Here is a fabulous ride to Petrie Islands Park along the Ottawa River Pathway. Starting from Centretown it’s a 27 km ride one way, or 54 km return.
It’s always a good sign when long sections of the chosen bike route are designated as dark green in Google Maps. That means bike paths.
The Ottawa River Pathway is the most serene ride in the region. Long stretches hugging the shoreline without interruption and the sound of the tight packed stone dust crunching beneath one’s tires is mesmerising, particularly in the early morning as the mist rises up off the river and teams of rowers can be seen gliding across the water’s surface.
Once arrived at Petrie Islands Park you can go for a hike along the Turtle Trail and River Loop Trail. The info centre is very precious, run by volunteers who are passionate about conserving this natural habitat. There’s also a very nice beach on Petrie Island.
On the way back I took advantage of the NCC Sunday Bikedays whereby on Sundays throughout the summer they close off major parkways under their jurisdiction to motorised vehicules. The level of participation I witnessed along the Rockcliffe Parkway was incredible – all ages, on all sorts of bikes and rollerblades. Very inspiring.