With its diverse ecosystems, wildlife and national heritage, this park is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts in both summer and winter.
Gatineau Park is an impressive conservation park just 15 minutes from Parliament Hill in Canada’s National Capital Region. With historic treasures, natural beauty and a rich biodiversity, the park is a popular destination for all seasons.
Gatineau Park has over 139 square miles (361 square kilometers) of woodland and lakes. Occupation of the park dates back 8,000 years. In the 19th century, settlers and industrialists came to enjoy the natural parklands.
In the summer, when the maple and cedar trees are in bloom, explore the 103 miles (165 kilometers) of hiking trails and scenic bikeways. Learn about the ecosystem of the Eardley Escarpment, where over half of the park’s endangered plant and animal species can be found. Enjoy the view of Ottawa River Valley from King Mountain, and explore the marble tunnels at Lusk Cave, a geological wonder that is thousands of years old.
Visit the impressive Mackenzie King Estate, the summer home of Canada’s 10th Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King. Walk through the heritage gardens, see the original Victorian cottages and discover King’s fascination with ruins, including stones from Westminster Palace in England.
Bring your canoe and camp by La Pêche Lake, Philippe Lake or Taylor Lake. Swim at one of the five beaches or take a picnic lunch and relax at a lookout. Fish, in-line skate or take an interpretative nature walk. Watch for otter, beaver and the rare Blanding’s turtle. The park is also home to black bears, white-tailed deer, raccoons, marten, timber wolves and the eastern wolf. Pack your binoculars to spot nearly 230 species of birds.
In winter, cross-country ski, enjoy a winter hike or snowshoe along one of North America’s largest multi-use trail networks. Stay for the day or spend the night in a cabin, yurt or winter tent.
Call ahead to check opening hours as they vary between seasons. In the winter, contact Gatineau Park for details about parking fees and ski passes.