Every fall, as the days get shorter and temperatures drop, vibrant colours take over Ottawa–Gatineau. This spectacular show lasts only a few weeks, but attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the parks and natural spaces in the National Capital Region.
From the heart of the Capital to the peaceful Greenbelt and beyond, there are many unique and fascinating places to enjoy the fall colours in the capital region. In addition to the popular spots in Gatineau Park, there are plenty of hidden gems tucked away from the crowds.
Enjoy the fall colours everywhere in the capital region from September 24 to October 23, 2022.
Last updated: September 29, 2022
From downtown, you can walk, bike or take public transit to parks, gardens, attractions and beautiful views of the shorelines. The area is loaded with architectural gems — and bustling with shops, cafés and restaurants which are sure to enhance your Fall Rhapsody experience.
National Capital Greenbelt
The Greenbelt showcases farms, forests, sand dunes, wetlands and natural trails. Enjoy a fall-themed picnic, take a family hike under colourful leaves or visit a local farm. The Greenbelt’s close proximity to residential areas across Ottawa makes it the perfect destination to enjoy a cozy fall day.
A local favourite — and for good reason — Gatineau Park often reaches visitor capacity in the fall. For a less crowded, and possibly more pleasant experience, head for Meech Creek Valley or Philippe Lake. The trails in these areas will lead you to lakes, lookouts and scenic covered bridges.
Plan your visit
To make the most of your visit, be sure to plan your route, bring plenty of water and snacks, and dress according to the weather. Don’t forget to check on hours, access routes and fees before heading out. Keep your return time in mind, as the sun sets earlier in the fall.
- Know and follow the rules specific to the location you’re visiting and the activity you’re practising.
- Always carry a map, and be sure to share your itinerary. If you’re setting out alone in Gatineau Park or the Greenbelt, bring a cellphone, a whistle and a flashlight in case of emergency.
- Leave no trace. If there are no waste receptacles nearby, take your trash back home with you, where you can dispose of it properly.
Other areas to discover
There are many more places to enjoy the fall colours around the National Capital Region. Several suggestions can be found on the Ottawa Tourism and Outaouais Tourism websites. And here are some tourist routes that combine the outdoors with local flavours:
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