Covering 361 square kilometres (almost 90,000 acres), Gatineau Park is a short drive or bike ride from downtown Ottawa. The vast area has become a year round playground, with beautiful colours, wildlife, and a vast network of trails drawing people to park no matter the month. Incredible lookout points and vistas — overlooking the Canadian Shield and St. Lawrence Lowlands — make it a natural attraction for photographers; numerous species of birds create a wonderland of opportunities for bird watchers; and pathways turn the park into an oasis for hikers, bikers, and cross-country skiers. Go for a swim at one of the Park’s beaches during the summer, and set up your tent for a serene camping experience. Yurts and cabins make it possible to be one with nature during the winter.
- The Park features hundreds of kilometres of trails and hundreds of species of birds and mammals.
- In warm months, the Park is ideal for cycling, hiking, picnics, canoeing, swimming and camping.
- In winter, the park features cross-country and downhill skiing.
- In autumn, the Park is the setting for Fall Rhapsody, when the leaves turn into a sea of vibrant colours.
- Four lookouts offer spectacular views, including Champlain Lookout atop the Eardely Escarpment, with amazing views of two major Canadian geological formations - the Canadian Shield and the St. Lawrence Lowlands.
- The Park is home to Mackenzie King Estate, the beautiful country home of Canada's 10th Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King.
- Pink Lake, near the south entrance to the park is a meromictic lake.
- For more information on and interpretation of Gatineau Park, stop by the Visitor Centre at 33 Scott Road in Chelsea, Quebec.
- Admission to the Park is free.