Hiking and Walking in the Greenbelt

Photo of a man and woman walking up a waterside trail at Bruce Pit (Stony Swamp)
Hike the trails in the Greenbelt

The National Capital Greenbelt in Ottawa has over 150 kilometres of trails that connect to the Trans Canada Trail, Rideau Trail and Capital Pathway network. Whether you have half an hour for a short hike or plan on spending the day, the Greenbelt has something for you.

Several trails and pathways pass next to farmland. Please respect the farmers who earn their living from these lands and stay on the trail.

For information about where you can bring dogs and other domestic animals, see Dog Walking in the Greenbelt.

Shirleys Bay Trails and Pathways

In the Shirleys Bay area there are 7 km of hiking trails, as well as 19.3 kilometres of pathways for walking. The trails in Shirleys Bay are part of the Trans Canada Trail. When hiking or walking through the Shirleys Bay Conservation Area, you will see fallow fields, young forests and the Ottawa River.

Facilities
Washrooms There is an outhouse by the P1 parking lot.
Parking Free, year-round parking is available at the P1, P2 and P3 parking lots.
Picnic Areas There are sheltered and unsheltered picnic areas at the P1 parking lot by the Shoreline Trail.
Universal Accessibility The Watts Creek Pathway and the Greenbelt Pathway West are universally accessible.

Stony Swamp Trails

Stony Swamp has 40.9 kilometres of hiking trails which connect to the Trans Canada Trail and the Rideau Trail. The following trails have boardwalks:

  • Jack Pine Trail
  • Beaver and Chipmunk Trails
  • Sarsaparilla Trail
  • Old Quarry Trail

Stony Swamp trails pass through woodlands, an old quarry with unusual geology, beaver ponds, beaver dams and an old lime kiln.

Facilities
Washrooms There are outhouses by many Stony Swamp trails. See the map for more details.
Parking Free, year-round parking is available at the P4 to P13 parking lots.
Picnic Areas There is a picnic area by the Jack Pine Trail and a sheltered picnic area by the Sarsaparilla Trail.
Universal Accessibility The Sarsaparilla Trail is universally accessible.

Southern Farm and Pinhey Forest Trails

Southern Farm and Pinhey Forest has 6.4 kilometres of trails that pass through mixed, red maple and mature coniferous forests.

Facilities
Washrooms There is an outhouse by trail 32 at the P15 parking lot.
Parking Free, year-round parking is available at the P14 and P15 parking lots.

Pine Grove Trails

The Pine Grove area has 18.4 kilometres of hiking trails. This large forested area has a mix of native woods and plantations. Pine Grove Forest is an important wildlife habitat and includes a self-guided forestry interpretation trail and a tree-identification arboretum.

Facilities
Washrooms There is an outhouse by Trail 43.
Parking Free, year-round parking is available at the P16, P17, P18 and P19 parking lots.

Mer Bleue Trails

At Mer Bleue there are 21.7 kilometres of hiking trails. A great hike is the six-kilometre forest trail that goes up to a sandy escarpment that overlooks the bog. The Mer Bleue Bog Trail is a boardwalk that allows you to explore the heart of the bog and discover its many interesting facets.

Facilities
Washrooms There is an outhouse by the Mer Bleue Bog Trail and trail 51.
Parking Free, year-round parking is available at the P20, P21, P22 and P23 parking lots.
Picnic Areas There are unsheltered picnic areas at the P20 and P21 parking lots and a sheltered picnic area by the Mer Bleue Bog Trail, at the P22 parking lot.
Universal Accessibility The Mer Bleue Bog Trail is universally accessible.

Green’s Creek Trails and Pathways

At Green’s Creek there are 5.5 kilometres of trails that cut through clay and post-glacial fossils from the ancient Champlain Sea. Natural lookouts offer striking views of the Green’s Creek valley. The Greenbelt Pathway East offers 4.6 kilometres of paths for walking and connects to the Ottawa River Pathway.

Facilities
Parking Free, year-round parking is available at the P24 and P25 parking lots.
Universal Accessibility The Greenbelt Pathway East is universally accessible.

For more information see the Greenbelt’s visitor information.