TOP 5 ADVENTURES IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
You don’t have much vacation time, but you’re desperate to get away from it all? A short hop into the heart of nature should do the trick—and in the Outaouais, nature is all around us!
5: FROM RAIL LINE TO BIKE PATH
There’s a beautiful stretch of the Trans Canada Trail right on your doorstep: the Véloroute des Draveurs (“log drivers’ bike route”). From the town of Low at the southern end to Maniwaki in the north, the trail runs over 72 km along a disused railway line. A new, freshly paved 21‑km section linking Messines and Gracefield opened a few weeks ago. Imagine: a smooth new asphalt path winding along the shore of Blue Sea Lake … Bring your bathing suit: one of the rest areas is right on a little beach!
4: THOSE DARING LOG DRIVERS
Located in the Pontiac territory, Coulonge Falls Park is an amazing place where you can learn a lot while enjoying exciting outdoor activities. Find out about the history of the logging industry and the brave lumberjacks and log drivers who defied the roaring waters to send massive logs rushing downriver to the city. You, too, can defy the roaring waters—not like a log driver, but like a bird, as you soar high above the Coulonge River canyon on a zipline or climb the rock face on the Via Ferrata. With 11 ziplines in all, the aerial park offers hours of family fun.
3: YOUR OWN PRIVATE LAKE
You work hard all year, and you deserve a break at your country place in the woods. Overlooking your own private lake. Yes, you read that right. At North America’s oldest nature reserve, you can rent a beautiful log cottage—like the Château Montebello, only smaller—on a lake.
Your very own lake. Just for you.
Need I say more? I’ll just mention that you can go fishing, hunting, and skeet shooting, and that you have access to all the activities at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello. Remember this name: Kenauk Nature.
2: LET’S GO SLEEP IN THE WOODS
Does glamping appeal to you? In easily accessible Gatineau Park, a dozen four-season tents, yurts and shelters are available for tentless campers. All you have to bring are your food and a sleeping bag. Who cares about the record-breaking rainy summer of 2017? You’ll be warm and dry, impervious to the sound of people moaning about the lousy weather. While you’re there, take time to explore the extensive trail network (hundreds of kilometres). Lusk Cave, the Mackenzie King Estate, Pink Lake … a little bit of paradise in your own back yard!
1: HOW ABOUT AN OUTFITTER?
No, outfitters aren’t just for fishers and hunters. Yes, families are more than welcome. Yes, there are some really super outfitters—at least 22 at the Baskatong Reservoir alone! Fine sand, cozy cottages, floating inflatable structures, activities for the kids … it’s a far cry from a rickety shack that smells like fish. To learn more about the Outaouais' greatest outfitters, go to outdooroutaouais.com