known spot for a nature walk and pictures as well! I have a list of recommended waterfall hikes for Ottawa and area as a free printable under ‘resources’ on this site! Have a look, you might discover that we have plenty of great spots to explore. Have a wonderful fall hiking season! 🙂

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