A three-day family discovery trip to the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau

Published on June 9 2022

The Vallée-de-la-Gatineau is nature at its purest. For a family getaway, its paradise! With its 3,200 lakes, forests stretching as far as the eye can see, and unforgettable sunsets, this part of the Outaouais offers up some of its best-kept secrets, including the Véloroute des Draveurs (log drivers bike route). Heres an itinerary thats 100% outdoorsy and can be done in three days with children. 

Day 1: On the road to Blue Sea!

Everyone ready? You’re off on your adventure! Drive to Blue Sea, a village famous for its huge lake of the same name. Not far from there is your first destination, on the shore of beautiful Lake Edja: CarpeDiem Adventures. Things look promising! 

You’ll spend the next two nights in unusual accommodation. There’s no shortage of options: micro-cabins seamlessly integrated into the landscape, tents suspended between the trees, wilderness camping … all on a property of more than 12 hectares (30 acres)! 

No camping gear? No problem: you can book a ready-to-camp unit or rent equipment on site (sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tent, etc.). 

Day 2: Time to go exploring!

When you wake up in the heart of nature, all you want to do is savour the moment! Swimming in Lake Edja and Petit Lac Perdu is a must, as are canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding. As a family, you should definitely test your archery skills. Nearby, the adventure trail in the forest is a delight for children ages 2 to 14. There’s even a zip line! 

Feeling hungry? The CarpeDiem bistro in Gracefield serves tasty fare made with ingredients from local farms. 

In the afternoon, why not take a trip to Les Fruits du Sommet agritourism farm? You can pick tons of blueberries and raspberries … and introduce the kids to golf! Les Fruits du Sommet offers a unique combination of agriculture and golf—something for everyone. Plus, you can pick up some delicious surprises in the farm shop. 

Day 3: Hop on your bike

Since you’re just minutes away from the Véloroute des Draveurs, a 72-kilometre-long bicycle path, the exploration continues. At CarpeDiem Aventures, you can rent bicycles, a trailer for the little ones, and even a tag-along bike, an attachment that turns an adult bike into a tandem bike for use with a child. Picturesque landscapes, serviced rest stops, geological sites: it’s all lined up for a fun ride on two wheels. The section between the municipalities of Blue Sea and Messines, which runs alongside the largest lake in the region, is truly breathtaking. 

For a lunch break on a terrace, stop at the beautiful Algonquin Golf Club in Messines, just off the bike path. If your kids are older, take the opportunity to play a round on this beautiful Outaouais golf course. 

@Linda Roy
@Linda Roy

Day 3 in the afternoon: Homeward bound

After a fun, refreshing and active excursion in nature, it’s already time to pack up. The kids won’t want to leave … and neither will you. 

On the way back, make a gourmet stop and slip a few Outaouais treats into your backpack! A great way to extend the trip a little longer, even at home. 

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