Gatineau Park is an 88,000 acre recreational playground only a 10 minute drive from Ottawa. It’s a great destination if you have time. There are several lakeside beaches, more than 100 miles of paved and unpaved trails for walking and running. This is also a cross-country skiing mecca in winter. The closest access to Ottawa is via the Portage Bridge. But the park continues for another nearly 50km northwest. Running in the park can be hilly, depending on the section. Pro tip: especially gorgeous in fall!
There are some terrific roads and trails for casual running. Trail runners will find this place a paradise as well. In summer, sections of the park’s main roads are closed to cars on weekends, which is a special bonus for runners.
Park Info There are many options for running in Gatineau Park. A few recommendations:
- Gatineau Park Pathway. 150+ miles of roads and trails of incredible variety., fairly hilly.
- Meech Lake. Lake Starts at O’Brien Beach on Meech Lake. A good 10k loop around Meech Lake, site of the famous Meech Lake Accord involving the Canadian Constitution
Note: Some trails might be open only for X-C skiing in winter.