Conservation of Gatineau Park
Covering 36,131 hectares (361 square kilometres), the conservation park lies in an area where the Canadian Shield meets the St. Lawrence Lowlands and where the Gatineau River meets the Ottawa River.
Gatineau Park Winter Passes
Just a few minutes from downtown Ottawa, Gatineau Park offers one of the largest networks of trails in North America. There is a fee to access the cross-country ski, snowshoe and snow biking trails. You can purchase a daily pass, or save with a season pass. Be sure to wear your pass in plain view.
Places to visit in Gatineau Park
Mackenzie King Estate
This 231-hectare country estate belonged to Canada’s 10th and longest-serving prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King. After spending almost 50 years (1903–1950) beautifying and expanding his property, King bequeathed his beloved estate to all Canadians.
The Escarpment is the dividing line between the rock of the Canadian Shield, which covers more than half of Canada, and the St. Lawrence Lowlands. It rises 270 metres from the floor of the Ottawa Valley, and extends over more than 30 kilometres.
The hilly landscape around King Mountain is part of the Canadian Shield, one of the oldest and hardest rock formations in the world. King Mountain is on the southern edge of the Canadian Shield, which in this area is marked by the cliffs of the Eardley Escarpment.
When the Wisconsin Glacier melted about 12,500 years ago, water trapped under the melting glacier was forced into cracks in the rocks. The marble of Lusk Cave eroded more quickly than surrounding rocks, causing a series of tunnels to form. Since then, Lusk Creek has continued to shape the cave.
Pink Lake is meromictic, meaning that its upper and lower layers of water never mix. Normally a lake’s water layers mix completely each year during the spring and fall, because of water density, water and air temperature, and the wind. The mixing of lake waters distributes nutrients and oxygen evenly throughout the lake.
Experience the beauty of Gatineau Park thanks to these beautiful lookouts.
The closest lake to the city. Two beaches (O’Brien and Blanchet) and a launch for non-motorized boats. Also a great starting point for hiking.
With three sandy beaches, a large campground, boat rental facilities and plenty of hiking trails, your discovery options are nearly unlimited. A hike along the lake will take you to Lusk Cave, a superb example of a marble cave and a natural geological phenomenon.
La Pêche Lake
La Pêche Lake is the largest lake in Gatineau Park, and among the furthest from the Capital core.
Heritage and Culture in Gatineau Park
Occupation of the Gatineau Park area by pre-contact Indigenous populations dates back at least 9,000 years. In the 19th century, settlers and early industrialists were drawn to the area for its resources and closeness to Ottawa.