15 #Outaouaisfun fall activities
Ahhh, autumn, season of spectacular colours, not too hot, not too cold, sometimes maybe a little damp! When it comes to fall, people are generally split into two camps: some love it for the harvest and the gorgeous scenery, while others hate the rain and the lack of activities (or so they claim). But here in #Outaouaisfun, there are lots of reasons to love the fall.
Here are some suggestions of things to do over the next few weeks:
Fête des couleurs
On October 1, the City of Gatineau invites families to celebrate fall at the Fête des couleurs in Lac-Beauchamp Park. Enjoy a host of free activities, including face painting, inflatable structures, games, a treasure hunt, pumpkin decorating, cooking demonstrations featuring fall recipes, rabaska canoe rides, Zumba on the beach, and trail walks.
Full information here (in French only)
Chairlift rides and fall brunch
For a really outstanding view of the fall colours, what could be better than riding a chairlift to the top of a mountain? From October 1 to 16 at Camp Fortune, you can take the Valley chair and enjoy a casual hike down, or take the Skyline chair for a relaxing round-trip ride. On October 2, 9, 10 and 16, you can also enjoy a delicious brunch served in the main lodge.
Full information here
Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park
Gatineau Park is a wonderful place to admire the fall colours, and each year the park organizes a variety of activities for outdoor lovers of all kinds. Here are the highlights (you’ll find the full event schedule here):
October 2: Folk picnic and kites in Meech Creek Valley
October 8–10: Pontiac Country Fair at Luskville Falls
October 15 & 16: Nature Days at Philippe Lake
Weekends, October 1–16: Nature interpretation at the Champlain and Pink Lake lookouts
Click here for a list of 12 “must-see” spots to admire the fall colours in Gatineau Park.
October 8 and 9, you’re invited to Mont Cascades’ annual Colourfest. Chairlift rides, local arts and crafts, Oktoberfest BBQ, face painting for kids, live music, inflatable structures, and of course the Summit Challenge Race over 1, 2 or 5 km (October 8, registration required).
Full information here
Family picnic on Mount Morissette
You’re invited to the ninth annual family picnic at Mount Morissette Regional Park, Saturday, October 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the top of the mountain. You can hike to the summit or take a free shuttle. Music, hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone!
Full info here
Thanksgiving brunches and dinners
Celebrate the spectacular fall colours of the Outaouais in October with a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Reserve now at one of these fine establishments:
20th annual Rendez-vous des saveurs
October 14 to 16 are the dates of the 20th annual Rendez-vous des saveurs at the Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau. On the menu: tasting workshops, free culinary demonstrations featuring duck, Quebec products, foie gras, chocolate and more, the Urban Gourmet Market with dozens of vendors, the Inter-City Challenge: Revenge or Reconciliation between Montreal and Chelsea, and the Mini-Academy for children. A whole weekend of delicious discoveries awaits you!
Take a hike!
Fall is the perfect walking and hiking season, and the Outaouais has dozens of trails for all abilities. Many trails have scenic lookouts or observation towers. Click here for our list of top 10 trails to admire the fall colours in the Outaouais.
11th annual Wine Festival
From November 11 to 13, the 11th annual Wine Festival will be held in Montebello. Join the Fairmont Le Château Montebello team for a gourmet weekend. This gastronomic adventure highlights great wines and the regional specialties of executive chef Jean-François Fortin. A weekend filled with flavours and colours awaits you! Book your Wine Festival package today.
International Festival of Log Buildings in Montebello
From September 30 to October 2, check out the International Festival of Log Buildings (Logfest). Celebrate the rich heritage of the charming village of Montebello, and learn more about this unique architectural style around the world!
Mating season at Parc Oméga
Until October 10, you can also watch live raptor presentations and observe grey wolves from the newly relocated wolf boardwalk.
Visit to the Cranberries Valley
Harvesting begins Saturday, October 8 in the Cranberries Valley, during the village of Kazabazua’s Cranberry Festival. Daily until October 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can watch the harvest of these health-boosting little red berries. Did you know that the cranberry marsh is flooded for harvesting? It’s quite something to see!
6th annual Dryland Dog Racing Canadian Championships
From October 28 to 30, Timberland Tours will host the Dryland Dog Racing Canadian Championships. Hundreds of racers and dogs from all over the globe will flock to the small town of Bristol to race on a sandy trail winding through a red pine forest. You can watch the race from several lookout points, including the start and finish bleachers, a high-rise stand, and an access path that cuts through the forest and crosses the race track at several points. Watch a video of the 2015 event here.
It’s harvest time in the vineyard!
Fall is a very important season for wine producers, because that’s when the grapes are harvested. Would you like to help out? Local vineyards are always looking for volunteers! Domaine du Mont-Vézeau will be harvesting on Saturday, October 1. Click here for registration information (Facebook page in French only). It’s definitely something you should try at least once in your life!
Escape … to Nordik Spa-Nature
If ever there’s a perfect time to go to the spa, surely fall is it! Chase the autumn chill away at Nordik Spa-Nature, with its heated hammocks, bonfires, thermal baths, saunas and more, plus spectacular views of the fall colours (especially from the panoramic infinity pool). And don’t forget the comfort food: combine relaxation and gastronomy at the spa’s Foodie Wednesdays. On your own, as a couple or with friends, this is the place to go for a few hours of complete R&R!
By the time you’ve tried these 15 activities, it will probably be snowing! Have a wonderful fall, and visit www.outaouaistourism.com for more things to do in the coming weeks.
Head photo: @sarah_rrdh