Cycling Eastern Ontario's Lesser-Known Villages

The old adage of “head west, young man” may be backwards in Ottawa. Most areas in and around Ottawa have been thoroughly mined by locals for hidden gems. However, the communities to the east of Ottawa are often overlooked. Non-existent traffic and crowds, fresh ingredients, affordable stays, and bucolic scenery should lure visitors for the perfect day trip. Thanks to the Prescott and Russell Trail, which runs from just east of Ottawa for 72 km, this area of Ontario is easily accessible to cyclists of all experience levels.

Start your trip in Hammond, just outside the city. Briefly leave the trail to head north along the shouldered road through Plantagenet. After lunch, head back to the trail, which will take you to Vankleek Hill (Ontario's gingerbread architecture capital) for the evening. The next morning head north along the shouldered Cassburn Road, with its perfectly pastoral countryside, to the village of L'Orignal along the Ottawa River.

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Day 1 of 2

Morning

This 72-km gravel trail is long, but accessible to nearly all walkers and cyclists (and snowmobilers in the winter) thanks to its past as a railway li...

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Lunch

Trade the honks of cars heard on the patios of Ottawa restaurants for the honks of geese at this Plantagenet farm. Open for lunch on Sundays, the menu...

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Afternoon

After lunch in Plantagenet, return to the trailway and head east for about two hours to Vankleek Hill. ...

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Dinner

The highlight of Vankleek Hill is the Vert Fourchette bakery and café. This French bistro serves gourmet poutine, croque monsieur, and a great assort...

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Accommodation

This short- or long-term executive rental is conveniently located in the heart of Vankleek Hill. This immaculate street-level unit has exposed stone w...

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