The Most Scenic Running Routes in Ottawa: Vol. 1 – Lunch Hour Power Run


A motivating running route can make all the difference. On the days when your legs just don’t want to carry you and your lungs are burning, finding inspiration from your surroundings can make the difference between sticking it out or throwing in the towel.

As we gear up for our 8th annual Alive to Strive Race on Sunday, April 29, 2018, I thought I’d share some of my fave places around the city to run. To start us off, here is my favourite lunch hour route. You can easily vary this route to make it longer or shorter.

Two Bridges Loop

Start & End: Wellington St., in front of Parliament Hill

Why I like this route: I like this simple route for the beautiful views of Ottawa, the challenging inclines, and the strength I gather from the powerful Ottawa River flowing right beside me. This course is perfect for the lunch hour if you work downtown. It can help you prepare for the Alive to Strive Race!

Directions: Head West on Wellington St. and continue across the Portage Bridge into Gatineau. At the end of the bridge, veer right to get onto the river pathway. The pathway will bring you right alongside the Ottawa River. Gaze across the water to take in views of Parliament and the locks. Once you run past the Museum of History, turn left to take the pathway up a small hill, which will lead you to the Alexandria Bridge. Cross the bridge into Ottawa, and get ready for a hill!

Now, here you have two options:

  1. Keep going up the hill toward Major’s Hill Park, following the sidewalk all the way to Wellington St. beside the Chateau Laurier. Turn right at Wellington and head back toward Parliament Hill.


2. Veer right, returning to the river pathway, to head back down toward the river. You will go down a steep hill and then cross over the locks at the bottom. Go up the steep hill beside the locks, then take the staircase at the top of the hill, and return to Parliament Hill.

Cool off: Finish your run with a good stretch on the Parliament lawn. I’m always awestruck that I can stretch at Parliament! So cool!

There are many variations of this loop to make it longer, shorter or to just change it up. What variations will you discover?

Happy running,

Robin S.

Race Committee

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