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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Stormont, Dundas, & Glengarry County
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.
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.
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.