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Prescott Russell cycling along Ottawa River

Road riding along the Ottawa River in Prescott-Russell. Photo Credit: Barnyard Studio du coin

Perched upon the Quebec border and the shores of the Ottawa River, a designated Canadian Heritage River, cycling in the Prescott-Russell area offers a mix of waterfront and hinterland riding that is rich in culture and heritage.

Trail riders can explore the countryside along the Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail. Primarily a crushed stone dust trail with a portion of paved surface, this 72km rail trail crosses the entire Prescott-Russell region, connecting communities from east to west. Road cyclists can ride cycling routes that reach both the Ontario and Quebec-side of the Ottawa River with ferry and bridge crossings that make for memorable cycling day trips or multi-day tours. Mountain bikers will enjoy the 180km of trails and gravel roads in Larose Forest, which is set in an area of woodlands and wetlands.

Pedal along the quiet trail or peaceful well-paved roads passing beautiful agricultural lands and stopping in rural villages along the way. Get to know this delightful corner of eastern Ontario, that is also home to the province’s largest francophone community.

Find bicycle friendly businesses to eat, visit and sleep

A number of looped road routes are featured on the two cycling maps for the area. A series of route links and connection points offer cyclists the opportunity to create longer cycling routes to extend day trips or create multi-day touring options. There are a total of 29 routes featured on RidewithGPS.

Additionally, the routes listed below are featured on the Prescott-Russell Regional Cycling Routes Map and Cycl-o-Route – Ottawa River Cycling Map.

Route Links & Connectors:

  • Prescott-Russell to Ottawa NCC Trail
    • On road routing that connects cyclists from the Rockland, Clarence Creek route (34 km) to the southern shore of the Ottawa River and regional trail network, with trailhead off Trims Road.
  • Prescott-Russell South Link to Ottawa NCC Trail
    • On road routing that connects cyclists from the town of Russell, and the New York Central Trail, to the southern shore of the Ottawa River and regional trail network, with trailhead off Trims Road.

Additional Routes:

  • Hawkesbury Bike Club – ca/visiteurs/circuits-velo
    • From Hawkesbury and to surrounding areas, a series of 20 routes ranging from 28km to 92km mapped by Hawkesbury Bike Club
  • Prescott Russell Recreational Trail – This 72km rail trail stretches from the outskirts of Ottawa through the villages of villages of Bourget, Plantagenet, Vankleek Hill to St-Eugène. The multi-use pathway is mostly unpaved on stone dust and is relatively flat. Trailhead pavilions and parking available. E-bike rentals are available at the 3 communities and locations below, and near the trail.
    Discover the area and get off the trail to visit the local communities following the:

    • Bourget Loop
    • Plantagenet Loop
    • Vankleek Hill Loop
  • Prescott Russell Recreational Trail – Cycling Itinerary
    Plan a trip on the trail making use of this cycling itinerary, available on-line and downloadable print resource in English and French. Additional route suggestions included. The itinerary provides cyclists of all abilities with detailed information on routing, communities and amenities along the way,  for distances 54km or 13km or longer full trail experience 72km+.
  • New York Central Trail – 10km long, this gravel surface trail links the villages of Embrun and Russell. The trail is located on the 38km New York Central Trail, Cannamore, a mixed trail/road route featured on the Ride South Eastern Ontario Cycling Map.
  • Larose Forest Trails – 36km of mountain bike and winter fat biking trails through forest and marsh land. There are two areas: the Bouget Sector and the Limoges Sector. Parking lots are available on Indian Creek Rd. just north of Boundary Rd, and on Champlain St. south of Bourget. As trails are maintained by the Ottawa Mountain Bike Club, all riders are required to become a member. Easy to do and supports the trails. Additional information and maps available.
  • Larocque Forest – Located in the town of Alfred, find 3km of multi-use trails for summer and winter fat biking.
  • Embrun Skate Park – The Embrun Skate Park is located in the village of Embrun near the Embrun Community Centre (6 Blais Street). It is designed to withstand rough weather conditions, as well as handle a tough ride from skaters and BMXers.

