Autumn is a special time to visit the Ottawa area, as vibrant fall colours provide stunning backdrops to national sites, historic waterways and eclectic neighbourhoods. And each year, fall celebrations and activities attract thousands of people to nearby Gatineau Park – a bucolic conservation area just a 15-minute drive from Parliament Hill. Discover the magic of autumn during this year’s Fall Rhapsody festival, September 29 to October 21, 2018!
Gatineau Park features the region’s most stunning fall foliage thanks to its bright deciduous trees like sugar maples, oaks and birch, combined with green conifers like pine, spruce and fir. The forests are also dotted with majestic Canadian Shield rock formations, tranquil lakes, and beautiful flora and fauna. Gatineau Park is a natural haven and photographer’s paradise, located just minutes from Canada’s capital!
Sites and activities
Throughout Fall Rhapsody, you can explore the park’s 361 square kilometres (224 square miles) by vehicle on the parkways, or on foot and by bike on the trails. For spectacular views of the Gatineau Hills and the Ottawa Valley, stop by the Champlain Lookout, or venture even higher atop the Eardley Escarpment at Luskville Falls. You can also visit Mackenzie King Estate, the beautiful historic home and surrounding grounds built by Canada’s 10th and longest-serving Prime Minister. Special activities are also offered within the park and in nearby communities.
Free weekend shuttles
It’s never been easier to access the park during Fall Rhapsody weekends! You can leave the car behind and take one of the free shuttles that depart from the ByWard Market neighbourhood in Ottawa, or from Camp Fortune in Gatineau (weekends, Sept. 29 to Oct. 21, 2018).
For more colourful fun, check out our suggestions for Awesome Autumn Adventures and Activities in Ottawa.