This guide to the best outdoor adventures in Ottawa showcases why the city appeals to thrill-seekers from all over the world. There are plenty of opportunities for whitewater rafting, ziplining and bungee jumping in and around the city.

    Families can enjoy many fun adventures throughout the year, from spending summers at a beach or waterpark to skiing and ice-skating in the winter months. If you're looking for more laidback adventures, green spaces and gardens are great for leisurely strolls or cycling with loved ones. With the sheer number of outdoor adventures on offer, you’ll never be bored in Ottawa.

    1

    Mooney’s Bay Park and Beach

    Riverfront park and beach for swimming and family fun

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    Mooney’s Bay Park and Beach is a riverfront recreational spot just south of Downtown Ottawa. The only public beach on the Rideau River offers a wide range of activities for families. There is a designated swimming area that's supervised by lifeguards every day in summer. Volleyball nets, stand-up paddleboards and canoes are available for rent on the beach.

    You can find plenty of great things to do nearby Mooney’s Bay Park and Beach. Standouts include Hog's Back Falls, Fletcher Wildlife Garden and Carleton University. Mooney's Bay has its own large parking lot, but it gets very busy on weekends.

    ที่ตั้ง: 2960 Riverside Dr., Ottawa, ON K1V 8N4, Canada

    เปิด: Daily from 5 am to 11 pm

    โทร: +1 613-580-2595

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    ภาพโดย MichelCastagne (CC BY-SA 3.0) เวอร์ชั่นแก้ไข

    2

    Ottawa River

    One of the best spots for whitewater rafting in Canada

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    The Ottawa River, which flows right through the city, is a top destination for rafting enthusiasts. It’s known as a world-class spot for attempting class III to V rapids, with whitewater-rafting trips offered by many outdoor companies in Ottawa.

    After an hour’s drive from Downtown, you’ll reach some of these epic rapids – note that they should only be attempted with expert guides. For more family-friendly adventures, you can find gentle waves to test your skills in central Ottawa. Ottawa City Rafting offers introductory trips for all ages, with body surfing, kayaking, and tubing available near Britannia Beach.

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    3

    Rideau Canal

    Go skating through Downtown Ottawa in winter

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    The Rideau Canal is the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Ottawa. The 200-km-long waterway connects the city to Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River in Kingston. A great time to visit is in winter, when the canal turns into one of the world’s largest skating rinks.

    Ottawa’s skating season typically runs from January to March, with the Rideau Canal offering an epic outdoor urban skating experience. It's a family-friendly, fun and free attraction that's also accessible 24/7 (in winter). You can skate the entire 7.8-km section of the canal, which has several ramps for those looking to get on and off. Otherwise, there are walkways along the canal for those who prefer exploring on foot or by bicycle.

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    4

    Gatineau Park

    Largest green space near the city of Ottawa

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    Gatineau Park is the largest green space in Canada’s Outaouais region. Located northwest of Downtown Ottawa, the 360-sq-km landscape is dotted with waterfalls, lakes, and woodlands. It’s known for its abundance of activities, including hiking, biking, skiing, and trail running.

    The park is also home to a ski resort and an extensive network of multi-use trails. It's a must-visit all year round, earning it the title of one of the most visited parks in Canada. You can begin at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, or one of the other entry points closer to Ottawa. Admission to the park is free, but fees apply for equipment rental and certain activities, especially in winter at the ski resort.

    ที่ตั้ง: 33 Chem. Scott, Chelsea, QC J9B 1R5, Canada

    โทร: +1 819-827-2020

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    5

    Camp Fortune

    A modest ski resort that opens all year round

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    Camp Fortune is an all-year outdoor adventurer’s playground near Ottawa. This modest alpine ski centre consists of 3 mountainsides in the Gatineau Hills, with a mindboggling number of activities to choose from. You can find it inside Gatineau Park, one of Canada’s largest conservation parks. 

    During winter, you can enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, with 24 different trails, rental equipment and lessons available. Visit in summer and you'll find the hills carved by mountain-biking trails. The centre also offers zip-lining, mountain coaster rides, and a family-friendly aerial park. The 4-season park has a variety of tickets and passes, depending on the activities and season.

