Top stargazing spots
Stargazing has been popular since the dawn (or perhaps the dusk) of time. Constellations served as maps, and people looked to the stars to know the seasons. The Outaouais is home to many places and activities that highlight these celestial bodies. Here are some seasonal stargazing suggestions!
Winter – Cold is no obstacle
Who says stargazing is more difficult in winter? Head to the Pontiac with your family to visit the Astropontiac digital planetarium. Step into the inflatable dome to learn about how the universe was formed. Special events around cosmic phenomena are also organized throughout the year in various locations in the Outaouais.
Relax and recharge at Dômes Outaouais and treat yourself to a luxury camping experience in the forest! Watch the stars from the private outdoor hot tub or directly from your bed through the dome’s windows. Comfort at its finest!
Get back to nature in a Borefüge yurt. Go for an excursion along the snowshoe trails and gaze at the sky from the various lookouts. Pets are welcome! Round out your visit with a dogsled ride.
Take a trip to outer space at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Learn about Canada’s presence in space and the satellites that orbit our planet, and about some of our country’s most remarkable space achievements, including the first Canadarm.
Spring – With the first blossoms
Camping Lac Écho in the Papineau-Labelle Wildlife Reserve is a popular stargazing destination for astronomy buffs. The campground organizes regular star-themed events and gatherings. On its open, unserviced property, the view is unobstructed by the surrounding trees.
Try a resort experience like no other and book a cottage at Kenauk Nature private reserve. Kilometres apart and equipped with luxury amenities, the cottages have everything to make for a memorable stargazing stay. See the skies far away from light pollution.
Get away from it all by sleeping in a suspended tent at Camping CarpeDiem, or take advantage of the return of warm weather to go canoe camping and spend the night on a private site. Observe the sky in an unusual way on the waterfront!
When it comes to stargazing, the Air-Eau-Bois outdoor centre doesn’t disappoint. Take advantage of spring to observe the stars from aboard a watercraft. Rent a rustic cabin with your family or a prospector tent for a glamping experience for two. Reserve now!
Summer – Making the most of the season
Feeling adventurous? Visit Eco-Odyssée Nature Park and explore the water maze at night with the “Moonlight” adventure. Flashlights are mandatory. Attend a family performance of Eco-Noctura, a sound and light show starring the various characters of the marsh. In August, special activities are organized during the Perseid meteor showers. Check the park’s website for updates.
Escapade Huskimo offers one-day and multi-day packages featuring the astronomy observatory located in La Vallée des Rosiers. Participate in a guided astronomical activity and observe the sky through a high-powered telescope. Visit the sled dogs in their kennel, relax in the spa and unwind in a luxurious room.
The Parc national de Plaisance approaches the sky as a grand spectacle presented by Mother Nature. Starting at the end of June, discover the sky in a different way with the Lumière sur les étoiles (“spotlight on the stars”) activity. Attend a presentation about the constellations, then go stargazing in the park.
Several times over the summer, the Centre nautique de la Lièvre offers the Clair de lune (“moonlight”) activity. Your evening includes a one-hour rabaska ride at dusk, a bonfire, live music, and beer and sausage tastings. Fun for everyone!
Switch to picnic mode and relax on one of Gatineau Park’s beaches. Cool off in one of the park’s lakes. Wrap up in a blanket and watch as the sunset gives way to starlight. For maximum enjoyment of your moment under the stars, don’t forget the mosquito repellent!
Autumn – Among the falling leaves
Meet on the beach at Des Cèdres Park and settle in with your fleece blanket. Sip hot chocolate and watch the boats while you wait for the sun to set. Kill two birds with one stone and enjoy two views in one place!
Spend the night in one of Chalets Prunella’s upscale A-frame cottages. Stretch out in the indoor hammock to watch the sky in warmth and comfort, or do your stargazing from the private hot tub on the deck. Located in the heart of the forest and surrounded by kilometres of trails, it’s a perfect location for an evening stroll. Admire the fall colours during the day and the stars at night.
Go for a hike in Mont Morissette Regional Park and climb to the top of the 18-metre observation tower. If you’re lucky, you might see the aurora borealis as well as the stars! For safety reasons, don’t forget your headlamp—at this time of year, the sun sets early and the trails can become very dark.
As you can see, stargazing is a year-round activity!
While you’re here, take time to discover the Outaouais region’s covered bridges!