Gatineau park lies north of Ottawa and is most easily accessible by car. You can get information about the Park from the Info Centre in downtown Ottawa or from the excellent Interpretative Centre in Old Chelsea.
There's something for everyone during each season of the year, although personally I would avoid the spring months (late April through mid June) unless you have industrial strength bug spray.
- the MacKenzie King Estate - also one of the few spots in the Park where food is available;
- protected Pink Lake, with a great, fully accessible 2.5km interpretative trail;
- the Champlain look-out for fabulous views from the start of the Canadian Shield over the plains. Also a great spot to watch the sunset;
- the sugar maple grove walk which starts and ends just behind the interpretative centre in Old Chelsea;
- the bike paths, and particularly the car-free Sundays during the summer months when a number of roads in the southern part of the park are restricted to non-motorised traffic;
- Camp Fortune - for downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter (it's a relatively small ski area but great for a day and only 30 minutes by car from downtown Ottawa) and the aerial park behind it in summer;
- the cross-country ski trails throughout the park are extensive and some of the best in North America.
- Meech Lake, for canoeing in summer. There are also two small sandy beaches;
- further north in the park is beautiful Lac La Peche, the largest lake in the park. There is a large, sandy beach with a supervised swimming area in the summer months (10am to 6pm) and BBQ areas (some fixed BBQs provided), canoe hire and access to 33 wilderness camping spots which are only accessible by canoe. Dogs not allowed in the summer months.
In the summer months, there is a smallish daily fee for entrance to some parts of the park between 9am and 6pm.
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