    ที่ตั้ง: 300 Chem. Dunlop, Chelsea, QC J9B 2N3, Canada

    เปิด: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm

    โทร: +1 819-827-1717

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    6

    Great Canadian Bungee

    North America's highest bungee jump

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    The Great Canadian Bungee is arguably Canada's highest bungee jump. After 30 years of operating at The Rock, it's still one of the most famous activities for thrill-seekers in the country. You can jump from a 61-metre-high white crane platform at Morrison's Quarry.

    There’s a long zipline course above the quarry lagoon if bungee-jumping is not your thing. A trained crew is available to capture your entire experience on film so you can watch it back with friends. You can find the Great Canadian Bungee in Chelsea, around a 20-minute drive north of Downtown Ottawa.

    ที่ตั้ง: 1780 Quebec Rte 105, Chelsea, Quebec J9B 2K4, Canada

    เปิด: April–November: daily from 6 am to 8 pm

    โทร: +1 819-459-3714

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    7

    Fletcher Wildlife Garden

    A pretty park area with unique wildlife on Dow’s Lake

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    The Fletcher Wildlife Garden is a beautiful recreational space on the edge of Dow’s Lake, in the middle of Ottawa. It's a wonderful place to escape into nature and appreciate some unique wildlife. The reserve is filled with lush grass, ponds, wildflowers, and easy walking trails.

    Some of the local wildlife protected by the Fletcher Wildlife Garden includes bats, herons, songbirds, owls, and butterflies. If you want to continue exploring Ottawa’s incredible parks, the garden is within walking distance of the Canadensis Botanical Garden, Dominion Arboretum, and Ornamental Gardens.

    ที่ตั้ง: 865 Prince of Wales Dr, Ottawa, ON K2C 3K1, Canada

    เปิด: 24/7

    โทร: +1 613-234-6767

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    8

    Calypso Theme Waterpark

    Huge summertime playground for all ages

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    The Calypso Theme Waterpark is one of the largest amusement parks in Canada. The huge summer playground covers around 100 acres, with a range of activities for all ages. It features 35 slides, 100 water games, 2 themed rivers, the largest wave pool in the country, and a white-water experience.

    The Calypso Theme Waterpark is just off the Trans-Canada Highway, about 45 km southeast of Ottawa. The park is only open from June until September, making it a popular summertime attraction for families. Onsite facilities include a clothes dryer, ATMs, restaurants, locker rentals, and picnic areas.

    ที่ตั้ง: 2015 Calypso St, Limoges, ON K0A 2M0, Canada

    เปิด: June–September: daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    โทร: +1 613-443-9995

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    9

    Hog’s Back Park

    A popular park known for its waterfalls and picnic areas

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    Hog’s Back Park is a popular urban park in central Ottawa. It was formed in the 1950s around Hog's Back Dam and Waterfall, one of the most challenging parts of the Rideau Canal project back in the 1800s.

    Today, visitors get to enjoy the sight of the waterfalls and park, which is accessible by plenty of walking trails. It’s a popular spot for hiking, especially on a trail leading to the Hog’s Back Falls Lookout. Hog’s Back Park is only open from May until December, and closed in winter.

    ที่ตั้ง: 600 Hogs Back Rd, Ottawa, ON K1V 1H8, Canada

    เปิด: May–December: Daily from 7 am to 10 pm

    โทร: +1 613-239-5000

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    10

    Nakkertok South Ski Resort

    One of the closest winter ski resorts to the city

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    The Nakkertok South Ski Resort is just a 20-minute drive north of Downtown Ottawa. Being one of the city’s closest resorts, it’s a popular place to enjoy skiing in winter. It has 80 km of trails across the southern and northern sides, making it one of the largest cross-country ski clubs in Eastern Canada.

    Non-members of the Nakkertok South Ski Resort can get a reasonably priced day pass during the season, while members get unlimited access to the trails. There are ski lessons available and cabins to rent during winter, too. With multiple snow guns on the mountain, skiers can usually hit the slopes as early as November.

    ที่ตั้ง: 900 Av. Gatineau, Gatineau, QC J8V 4A6, Canada

    เปิด: Daily from 7 am to 7 pm

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    Elisha Donkin | นักเขียนประจำ

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