Top Natural Attractions to See and Experience in Ottawa
Ottawa is Canada’s capital city, and for many good reasons. This destination is replete with cultural offerings, thrilling entertainment, historical landmarks, award-winning restaurants, and natural attractions. Although every tourist attraction in the city can inspire awe, the lush natural environment and attractions tend to captivate visitors the most. Of course, Ottawa offers more than just picturesque views. Its sprawling landscapes and bodies of water provide the perfect opportunities for adventure. Whether you’re Canadian or you’re just passing through, here are some of the top natural spots you should see in Ottawa.
The Rideau Canal runs through downtown Ottawa and is a well-known natural and historical landmark. The scenic waterway is accessed by boat and can be navigated many different ways. For example, you could explore the canal in a pedal boat, kayak, or canoe, or take a Rideau Canal Cruise. Of course, cruises afford you the unique opportunity to sail gently down the canal and learn about its place in Ottawa’s history. On the other hand, if you prefer to keep your activities on dry land, you could always explore the canal from the sidelines by walking or cycling along its banks. While the canal boasts splendor any time of year, visiting the canal during the winter offers a unique experience. When the temperature drops, the canal freezes and is converted into the Rideau Canal Skateway, the largest skating rink in the world.
Gatineau Park is located north of downtown Ottawa. It’s approximately 361-square kilometres of park space with 165 kilometres of hiking trails. During the winter, some of the trails are converted to skiing or snowboarding trails. Here, you’ll also find the popular downhill ski centre, Camp Fortune. During milder times of the year, hikers come from all over to traverse the park’s most popular trails, including King Mountain Trails and Pink Lake. King Mountain Trails are some of the most challenging and picturesque in Gatineau Park. Along their paths you’ll take in magnificent views of the Ottawa Valley, among many other exquisite panoramas. Or, take in scenes of the stunning turquoise lake the Pink Lake trail encapsulates across its 2.5 kilometres. If you’re fortunate enough to visit during the fall, you’ll also see the surrounding dense forest in all its colourful glory.
The Ottawa River is west of Ottawa and among the best locations for whitewater rafting in the world. As a popular activity in Canada, it’s simple to add a whitewater rafting experience to any trip itinerary.
Close to Rideau Hall, Rideau Falls are twin waterfalls that mark where the Ottawa River meets the Rideau River. Take a guided tour to access the Falls from their peak, or see them at eye-level on an Ottawa River cruise. A cruise will get you as close to the Falls as possible and invite you to take in other historical landmarks, like the Canadian Museum of History and Parliament Hill.
With so much to do in the Ottawa area, you may find yourself wanting to extend your vacation or to plan for a longer stay. RCC Ottawa West offers a top extended stay Ottawa hotel alternative, right in the heart of all the natural attractions that the City has to offer. Call us today to book your spacious suite!