The Collines-de-l’Outaouais: your destination for nature and well-being
The Collines-de-l’Outaouais sector is known for its charm. To visit the Collines is to explore a territory dotted with lakes, rivers, forests and valleys. Nature is everywhere, offering infinite well-being and a multitude of opportunities to practise your favourite winter sports. Between outdoor activities, relaxation, fine dining and a balanced lifestyle, the Collines are all about self-care! At your own pace, discover their best-kept secrets …
Burn off some energy in Gatineau Park!
Winter is no time for standing still! Gatineau Park is the ideal playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with beautiful scenery to boot. It’s 361 square kilometres of unspoiled nature where you can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even fat biking. You can also explore some of the parts of the park that are less crowded in winter, like the Meech Creek Valley and Philippe Lake. Don’t miss the lookouts, with their breathtaking panoramas!
33 Scott Road, Chelsea
The Gatineau Park Visitor Centre is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There’s a fee to use the cross-country ski, snowshoe and snow biking trails. You can buy a day or season pass online, at the trailhead (exact change only), at the Visitor Centre or at the Relais plein air.
Check out the interactive trail map! Also, did you know that you can borrow a trail pass from your local library for free access to cross-country ski, snowshoe and snow biking trails?
Go on a Snowman Adventure
Get the family off the couch and into the snowy forest! Arbraska Laflèche offers unique activities during the cold season, including snowshoeing along the trails on its beautiful site or discovering an underground cave (yes, yes, the little brown bats are there!) where you can admire ice stalagmites and stalactites. For the ultimate experience, choose the Snowman Adventure package: cave visit, thrilling zip line descent, and GPS snowshoe rally through the forest. At the end of your adventure, warm up with a mug of hot chocolate by the fire!
255 Route Principale, Val-des-Monts
There are 4 daily departures for the Snowman Adventure: in English at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and in French at 10 a.m. and 12 noon.
For the Snowman Adventure (duration 3 hours): Child $38, adult $49.
Reservations are required for all activities. Minimum age for the Snowman Adventure is 5 years.
Four ski and snowboard hills
The Collines-de-l’Outaouais also have four summits for fun on the slopes! For novice skiers and snowboarders, Mont Cascades is a must. Ski Vorlage is also a good place to introduce your little ones to downhill skiing. With its range of slopes, Camp Fortune is popular with novices and experts alike. As for Edelweiss, the resort has been renovated and now offers state-of-the-art facilities—and its tubing slides are a family favourite. Have you visited these four ski centres?
Before you go, visit the ski centre’s website for the latest information about health measures (online reservations, equipment rental, etc.).
Ultimate relaxation at Nordik Spa-Nature
After an active day, a massage can do you a world of good! Whether it’s to soothe muscle pain, relieve stress or take some time for yourself, Nordik Spa-Nature welcomes you for a massage therapy session, a body treatment or a facial. For a relaxing day worthy of a spa outing, follow our six steps to unplug and unwind in the comfort of your home.
16 Nordik Road, Chelsea
Daily from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (in compliance with the curfew).
You can reserve your treatment online. Face coverings are mandatory during all massages and body treatments, except facials.
Fine food at Les Fougères
At Les Fougères, your taste buds will be delighted! Enjoy upscale local cuisine in the restaurant (when health measures allow, with daily specials including the famous wood-fired pizza!), takeout meals, and the gourmet store. Chef Yannick La Salle, recognized as one Canada’s top chefs, offers a constantly changing seasonal menu rooted in the Outaouais terroir. The restaurant occasionally offers boxes in partnership with other restaurateurs, as well as a themed Valentine’s Day dinner.
783 Route 105, Chelsea
The gourmet store is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant (currently takeout only) is open Tuesday through Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Delivery to certain areas is available. Check with the restaurant.
Winter getaway to the Village Lofts
The Village Lofts in Chelsea are the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Located just outside Gatineau Park, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, they’re popular with outdoor enthusiasts. After an active day, it’s a pleasure to settle down in a place with a unique cachet. And Nordik Spa-Nature is a five-minute walk away …
2 Padden Road, Chelsea
You can enjoy Gatineau Park by renting snowshoes at the reception desk. (Several packages include free snowshoe rental.) While staying at the Village Lofts, you’ll also enjoy meals from the Chelsea Pub or Biscotti & cie delivered directly to your studio!
Khewa: Gracious living and First Nations art
In the heart of the village of Wakefield is Khewa, a gallery and boutique showcasing works by Indigenous, Métis and Inuit artists. Its new online store features a large collection of clothing, footwear (moccasins, mukluks), jewelry, kitchenware, art prints, etc. Discover talented artisans from the four corners of North America!
737 Riverside Road, Wakefield
Unique, top-quality candles at Bougie Doozy Candle
A candle makes a lovely gift—for someone else or as a treat for yourself. Bougie Doozy Candle’s beautiful handmade candles make it easy to create all kinds of cozy atmospheres. The chandlers use top-quality wax; some creations can even burn for more than 100 hours! With their vivid colours and unusual patterns, these luminous works of art are a bright spot in the depths of winter.
181 Old Chelsea Road, Chelsea
Bougie Doozy Candle has an online store (free delivery in Canada) and offers curbside pickup (from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
As you can see from all these suggestions, the Collines-de-l’Outaouais are the perfect place to enjoy nature, get active, and focus on your well-being. As well, there are lots of interesting tour routes to inspire you!
What about you? What little secret corner of the region is your “happy place”?