This is not a "blog" in the sense of a daily journal but a place for me to post GPS trail maps of mountain biking and hiking trails, particularly but not exclusively, in the western Greenbelt in Ottawa, Ontario.

Date codes do not reflect actual posting dates but are manipulated to allow me to order the posts in a thematic order.

Please note that images, maps and photos, will be displayed in reduced size. To see the enlarged images click (or multi-click) on them.


Old Quarry Trail System Remapped 2015

This trail system was the first one I mapped in 2005 using my first less accurate GPS and untried methodology. Since then I have acquired a newer more accurate GPS and refined my methodology. As well since then many trails have become grown over or abandoned and new ones have been created and discovered. Therefore I have completely remapped this trail system during July and August 2015.

These are my neighbourhood trails, less than a kilometre from home to the paths leading to the trails and under two kilometres to the actual dirt trails. That being said, It was not until I undertook this mapping project that I actually managed to ride all of the trails. As you can see from the map there is a complex network of inter-connected trails, more than half of which are unofficial and not on the NCC map.

The trails lie between Bridlewood and Bells Corners and are accessible from NCC parking lots P5 on Eagleson Road across from the Hazeldean Mall, and NCC parking lot P6 on Old Richmond Road, as well as from numerous trail entrances within the two communities.

These are great trails for someone starting out in mountain biking because they provide a wide range of difficulty from easy flat gravel trails to intermediate level rooty and rocky trails.

The Maps
Official NCC Map with Trail Numbers

Official NCC Map with Intersection Numbers

Official Rideau Trail Map

Topographical Map

Google Earth View Annotated Map with Trail Names
Larger full size map may be downloaded here

The Trails  

I have found it almost impossible to list these trails geographically in any systematic way so please accept this listing as it is and refer to the annotated map for more definite locations.

Trans-Canada Trail (TCT)
The portion of the Trans-Canada Trail that passes through the Old Quarry Trail System is a wide gravel stone dust trail that follows a former rail line right-of-way. To the south it continues to follow the old rail line to Carleton Place and to the north it leaves the rail line route and continues to the Ottawa River. It acts as a separator and connector of the different sections of the trail system, as well as providing access to the trails from the rest of Ottawa.

Rideau Trail 
The Rideau Trail is a “footpath” between Ottawa and Kingston. Within the Old Quarry Trail System it starts at the trestle over Robertson Road and ends at NCC Parking Lot P6. The portion that goes through the Old Quarry Trail System serves as an intermediate level mountain biking trail with rocky and rooty sections. It has some of the most technical sections of the Old Quarry Trail System.

Hydro Line Trail

The trail labelled Hydro Line on the map simply acts as a connector between the Old Quarry Trail System dirt trails and the paved urban pathways within the Bridlewood Community. As it's name suggests it follows along a hydro line (the small one).

Trail 23
At NCC Parking Lot P5 we have the main Old Quarry Trail, Trail 23. Within it are two easy gravel loops that are great to start the young ones out on and great for riding in the spring when the dirt trails are muddy. Connected to these is a slightly harder dirt loop leading to Trail 24 at the back of Old Quarry and an intermediate level rocky and rooty trail near the centre that connects to the Trans-Canada Trail. Also connected to Trail 23 are unofficial trails that are not on the official NCC maps, like many of the trails mapped in this project.

Deer Feeder Trail

The Deer Feeder Trail is sometimes known as the Deer George Trail because of the plaques at the unofficial deer feeding stations honouring George who used to feed the deer that inhabit the Old Quarry Trail System. It is a narrow twisty single-track trail that has several small re-routes due to trees falling in the relatively dense bush it goes through. One end of the trail features an open area with small cliffs great for playing around in on a mountain bike. It would make an excellent site for a Beginner Mountain Biking Park, as I have written in this blog posting: THE FIFTH COLUMN: Old Quarry Youth Mountain Bike Skills Park.

Inside Trail
This was called Hidden Trail on the previous version of this map, but because it really is not hidden I have changed the name. It runs inside sections of the official Trail 23, thus the name. It is also a narrow single-track trail, with a couple of spur lines, but not quite as twisty as the Deer Feeder Trail.

ANT and Bed Pan Trail
These two trails are northeast of the Robertson Road end of Trail 24, They provide a narrow single-track route to the trails on the other side of Robertson Road as a more interesting ride or hike than following the wider official trails.

Trail 24
Trail 24 has dual characteristics as it is a merger of the original Trails 24 and 25 after the NCC decided to use the Trail 25 designation on the other side of Old Richmond Road for the Lime Kiln area trails.

The original Trail 24 consisted of wide trails that acted as fire roads, one running from the large Bridlewood Hydro Line near Scissons Road to Robertson Road. The other running off of that towards Bells Corners.

The other major part of Trail 24 are the sections that go up and down to NCC parking Lot P6, which were formerly designated as Trail 25. These were probably the most technical sections of trail in the system, especially climbing up through the rooty and rocky sections, before the new MNT Trail was discovered. The Rideau Trail follows part of this section of Trail 24.

Parallel Trail

To the west of Trail 24 south of the Trans-Canada Trail is a trail that runs parallel to Trail 24 and the subdivision to the west of it, known as the Parallel Trail. This is a narrow single-track trail that is not overly technical but is more enjoyable than riding or hiking the wide Fire Road that is Trail 24. Part of that trail had become part of the lost overgrown trails in the system but was recently recovered. There are a number of links from Trail 24 to the Parallel Trail, including one across from the famous Roller Coaster Trail. In places these trails really have the feeling of being deep in the bush.

