Ottawa is one of our favourite cities in the summer. What was once grey skies and slushy roads quickly becomes a playground for outdoor activities like biking, walking, running and pretty much anything you can think of doing outdoors.
In fact, what makes the city so great is the amount of beautiful bike trails it has! We find that biking is the best way to get around the city and see everything it has to offer. Plus it’s a great way to get some exercise after you’ve indulged in all of those refreshing ice cream cones and beers 😉
Here’s a little factoid for you: did you know that Ottawa has over 600 kilometres of bike paths?! That would be a loootttt of biking in one day. So how do you choose which bike paths to explore and which to leave behind? We know you likely don’t want to spend your entire time in Ottawa on a bike (unless you’re a Lance Armstrong wanabe), and we’re all about maximizing your vacation time here at World Abound. That’s why we recommend doing a bike tour! Not only will you get to explore the best biking trails the city has to offer, you’ll also have a guide to give you more little factoids like the one we just gave you.
But which bike tour does one choose?! There are so many!
A couple of weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to ride along with Escape Bicycle Tours throughout the city of Ottawa. Starting in the downtown core, the tour takes you along all the scenic bike routes in the city while giving you a chance to soak in the major sites and even a few hidden gems (we won’t tell you what so that we don’t spoil the surprise!).
Warning: There is a bit of biking on the road, which we were honestly slightly apprehensive about, but not to worry as your guide will lead the way!
Along the tour, your guide will stop at various locations to explain what you’re seeing and give you a chance to take a little break. We found that the tour gives you a great mix of activity/breaks/information. That being said, we did find the information given on the tour about various landmarks to be limited, but our guide was more than willing to answer any questions we had so don’t be shy if you’re curious about what’s around you!
Depending on your group’s fitness level, pace and general feel, the tour can vary from two to three hours and we rode approximately 15 to 20 kilometres. Needless to say that we recommend this option of seeing our home city to those with a comfortable fitness level! With that being said, we don’t want to discourage anyone from hopping on a bike and cruising leisurely along some of Ottawa’s best paths 🙂
There are sections where you will be encouraged to ride ahead if feel like it or simply cruise along at the back of the group if that’s more your style. And don’t fear the hills of Ottawa! We only went up four and only one of them was on the harder side.
Bonus: On top of the knowledgeable guide, Escape Bicycle Tours provides very solid equipment (bike and helmet) and a complimentary bottle of water, which you’ll certainly need if you plan to ride on a hot summer’s day. We recommend bringing a small backpack with extra water, a small towel and your camera.
Are you convinced yet?? If you’re ready to book your bike tour with Escape Bicycle Tours, visit their website!
If you still need a little convincing, even after our amazing article, check out their stellar reviews on TripAdvisor! You’ll see that we aren’t the only ones that had a great time with them.
What’s your favourite way to see a new city?
We’d like to thank Escape Bicycle Tours for generously sponsoring our experience in exchange for this review. As with all articles, you can be assured you are getting our honest opinions.
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