NCC Fall Rhapsody starts this weekend - Discover the fall colours in a new way!

Canada’s Capital Region – Come and see the magnificent fall colours throughout the Capital Region! From Gatineau Park to the Greenbelt and the Capital’s urban parks, enjoy the spectacular fall foliage in the region’s parks, and along the pathways and shorelines.

In partnership with Société de transport de l’Outaouais and Camp Fortune, the free NCC shuttle is back.

NOTE: The majority of trails are cleared and safe. However, some trails are not safe and will remain closed till further notice. We ask that visitors respect the “danger” tapes and the signage to not venture out onto closed trails.

Free NCC Fall Rhapsody shuttle from the ByWard Market to Gatineau Park

With departure points in Ottawa’s ByWard Market, Gatineau and Camp Fortune, the NCC shuttle will link to Gatineau Park’s most popular destinations: Pink Lake, the Mackenzie King Estate, King Mountain and Champlain Lookout.

Hop on for easy access over four weekends:

  • September 29 and 30
  • October 6, 7 and 8
  • October 13 and 14
  • October 20 and 21

Schedule:

  • From Ottawa: 9:10 am to 1:10 pm, every 20–30 minutes
  • From Gatineau: 9 am to 1 pm, every 30–40 minutes
  • From Camp Fortune: 11 am to 3 pm, every 15–20 minutes

Return trip: Last shuttle from Champlain Lookout (stop no. 14) to Ottawa–Gatineau or Camp Fortune at 4 pm.

Routes, stops and schedules are available on the NCC’s interactive map.

Access to Parkways

On Fall Rhapsody weekends, from 10:30 am to 4 pm, the southbound lane of Fortune Lake Parkway (toward Champlain Lookout) will be closed to all regular traffic (including cyclists), and open exclusively to the Fall Rhapsody shuttle.

The northbound lane of Fortune Lake Parkway (toward Dunlop Road) remains open to all traffic to allow motorists and cyclists to access Camp Fortune and Chemin du Lac-Meech.

The Gatineau and Champlain parkways remain open to all traffic in both directions, except during temporary parkway closures required during high traffic periods and closures on weekends until 10:30 am for “Short Loops in the Park.”

Fall Rhapsody Special Events

Discover Gatineau Park in a new way, by travelling to the four corners of the Park, where the fall foliage is bold and bright, and with fewer visitors than at some of the destinations closer to downtown.

During the first three Fall Rhapsody weekends, the NCC organizes special events in partnership with the municipalities of Chelsea and Pontiac, as well as the communities of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. Visitors can get a taste of local flavours, watch artists at work, chat with NCC nature interpreters and meet local merchants.

WEEKEND 1
Folk Picnic and Kites in Meech Creek Valley on Cross Loop Road, September 30, 11 am to 3:30 pm

Kick off Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park with a fun-filled day of activities in Meech Creek Valley.

  • Traditional folk music
  • Kite-flying demonstrations by experts
  • Workshop on creating comics
  • Activities for children
  • Artisans
  • Picnic area and canteen on-site

Take the opportunity to read the interpretation panels along the roadway. The covered bridge makes a stunning backdrop for family photos. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Organized by the Municipality of Chelsea, in partnership with the NCC.

WEEKEND 2
Anishinabe Nibin (Algonquin Summer) at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, October 6 and 7, 10 am to 4 pm

Join us as Gatineau Park celebrates Algonquin culture. Anishinabe Nibin, or “Algonquin summer,” is a great opportunity to learn more about the traditional Algonquin way of life, as well as a chance to see artisans at work.

  • Demonstrations: How to build a birchbark canoe, how to make snowshoes, how to tan hides
  • Presentations by Daniel (Pinock) Smith on building a traditional birchbark canoe

Organized in collaboration with the communities of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation.

Pontiac Country Fair at the Luskville Falls, October 6, 7 and 8, 10 am to 4 pm

A popular annual event, the Pontiac Country Fair provides an opportunity to discover the region’s various products and services, as well as the artists and artisans who add colour to the local culture.

  • Pontiac merchant and craft kiosks offering various products and services: demonstrations, tastings and sale of products on-site
  • Nature interpretation kiosk: find out why leaves change colour in the fall, and explore unique ecosystems
  • Demonstrations with horses, mini-farm and other animals
  • And much more

Organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Pontiac.

WEEKEND 3
Nature Days at Breton Beach, Philippe Lake, October 13 and 14, 11 am to 4 pm

Come and admire the stunning colours of the magnificent maple trees, and enjoy a variety of family activities at Philippe Lake.

  • Demonstrations with birds of prey at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm
  • Guided hikes with nature interpreters at 11:30 am in French and 1:30 pm in English
  • Interpretation and ongoing activities for families
  • Bring a lunch: Breton Beach is equipped with barbecues and picnic tables.

Take advantage of the weekend to discover must-see attractions around Wakefield, such as the Fairbairn House Heritage Centre, as well as local farm producers and merchants featured in a tour of the municipality.

DON’T FORGET THE GREENBELT

Truly spectacular, yet still a secret to many, Canada’s Capital Greenbelt offers dazzling views of fall landscapes—and 150 kilometres of trails.

  • Shirleys Bay (7 km)
  • Stony Swamp (40 km)
  • Pine Grove (18 km)
  • Green’s Creek (6 km)
  • Mer Bleue, one of the most studied wetland environments in the world, offers 20 kilometres of hiking trails and boardwalks to admire the brilliant fall colours.

INSTAGRAM CONTEST: SHARE YOUR BEST FALL PHOTO OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION

To enter, add #FallRhapsody and @NCC-CCN to your photo and post it on Instagram before October 31, 2018. You could win an overnight stay in a four-season tent this winter in Gatineau Park.

The NCC is proud of its association with the following partners of Fall Rhapsody: Société de transport de l’Outaouais, Camp Fortune, Outaouais Tourism, Municipality of Chelsea, Municipality of Pontiac, Municipality of La Pêche, communities of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, Imagi Communications, Rogers Media (105.3 KiSS FM, Country 101.1 FM, 106.1 CHEZ, 1310 News), Bell Media (94.9 Rouge, ÉNERGIE 104.1 FM), and LeDroit.

“The NCC welcomes all Canadians to enjoy the spectacular fall foliage in the National Capital Region. With Gatineau Park, the Greenbelt and the Capital’s urban lands, there is something for all to discover.”

Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission

“Once again this year, the STO is proud to be associated with this colorful event. In addition to offering an environmentally friendly option to avoid overloading Gatineau Park with cars, the shuttle expands its accessibility by allowing everyone to get there. Get onboard and discover one of the region must-see events: the Fall Rhapsody!”

Myriam Nadeau, President, Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO)

“We are delighted with the return of the shuttle service from Ottawa’s ByWard Market to Gatineau Park. For Outaouais Tourism, partnership with this shuttle service clearly meets the need to provide tourists and day-trippers with easy access to one of the Outaouais region’s iconic destinations. September and October are times when we welcome, in particular, many European tourists to Canada’s Capital, so it’s great to be able to offer them this service.”

Geneviève Dumas, Chair of the Board of Directors, Outaouais Tourism
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