With over 2.7 million visitors a year, Gatineau park is one of the most popular parks in Ottawa. Just a half an hour from Ottawa, the park sits right between the Canadian Shield and the St. Lawrence Lowlands, giving the park a diverse landscape. Though most popular for winter sports, Gatineau is also a beautiful park in the summer with a wide variety of wildlife.
Photo by @ashley.howard
Cross Country Skiing
50 country cross ski trails are dispersed throughout the park, making it one of the largest network of trails in the country. The trails span across many skill levels and connect to the Greenbelt (an even larger network of ski trails). The park also offers skate skiing trails, making it the perfect place for ski enthusisasts of all levels. For those more into snowshoeing, Gatineau Park allows for that as well.
Gatineau Park offers several hiking trails and one of the most breath-taking is the King Mountain Trail. Stretching over 10.9 kms, King Mountain has ten lookout points with the most famous one being King Mountain. Voted as a National Historic Site, the top of the mountain allows for a spectular view of the Ottawa Valley landscape and a great photo opportunity. The trail also highlights the park’s unique and diverse terrain as it shifts into the Canadian Shield.
Mackenzie King Estate
Originally owned by Canada’s longest serving prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, his estate has been transformed into a public walking ground. There are several historical cottages which can demonstrate how King spent much of his spare time in the summer. The grounds are also home to a museum which showcases King’s life and work during his time as prime minister. The estate is also connected to several trails and offers gardens to observe.