Ottawa Area Gravel Growler (92km)
Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Distance: 90.1km (57.2 miles)
Ascent: 532m (1,745.4 feet)
Suggested Tire Width: 32-35mm or greater
Amenities: Riding out of the city of Ottawa along Leggett Road, the route passes several breweries early on, including Calabogie Brewery, Big Rig Brewery, and Small Pony Barrel Works. The towns of Almonte and Carleton Place have all the required amenities including several pubs, coffee shops and convenience stores.
Estimated Gravel Time: 80%
Parking: NCC P3 parking lot, Corkstown Rd
Taking inspiration from the Green Mountain Gravel Growler, Vermont’s premier multi-day beer and gravel adventure, the Ottawa Area Gravel Growler is a one-day ride designed to link together various gravel roads, rail-trails and pathways, while providing riders with the opportunity to sample the wears of three to four of the finest (and perhaps lesser known) breweries located outside downtown Ottawa.
Starting from the NCC parking lot (P3) on Corkstown Rd. and riding anti-clockwise, the route follows mostly pathways, greenbelt doubletrack and residential streets, before descending into the farmlands west of the Kanata Lakes subdivision. From here to Almonte, the route stays mostly on Old Almonte Road, which includes a mix of pavement and gravel, before reaching the first brewery of the day, Crooked Mile Brewing Company, which specializes in malty UK-style beers. This will also provide an opportunity for riders to enjoy a lunch at the nearby fish and chip truck (which uses the brewery's beer to make their batter). Next door to the brewery is the Equator Coffee Café and Roastery, should you need a quick caffeine fix before continuing on to Carleton Place.
From here, the second half of the route to Carleton Place and back to Ottawa is primarily on rail trails. First, the newly opened Ottawa Valley Rail Trail takes riders from Almonte to Carleton Place and the location of the second and third brewery stops of the day, the Stalwart Brewing Company (known locally for its Dr. Feelgood / Snake Oil IPA) and the Braumeister Brewing Company (a Bavarian-style craft brewery).
Departing Braumeister, the loop turns back east towards Ottawa along the Trans-Canada Rail Trail. Approximately nine kilometers later, there is the option of stopping at the Ashton Brewpub, an English-style pub and brewery located approximately three kilometers off of the Trans-Canada Trail along Ashton Station Road. Otherwise, continue down the trail until you arrive in Stittsville and the Covered Bridge Brewery off of Iber Road. The rest of the route continues along some easy greenbelt doubletrack and pathways before arriving back at the NCC P3 parking lot.
As the last half of the loop takes advantage of various rail trails, this route provides the perfect opportunity to sample several beers without having to worry about mixing with traffic. That said, it goes without saying - drink responsibly.
No your limit. Ride within it.
And as you will be sharing pathways/rail trails with foot traffic, be considerate. Ensure that your bike includes a working bell and slow down and be respectful when passing.