Rideau Canal, Ottawa

Try a scenic 10K canal run route

Urban

A little tougher

< 2 hours

In the heart of Ottawa, the Rideau Canal is a must-see for visitors and a must-run route for locals. The bridges and parks along this iconic loop make it simple to extend or shorten your run if you need to, or you can follow it all and add a short cool-down to end on a satisfyingly round number on your Garmin.

Rideau Canal, Ottawa

Rideau Canal, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Planning your run

A few details to make the most of your route

The plan

This 10K route takes you along the banks of the Rideau Canal; the oldest continuously operated canal in North America. Along the way, you’ll also pass through a bunch of city parks – perfect spots to pause for a quick breather, stretch and take in the scenery.

Since the path is multi-use, keep an ear open for any bikes passing or coming up behind you (if you listen to music or podcasts when you run, one earbud out will let you hear what’s around). Better yet, find a run buddy or a run crew to make the 10K time fly by.

Pick your length

This route follows a loop that starts at Confederation Park and follows the Rideau Canal Western Pathway south along the canal. You’ll cross the canal at the Bronson Avenue bridge before you head back along the Eastern Pathway on the canal.

There are also several bridges over the canal, so if you’re new to running, you can easily create a shorter loop by crossing different bridges. Or, if you want to get in a longer run, you can add an extra 4.5km by continuing along the Western Pathway around Dows Lake and through the Dominion Arboretum. The pathway ends around Hartwell’s Lock Station where you can cross the canal and loop back.

Smooth running

Both the Western and Eastern pathways are paved trails so you’re in for a smooth ride. On warm summer days, it’s wise to bring along a water bottle for hydration on the go, but if you’re in need of a fountain there are plenty located along the Western Pathway, in Confederation Park, next to Lansdowne Park and across Dows Lake Pavilion.

 

For recovery days

Looking for ways to enjoy the canal on your non-running days? You can drift down the canal on your kayak, canoe or SUP before or after your run. If you don’t own your own watercraft, head over to MEC Ottawa or Dows Lake Pavilion for rental boats and boards to help keep you afloat. Make sure to do your research before you go, so you’re prepared with all the safety gear and pre-trip planning info.

Essential gear

A few simple items for smooth city running.

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