The 800km long Log Driver’s Waltz Bikepacking Route is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most picturesque and challenging routes in Ontario and Quebec. As well as taking riders into rugged backwoods of the Ottawa Valley and Outaouais our route is unique in that it includes Ottawa, Canada’s National Capital and parallels a portion of the Rideau Canal, a World Heritage Site. This year we are having our first Grand Depart on August 20th. Early sign ups include riders from Australia, United States, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
The Log Driver’s Waltz Bikepacking Route was conceived to showcase the picturesque landscape, historic sites, and varied culture of the Ottawa Valley of Ontario and Quebec’s Outaouais. The route follows a mix of rural tree-lined gravel roads, rustic unmaintained roads, sections of rail trail, riverside roads, single track and forested trails. Bikepackers will notice historic buildings and fences now hidden in the returning forest in the Lanark Highlands. Place names on the map indicate the once thriving settlements that are now long forgotten. Logging operations are still found on both sides of the Ottawa River and in both provinces there are fertile farms situated on what was once the bottom of the Champlain Sea.
Numerous riders have remarked how different the landscape is from one day to the next. On the Ontario portion riders experience the rocky outcrops, split rail fences, maple sugar shacks and woodlots of the Lanark Highlands; the North Frontenac Highlands’ towering White and Red pines and memorable climbs; and the gentle hills, and country roads leading down to the Ottawa River. The Quebec side of the route is equally varied with the steep punchy climbs and quaint villages of the Pontiac, LaPêche and Wakefield areas. Challenging single and double track riding through the Gatineau Park take riders to the edge of the Eardley Escarpment where they can look out over the Ottawa Valley to Calabogie and beyond. Once out of the Gatineau Hills riders will find the scenic cycling paths along the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal a treat as they survey the historical and modern architecture of the city that is centered where two waterways, complete with locks, meet in the heart of the nation’s capital.
Never more than 120 kilometres from downtown Ottawa, parts of the Log Driver’s Waltz are surprisingly remote. Cell service is not guaranteed and careful planning of resupply is a must. Experienced bikepackers have reported that this is a challenging route with 1000 m per 100 km of climbing on varied, mostly unpaved byways. Unique in that it passes through parts of Ontario and Quebec and passes through the downtown of Ottawa, Canada’s National Capital.
Riders wanting a shorter route can sign up and for the 350 km L’EGGS Route option.
Please see our website for maps, route information and to sign up.