Roller Coaster Trail

Across from the Parallel Trail along Trail 24 between the Trans-Canada Trail and the section of Trail 24 that heads towards Bells Corners is the famous Roller Coaster Trail. It gets it's name from the dips (or Whoop-De-Dos) along the trail. It also has the famous almost ninety degree about two metre drop just before it joins up with the Anti-Logger Trail (which is also part of the Rideau Trail), but there is a ride-around.

MNT and Extension Trails
The newly discovered MNT and Extension Trails are single-track trails that start along the Trans-Canada Trail, at the end of Bed Pan, and go to the wide section of Trail 24 that goes towards Bells Corners. They cross the Roller Coaster Trail. MNT, north of Roller Coaster, may be the most technical and difficult of the Old Quarry Trail System Trails, requiring me to walk parts of it. Extension, south of Roller Coaster, is easier and more flowy.

Anti-Logger Trail
Anti-Logger goes along the south side of the pond near Bells Corners. Before the Roller Coaster intersection are some of the most technical rooty sections of trail in the Old Quarry Trail System, as well as some of the most chronically muddy sections. After that the trail becomes more flowy. The Rideau Trail follows Anti-Logger.

Logger Trail
Logger Trail goes along the north side of the pond near Bells Corners. A short cut from one part of Trail 24 to another it provides a relatively flowy single-track alternative to the wide Trail 24.

Subdivision Trail

Subdivision Trail is a very flowy single-track trail that runs behind the subdivision in Bells Corners.

Ridge Line/Chapel Trail

This is a fun short section of flowy trail that, as it's name suggests, follows the ridge line from the wide section of Trail 24 to the single-track section of Trail 24 that goes down to NCC parking lot P6. The Chapel portion of the name comes from a chapel-like rock structure built along the trail that has been demolished by trail vandals.

Rock Garden Trail

The Rock Garden Trail is a short very rocky single-track trail that goes from Trail 24 near the big hydro line and connects to the Scissons Trails under the hydro line

Scissons Trails

This is the part of the Old Quarry Trail System that is the furthest from NCC parking lot P5. Adjacent to Scissons Road, it is in the far southeast corner of the trail system closer to NCC parking lot P6 on Old Richmond Road than to P5.

I first discovered these trails a few years ago, although like any place discovered (think America) I am sure they were there for quite awhile before I stumbled onto them. Last season during a night group ride I discovered that there was more than I thought and when I set about mapping them this season I discovered even more trails.

There are only about 5 km of distinct trails here but with doing loops and overlaps you could do a 10 km ride just in that section but you will usually do parts of it as part of a larger ride of the Old Quarry Trails.

These trails are of intermediate technical difficulty with many easy flowy sections and some twisty and rocky sections.

Middle Earth
Middle Earth was on the original map and we used to ride it during group rides several years ago. It is/was a somewhat hidden and very interesting trail, very technical in places, that reminds me of Middle Earth, hence the name.

Middle Earth is one of those trails that I was not sure still existed, having not rode or hiked it for several seasons. I expected there would be lots of fallen trees over the trail from storms over the last few years and it might be overgrown in sections. So I set out to see if I could still follow the trail or open it up. It turned out to be quite a challenge and I lost the trail numerous times, even with the GPS track to follow and red markings on trees for part of it. I roughly followed 75 percent of the trail, having to climb through heavy bush in some cases, before losing it completely. Probably about 80% of the 75% of trail I followed is decent trail but in somewhat unconnected sections. Since having known the trail fairly well, having a map and GPS track, I still kept getting lost I decided it was best to remove it from the Old Quarry Trail System Map and GPS tracks as I do not want to encourage people to get lost in the bush.

Map of My Attempt to Follow the Middle Earth Trail

With a lot of work the Middle Earth Trail might be able to be re-established, but until then I will leave it off the map and GPS tracks.

The area where Middle Earth is located is indicated in small white type on the Annotated Map.

Concluding Words on The Trails
The descriptions above do not really do justice to just how enjoyable it is to ride these trails. Although relatively close to roads and civilization many of the trail sections make you feel like you are in the wilderness because the bush is so dense. There are portions that are technically challenging and portions you can just race around in. You can literally spend a whole day in here just tooling around on your bike. But remember to always be respectful of other trail users.
GPS gpx Files

The gpx file for this trail system (and other trail systems) can be downloaded by clicking the link below:

GPX files - Google Docs

If you do download the gpx file please email me at and let me know so that I have an idea of how many people are downloading and using the files.

Slide Show of A Typical Old Quarry Trails Ride

Viewing Slide Show Full Screen Recommended  

Posted 2015-08-25
Updated 2017-06-15 


Ember Erebus said...

Thanx for doing this. I'm a mycophile and geocacher that had recently found these trails but couldn't get much trail info from google maps. This is just what I was looking for!!

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent set of maps. You have touched all the bases. I am a hiker, geocacher, and amateur naturalist.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, this is an excellent resource :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. You've done a great job here and it's appreciated!



About Me

My photo
Richard W. Woodley was born in Sudbury, Ontario in 1950. He earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Laurentian University where he was the News Editor of the student newspaper Lambda and active in student politics. He was active in the New Democratic Party and Waffle in Sudbury and Kanata, as well as Kanata municipal politics. He was a member of the Bridlewood Residents Hydro Line Committee (BRHLC) and creator of the now archived Bridlewood Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Information Service. He worked on Parliament Hill for 33 years indexing the Debates of the House of Commons (Hansard) and it's committees. Richard has been an outdoorsperson and environmentalist for most of his life and a life long cyclist who recently took up mountain biking. He is active on and a member of the Ottawa Mountain Bike Association (OMBA).

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To read my thoughts on mountain biking, cycling, social and political philosophy and the current issues of the day read my blog, THE FIFTH COLUMN.