The 100-mile runcation
It’s that time again friends, we’re in the middle of summer and you might be looking for new-to-you running routes that aren’t too far from home.
Not to worry! Eastern Ontario has some great small towns that are runner-friendly and full of things to do! We’re sharing three of our favourite places to take a runcation within 100 miles of Ottawa.
Distance from Ottawa: 65.9 km
Gillies Grove and Robert Simpson Park
Explore Gillies Grove, home to a 47-metre (154 foot) giant eastern white pine that was officially recognized as Ontario’s tallest tree in 2015. You can access a 1.9-kilometre (1.2-mile) loop trail through the grove from numerous trailheads off residential streets. Run along the trail that begins behind the Arnprior Public Library and winds along the Madawaska River to Robert Simpson Park, where you can enjoy a beach, picnic tables, play structures, a splash pad, and a seasonal snack bar.
The Ottawa Valley Trail
Go for a run on the Ottawa Valley Trail. The Ottawa valley trail was originally part of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Canadian Pacific Railway sold the stretch of rail line between Smiths Falls and Mattawa to the County of Renfrew, County of Lanark and the Township of Papineau-Cameron. The section in Renfrew County was officially named the Algonquin Trail. This scenic trail is multi-use and can be accessed year round.
Distance from Ottawa: 52.2 km
Until 1998 Almonte was a separate community. However, on January 1, 1998, Almonte and the nearby townships of Pakenham and Ramsay were amalgamated into a new entity called the Town of Mississippi Mills. Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, was born in Almonte in 1861 and graduated from the town’s high school in 1883.
Mill of Kintail Conservation Area
About 10 minutes from Almonte, the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area heritage property features extensive hiking and skiing trails accessible all year. Six kilometres of trail will take you through fields, forest, and along the Indian River. The Mill of Kintail has a large number of picnic areas as well as a large covered shelter, playground and half basketball court. Visit the R. Tait McKenzie and Dr. James Naismith Museum in the summer months to learn about the area’s two national historic figures.
Almonte River Walk
Take a run along the scenic Riverwalk, a boardwalk and path along the river in the historic downtown of Almonte, starting at the Old Town Hall. Beautiful views of the Mississippi River, the train bridge, Kirkland Park, and the lookout by the Victoria Woollen Mill where you can see the falls can all be found at points along the path. Officially becoming a town in 1880, the area was built up around saw, grist and woollen mills that used the power of the Mississippi River and its cascading waterfalls for production. At the height of production, six woollen mills were operating along this small stretch of river.
Distance from Ottawa: 115 km
Home of the Brockville Road Runners club, this city is located close to the 1000 Islands on the St Lawrence River. Full of historic architecture and home to a nationally renowned performing arts centre, Brockville may be small in size, but it is big on things to do.
The Brock Trail
The Brock Trail has something to offer everyone. The point-to-point trail has fully paved paths and a boardwalk designed with access for all in mind with curb cut-outs and a surface that can accommodate wheelchairs, scooters, baby carriages, strollers, bikes, trikes and roller blades. There are wonderful views all along the trail, which is accessible year round.
Downtown Brockville and the Railway Tunnel
Take a run through historic downtown Brockville where there is always something to do, and visit the The Brockville Railway Tunnel completed in 1860. Canada’s First Railway Tunnel has been restored and features a state-of-the-art light show that highlights all of the Tunnel’s engineering, architectural, and geological features.
Do you enjoy runcations? We’d love to hear about your favourite locations tag @Runottawa in your runcation photos.