Prescott Russell Pathway – A key connection to the city of Ottawa for recreational cyclists, the Prescott-Russell Pathway is a 20km stone dust, multi-use trail extending eastward from the greenbelt near Blair Rd through the Village of Navan, part of the City of Ottawa to the Prescott-Russell Trail at Canaan Road. View the trail connection on the Prescott and Russell Regional Cycling Map/Ride South Eastern Ontario cycling map and the Ottawa cycling map.

La Route verte – Quebec’s provincial cycling network spans approximately 5,000km on both on-road and off-road cycling facilities. Route Verte #1 begins northwest of Ottawa in Outaouais running on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, through Gatineau and adjacent to the United Counties of Prescott Russell on the north shore of the Ottawa River between Rockland and St. Eugene.

Trans Canada Trail – The Prescott Russell Recreational Trail has recently been designated a part of the Trans Canada Trail. Connecting out of Ottawa, plans are underway to connect the trail further and into Quebec.  Canada’s national trail, the longest network of multi-use recreational trails in the world, is over 27,000km long and growing.

Great Lakes Waterfront Trail – Stretching over 3,600km, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a route connecting over 140 communities and First Nations along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes: Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Erie, Detroit River and Lake St Clair, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and the North Channel. The fully signed Trail uses the safest infrastructure possible, a mix of both on-road and off-road facilities, and is primarily paved, with sections of unpaved path and gravel roads. It can be enjoyed for as part of a day trip or on a multi-day long distance cycling adventure.

The trail is located approximately 50km south of Prescott-Russell, cyclists to/from Quebec can connect to the trail via La Route Verte #5 or through various routes that are featured on the Ride South Eastern Ontario cycling map.

Prescott-Russell Regional Cycling Map / Ride South Eastern Ontario. 2023. This cross-regional, bilingual cycling map features 17 routes in the United Counties of Prescott-Russell and 8 routes the Cornwall and the SDG Counties. Download or request the printed map or access the routes on RideWithGPS for digital routing options.

Prescott Russell Recreational Trail Website – A website providing tourism resources for the trail, including path and other route locations, pavilions and communities connected by the trail, construction and other trail conditions, as well as events associated with the trail.

South Eastern Ontario Cycling Itineraries & Map – Find 11 cycling itineraries, including one for the Prescott Russell Recreational Trail, and mapped routes on roads and trails across South Eastern Ontario. Available in print (English and French). Digital map links and downloadable print itineraries with map available.

Map of Prescott Russell Roads – 2017. Map. Plan route and view online map showing roads with paved shoulders, suited for cycling, as well as unpaved/gravel roads and country roads.

Hawkesbury Bike Club MapsA series of 20 road routes from Hawkesbury and to surrounding areas.

Cycl-o-Route – Ottawa River Cycling Map – 2016. Map. This map includes three looped routes along the Ottawa River, featuring cycling in both Ontario and Quebec. Other trail and cycling networks highlighted on map. Services, transportation (ferries) and other resources are available on map. Developed in partnership between Prescott-Russell Tourism, and the Quebec municipalities of Argenteuil Regional County and Papineau Regional County.

Prescott-Russell – Related Blogs:

Top Ontario Trail Rides & E-Bike Rental Locations

January 29, 2024|

Have an e-bike and willing to travel? Eager to try out an e-bike in a safe off-road environment? With a growing number of e-bike rental companies close to Ontario’s signature trails, it’s easier than ever to plan a day trip exploring our beautiful province on two wheels. An shorter version of the article was published in the 2024 Cycling in Ontario / Le vélo en Ontario Guide

  • Fat Biking in Durham Region. Photo credit: Barry Best

Winter Cycling & Fat Biking in Ontario

January 19, 2024|

While many Canadian cyclists may be fair weather riders, there is a large and growing contingent of cyclists that actively bike 12 months a year. Whether it is for transportation or recreation, getting outside and being physically active, in a safe manner, is more important than ever. Here are some top tips for winter cycling plus info on fat biking in the snow, rentals and trail destinations.

Destination & Regional Partners: