Fat biking is exploding in popularity, and with the colder months here, more and more enthusiasts are discovering Ottawa Gatineau on fat bikes. From daily commuters to weekend pros, fat biking has progressed to suit the needs of many. If you are with the family or still mastering your skills, check out our blog on the top family-friendly and beginner Ottawa fat biking trails. The best awaits the thrill-seekers and challenge go-getters. In this article, expect to find your next Ottawa or Gatineau weekend excursion. So grab a bike and hit these trails – you’re sure to have an unforgettable ride!
Size: 3.5km & 4.5km
Distance from Downtown: 17km
Looking for a challenge? Across the bridge, entering Quebec, you can find the most beautiful park within a 20 minutes drive from downtown Ottawa. Gatineau Park hosts dozens of scenic routes friendly for all winter activities. The 60 series offers a versatile set of tracks best for afternoon rides with friends. We recommend parking at P1 Asticou (Southern end) and riding route 65 and-or route 66. With winding single tracks across the hills of Gatineau Park the 60-series brings a unique challenge no rider should miss out on!
Size: 6.8km & 10.9km
Distance from Downtown: 17km
Near the hallmark town of Chelsea, the 70-series is a personal favourite. A challenging set of trails, the series produces a steep up-hill (and down-hill!) single track. Parking at P15 or P17, continue onto routes 70, 71, or 72 to encounter lake vistas, waterfalls (trail-71), dense pine forests, and a cabin rest stop with fire pits. Seasonal trail passes cost $56, and daily fat bike passes are $10 with student and family discounts.
Distance from Downtown: 20km
Escaping the city but not traveling far you can find the Ottawa West Winter Trail. Nearing the Kanata Lakes this region offers a fresh 21km regularly groomed trail. The City of Ottawa, Kanata Nordic and the National Capital Commission have all partnered to create a beautiful set of trails stretching in all four directions (North, East, South & West); choose wisely! The surrounding thick forest has brought plenty of twists and turns in the trail so be ready for an adventurous fat biking on this free-to-use trail system.
Distance from Downtown: 27.4km
Once again, the Kanata lakes rank among the top places to fat bike this winter! Maintained by the Ottawa Mountain Bike Association, the system is situated for those with intermediate snow biking skills. Parking along the street, you can enter the Southeast end of the trail encountering granite outcrops along its 25km of rolling hills. This playground of a course hosts several flat rocks and a boardwalk while you admire the surrounding ponds, lakes, and general nature. It is defiantly a trail worth enjoying a thermostat of hot chocolate and relaxing along the many trails in the South March Highlands conservation zone.
Distance from Downtown: 52.8km
More than 180km of trails loop the Larose Forest with 27.4km of densely wooded singletrack available for snow biking. Passes are required when riding the trails and are offered in various packages (U18… $15/year, O18…$25/year & family passes for $55/year); it’s worth the cost! Parking at P1, you should take trail-16 on one of the guided group fat biking trips offered with the annual pass. The forest brings a melody many perceive as calming as you are situated just outside the East end of Ottawa.
Fat biking is a great way to enjoy nature in the colder months without putting on skis or snowshoes. Grab your friends and plan well, as some of these rides will take a good portion of the day. Stop by Escape Bicycle Tours & Rentals to check if you have all the right equipment and get ready to hit the hills! We will help you find the right bike and get you on the Ottawa Gatineau snow biking trails. From gliding through the picturesque maple groves of the Larose Forest or discovering a new waterfall in the Gatineau Park – 70 Series, the Ottawa region has so much untapped potential right at your doorstep!
Written by: Grant Kowalsky