Parc de La Baie, Gatineau

Spot hot air balloons on this run

Urban

Beginner-friendly

< 2 hours

Located across the river from Ottawa, Parc de la Baie is known for its yearly Hot Air Balloon Festival. If you time this run route right, your scenery is going to be colourful as balloons float by. Even when the fest isn’t happening, the park still delivers beautiful views from its network of paths along the river.

Parc de La Baie, Gatineau

45.465032, -75.691683

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Planning your run

What you need to know about this riverside route

Getting ready

This 5km run route is a great weekend morning workout and won’t require many supplies. Lace up your favourite pair of road running shoes (you won’t spend too much time on gravel), grab a water bottle and head over to Parc de la Baie. To access the park, make your way to Rue Suzanne and Rue Saint-Louis, where there’s a small parking area to leave your car. Hop out and head into the park.

The route

Make your way through the park as you warm up. The green, grassy open spaces are great if you need to sit down and stretch out your legs, or if you feel like striking a few yoga poses before you up your pace.

Once you’re out of the park and onto Rue Jacques Cartier, follow the paved path for pedestrians. Along the way, you’ll pass by several docks with boats and a parking area by the river. Pause a second to take in the view of Rockcliffe Park across the water before continuing your run. Before getting back onto Rue Saint-Louis, you’ll also see Île Kettle, a beautiful forested island, straight ahead.  

Finish strong and cool down

Once you’re back onto Rue Saint-Louis, you’ve got about 1.5km left to push the pace and get back to your starting point. You’ll have plenty of time and space to cool down once you’re back in the park. Catch your breath by walking over to the treed area to finish off your workout with some light stretching.

Hot Air Balloon Festival

Near the end of every summer, Parc de la Baie hosts a Hot Air Balloon Festival. During the fest, the park will be busier than usual and you have to purchase tickets to enter the festival grounds. This means you’ll have to adjust your run route by running along Rue Saint-Louis and then Rue de la Baie until you hit Rue Jacques Cartier. This will add about half a kilometre to your route and take you around the perimeter of the park.

Bring your phone along for this run so you can snap some pics of the balloons as they take off and float around. Along with hot air balloon rides, there’s lots going on during the festival, so expect a bit of an outdoor carnival atmosphere.

Essential gear

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