Reconnect with fall in the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau

Published on September 7 2023

As the days get colder, the leaves start turning gold and hot drinks become a source of comfort, fall is slowly coming to the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau. To make the most of this, plan a short or long stay in this magnificent corner of the Outaouais.

The Vallée-de-la-Gatineau has a lot to offer: colourful landscapes, a variety of open-air activities, attractions to discover and space to truly reconnect with nature. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the fall colours while avoiding the crowds!

High in the sky

The Mont Morissette and Mont Cayamant observation towers offer breathtaking views of the region’s scenery. Located in Blue Sea, the Mont Morissette Regional Park is a must-see for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, thanks to its 13 km of marked trails. The 18-metre tall observation tower offers a panoramic view of the warmly coloured forest and the surrounding lakes. Take a break at the summit of the mountain and warm up by the wood-burning stove in the shelter.

Challenge yourself to summit Mont Cayamant! Start off by crossing the 1.5 km of marked hiking trails before climbing 563 steps in the forest to reach the observation tower. Next, climb the 125-step staircase to find yourself at the top of the tower. Once on the platform, your efforts will be richly rewarded by the stunning panorama that lies before you. From there, you can admire fall in all its glory in the municipality of Cayamant. Several other marked trails allow you to venture out into nature and take a deep breath of fresh air.

A heartfelt celebration

From October 7 to 9, Mont Ste-Marie invites you to celebrate the beauty of fall at the Festival of Colours! From the heady heights of the ski lift, you can admire the splendour of the fall scenery and its spectacular colours. Soak up the festive atmosphere created by the on-site musicians and, if you fancy any refreshments, swing by the Tiki Bar. Take the opportunity to do a family activity such as hiking or even mountain biking before stopping by the children’s face-painting booth. It’s an event you won’t want to miss!

Get your hiking boots

Be it for the day or the weekend, a hike (or several!) is a must in the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau! Easily organize your outing with the Pôle d’excellence en récréotourisme en Outaouais (PERO) website and discover a network of trails in the Vallée’s various municipalities.

Check out the easy-to-use and practical interactive maps, choose your route depending on your abilities and preferences, and lace up your hiking boots to set off on an adventure through fall.

During your visit to Messines, take the opportunity to learn about the different types of trees with the information boards dotted along the trails in the Lac des Cèdres. Thanks to the Land Art project, you can discover this contemporary art form that puts nature at the forefront while walking through the trails. This type of art is also known as Earth Art. Since the works are made of natural materials, they evolve over time until they biodegrade.

PERO also organizes a number of events and activities that bring hikers and open air fanatics together. Be it long or short, your hike will allow you to discover scenery and spots well worth the detour. Your fall will be all the more magical for it, we promise!

Good to know

There is still time to sign up to PERO’s coming events. Get involved in the coureur des bois challenge, a 1.5 km to 15 km course that will take place at Grand Remous on September 17, as well as at Messines on October 1.

Four wheels in the dirt

If you like getting down and dirty and want to explore the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau’s nature in a different way, the region’s quad bike trails are for you! With your helmet on and your handlebars gripped tight, discover the various circuits that pass through several municipalities. Follow the river as you take in the stunning views of the orange forest and the lakes the journey has to offer while revelling in the exhilarating feeling of freedom that comes with riding of a quad bike! Next, take a well-deserved break and warm up in one of the three heated shelters in the region.

For more details on all-terrain vehicle regulations and the trails in the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, take a look at the resources on Club Quad Vallée-de-la-Gatineau. The club offers suggested itineraries to follow, attractions to visit and places to stop at for a well-deserved break.

Don’t forget to take a look at the interactive map before you set off to see real-time trail conditions. This way, if a road is blocked, you’ll be informed immediately so you can modify your itinerary accordingly to make the most of your outing.

Hiker’s rest

Once you’re in the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, you might as well prolong the enjoyment by spending one or more nights there! Looking for something a bit different? Sleep in one of our alternative accommodations. The Dômes Outaouais provide comfort for all seasons. The geodesic domes offer all the comfort and convenience of traditional accommodation in an original setting. Be in perfect harmony with nature while enjoying a kitchen, bathroom, wood-burning stove, spa, and terrace. Your stay in the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau will be that little bit more special! The Camping Insolite CarpeDiem offers brightly coloured mini-chalets where you can settle down in privacy to enjoy the peace and quiet of the surrounding nature. With no water or electricity, these chalets enable you to disconnect completely from daily life.

Would you rather opt for complete comfort? The Lorette Lodge will host you in a rustic and welcoming setting. This charming lodge is perfect for a family or group of friends wanting to enjoy the great outdoors during the day and cook a delicious meal in the evening. There is no nicer way to spend a weekend in fall. If a hotel is more what you are looking for, the Minitik Inn is a sure bet. With its perfectly decorated rooms, a view over the 31 Mile Lake, outdoor activities and its proximity to the renowned restaurant, the L’Huile d’Olive, the inn has everything you need for a memorable stay! Many of the region’s outfitters are also great accommodation options to consider.

The Vallée-de-la-Gatineau promises you a fall that won’t disappoint. And you’re sure to come away utterly enthralled! Between the colours, the adventure and the nature, this destination will quickly become a tradition.


Cyclists will also be delighted by the large spaces that make up the region of the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau. Discover the Véloroutes des Draveurs and all its commodities.

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