Tulips in front of Parliament Hill. Photo by Cassandra Fulgham.
Ottawa’s annual Canadian Tulip Festival is one of our favourite times of year to get out on our bikes and enjoy the city (although to be fair we have a lot of favourite times of year to do that!). To celebrate, we've prepared a couple of fun self-guided tours so that you can enjoy the festival on two wheels.
This year, for Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation, the Canadian Tulip Festival, running from May 12-22, promises to be as beautiful as ever. There is no better way to take it in than on two wheels, since almost all of the main tulip sites are accessible via Ottawa’s pathway network, allowing you to easily pedal to the petals!
A bed of tulips. Photo by Simone Rivers.
To help you along, we’ve put together a couple of Tulips on Two Wheels self-guided tours you can do to make sure you take in as many petals as possible. One of the tours is more aimed at adults and the other is aimed at families with kids.
Tulips & Tipples on Two Wheels Do this tour!
Explore the Tulips with a few stops for a bite to eat and a beverage on your route around town.
Tulips and Tots on Two Wheels Do this tour!
Get the whole family out checking out the tulips, taking a few stops for food and kid-friendly fun along the way.
What you can expect on both tours:
- Entirely on car-free pathways and low-traffic streets
- Bike parking options
- Minimal hills
- Great for people of all ages with all kinds of experience levels riding bikes.
- Start from any point, do as much or as little of the route as you like
- Do the routes in either direction, though clockwise may be preferred if you’re doing the entire 15 km loop
- If you’re using OC Transpo’s rack and roll, consider starting your tour at Bayview, since it connects nicely to the Trillium Pathway.
- Because of the flooding of the Ottawa River Pathway below Parliament Hill, we have provided an alternate route to use in case the pathway is still flooded. Be sure to check the status of the path before you head out and don’t pass the barriers on the pathway if they are set up.
Tulip Festival Fireworks: A bike is also the best way to get to and from the Tulip Festival fireworks, which take place on May 21st at Lansdowne. Park your bike in the ample bike parking at Lansdowne and enjoy the fireworks (you’ve even brought your own seat!). One of the best parts of the fireworks is riding home with everyone else afterwards (don’t forget your lights)!
Guided Tours with Escape: If a guided tour is more your thing, check out Escape Bicycle Tour’s guided Tulip Bike Tours.