Words by Alley L. Biniarz
It wouldn’t be a Canadian adventure without taking a big bite out of the great outdoors—and what screams “Canada” more than our capital city? Although Ottawa is known for its museums, political architecture and vibrant history, there is a world of green just waiting to be explored, and it’s well within reach.
You may have visited Ottawa before, but we’ll bet you’ve never seen it like this.
Hit the Trails—on Foot or Bike
Whether you want to feel the grass beneath your feet or prefer a paved pathway, Ottawa and its surrounding areas have the trails to fit the need. Gatineau Park offers outstanding views of lakes, local plant species and rich biodiversity, which is why it’s a must-see during your visit. The National Capital Greenbelt brings you around protected land to catch a glimpse of landscapes you weren’t prepared for. Tie up those hiking books and bring your backpack—you’ll want to extend your time hiking through these trails.
National Capital Commission
Pick up the pace and rent a bicycle to discover all that Ottawa has to offer. The city is filled with more than 800 kilometres of bikeable pathways that stretch from the picturesque Ottawa River, along the Rideau Canal and all the way to paved pathways connecting must see attractions throughout the city. Nature creeps into the city limits, and we’re OK with it. It’s the perfect way to get back to basics while sneaking a peek at the capital’s hidden gems along the way.
Get High in the Sky
Don’t worry, adrenalin junkies—we haven’t forgotten about you! Why look up at the trees when you can be in the thick of it all? Camp Fortune’s Aerial Park lets you walk, jump, and fly through Gatineau Park and wave at your friends down below.
Great Canadian Bungee
And we can’t forget about the ultimate thrill at the Great Canadian Bungee. Home to the only 200-foot drop with a head or body dip in North America, this jump is the highest in Canada and may just push the edge of your limits. But we dare you to trust that carnal need for danger!
From hovering above the water to diving right in, we present you with the ultimate aqua-adventure. The Ottawa River is one of the world’s premier whitewater rafting destinations with three companies and multiple levels of intensity just an hour’s drive away. We suggest opting for the multi-day whitewater packages to get the maximum adrenalin rush. Swap the city noise for the sounds of rushing water and get ready for your boat to be rocked.
Taking in Ottawa’s angles from the sky is an unforgettable sight. With the Ottawa Biplane Adventures, you can do it in style in an authentic open cockpit Second World War aircraft ride. Strap on your helmet and goggles and get ready to see the city from a whole new level (and era).
We’ve taken you on a plane, rushing past trees and bungee jumping off cliffs, but we haven’t thrown you for this loop yet. If you’re not sick of the skies, GO Skydive drops you off for another full view of Ottawa and its natural beauty. Why not say “yes” to a freefall over the capital city? You’ll never see Ottawa the same way again.
Ottawa’s Outdoors are Closer Than You Might Think
Who says you have to choose between a comfortable city vacation and getting in touch with your outdoorsy side? A dash of “culture” and a big heaping spoonful of “nature” and “adventure” bakes up a perfect Ottawa trip. What are you dying to try on your next visit to the capital city?