There are so many wonderful trail running opportunities in Eastern Ontario! The following is a list of some of my favourites. There are many other great trails to run too that I have not listed, however please always respect the wishes of property owners when trail running and only go on approved trails, or ask for permission.
The Ontario Trails Council includes a number of these trails in addition to others.
Adirondacks (NY) – The Adirondacks are a short drive from Eastern Ontario and offers the most easily accessible mountains within driving distance in this area. Here is a great interactive map to plan your route.
Algonquin Provincial Park – Another playground offering from Ontario Parks with unlimited trails for runners looking for anything from short runs to ultra distance. Enjoy!
Batawa Ski Hill (Trenton) – Trail system north of Trenton that is used for the Fat Ass Trail Race.
Bon Echo Provincial Park (Cloyne) – Assorted trail network of some fairly technical single track trails. Day/annual pass required.
Camden East Alvar (Camden East) - This 43 hectare (109 ac.) property is based just 20 km northeast of Napanee, made up of meadows, shrublands, exposed limestone, wetlands and woodlands. No marked trails, but lots of areas to explore. This also connects with snowmobile trail network by an old road allowance (ie. ATV Trail). Also, only 1 km from the Cataraqui Trail (see below).
Charleston Lake Provincial Park (Lansdowne) – The longest loop is only 10km, but features some rugged footing with great views. Day/annual pass required.
Collins Creek (Kingston) – Single track mountain biking and dog walking trails. Suitable for trail running too.
County Forest Trails - The Pines (Flinton) - 6km of trails in pine forest. Great for running, hiking and mountain biking. Can be connected to other snowmobile trail network in area for longer outings.
Depot Creek Nature Reserve (Bellrock) – Less than 4km of trails, but spectacular views very unique to the area. Can run multiple loops or be combined with a run on First Lake Rd (dirt road) to make a longer run.
Fort Henry (Kingston) – Abandoned mountain bike trails along shoreline of Lake Ontario.
Frontenac Arch Biosphere – Explore the Arch. The Frontenac Arch Biosphere is laced with fabulous trails, not only in parks and conservation areas, but across the region in several directions and locations.
Frontenac Provincial Park (Sydenham) – Over 100 km’s of the best trail running in Eastern Ontario. Options range from as short as a 3 km loop to as long as almost 50 km (perimeter) loop. Rideau Trail runs through Frontenac. Day/annual pass required. Frontenac Park Map
Gananoque Provincial Wildlife Area Trail Project (Gananoque) – A new trail initiative with a 20km network of trails that are being developed on 1000 acres of land.
Gananoque Trail (Gananaoque) – A loop within the town that connects many green spaces, parks and short trails.
Greater Madawaska Parks and Trails (Madawaska) – Many great options in the region with an assortment of trails types ranging from easy to technical.
K&P Trail – Rail trail of cinder, gravel and dirt. Ongoing project. Currently runs from Kingston to Sharbot Lake. The snowmobile club grooms some sections north of Sharbot Lake, but is broken segments during certain times of the year. Rideau Trail connects in places. (Virtual Tour | Map)
Kennebec Lake Parkland Trails (Arden) - The trail network consists of over 7km of trails winding through a mixed forest of deciduous and coniferous trees. The valley meadows, wooded hillsides and rocky ridges are home to an abundance of wildlife.
Lennox and Addington Ridge Runners Snowmobile Club – Snowmobile trail network that features some good trail running during all seasons. Again, be sure to respect property owners. (Interactive Map)
Linda’s Loop (Coxvale) – Very rugged single track trails. Not heavily used, and quite technical.
Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area (Kingston) – Nordic skiing trails just north of Kingston. Rolling grass trails in the summer for good trail running. Perimeter loop is 10.8km, with shorter options within. Day/annual pass required. (Map)
Marble Rock (Gananoque) – Under the Rideau Trail Association umbrella, these trails are definitely worth checking out. Not very long with a total of 11km, but some very fun sections of single track that includes some very technical footing in places, and great views from higher points.
McCauley Mountain (Picton) – Single track mountain bike trails just east of the town of Picton.
McIntosh Mills Crown Land Trails (Mallorytown) – Rugged and technical trails in the Canadian Shield. A lot of ATV use on these trails so watch your footing. Trails groomed for XC skiing in winter, and a short dedicated snowshoe trail. Map
Ontario Parks (Ontario) – Ontario Provincial Parks feature incredible opportunities to trail run all across Ontario. Check out their website to find a provincial park near you!
Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail (Ontario) - The 296km Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail is a multi-use corridor that stretches from near Smiths Falls to just shy of Mattawa, passing through Lanark County, Renfrew County (where it is also known as the Algonquin Trail) and Papineau-Cameron Township.
Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area (Amherstview) – Nice little single track trails west of Amherstview. Cinder surface has been recently added to the west side of the bay, but east side still mostly dirt trail. (Map)
Puzzle Lake Conservation Area (Tamworth) – Proposed conservation area on crown land northeast of Tamworth featuring a hidden treasure of good trail running on ATV and single track trails. See also Welly Smith Trail (below).
Rideau Trail – 300+ km trail from Kingston to Ottawa that is on some technical single track, rail trail, road, through cemeteries, and more. Follow the orange trail markers for the main route and blue markers for side loops.
Rock Dunder (Jones Falls) – Beautiful trails, though not very long (12 km), with spectacular views. Technical in places.
Shabomeka Legpower Pathfinders (Cloyne) – 65km rugged network of paths/trails located in the forest heartland surrounding Shabomeka Lake in the Madawaska Highlands of the Land O’ Lakes region of Eastern Ontario. For foot traffic and mountain bikes only in summer and backcountry ski touring in winter.
Sheffield Conservation Area (Kaladar) - Only approximately 5 km loop in length, but very rugged and spectacular Canadian Shield at its finest with some great views. Definitely recommend running a second loop in the opposite direction to enjoy different views and get a longer run in. Day/annual pass required (Recommend downloading the App beforehand to make it easier to pay).
Skycroft Trails (Opinicon Road, near Chaffey’s Locks) – 20km network of single track trails through rugged terrain and spectacular views. Includes part of Rideau Trail and connects to Cataraqui Trail/Trans Canada Trail.
Trans Canada Trail – Features sections close to Kingston that includes Cataraqui, K&P, Rideau and Kaladar Trails.
Welly Smith Trail (near Parham) – Trail system on crown land that connects to Puzzle Lake trails. Access is on MacLean Rd.
* This list is a work in progress and will be updated from time to time. We have written trail reviews for many of these trails in Canadian Running Magazine, as well as included other reviews in our blog.
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Women's Dare Network - A network for women who are interested in adventure, sport or nature.