Discover Gatineau Park’s accessible infrastructure and activities. Learn more about what we do to improve access for people with reduced mobility.
Infrastructure accessible to people with reduced mobility
Most of the buildings in Gatineau Park are wheelchair-accessible, including the following:
- the Visitor Centre
- the Relais plein air
- the ground floors of some museums and cottages at the Mackenzie King Estate*
- washroom facilities and outhouses near the parking lots, except for the ones at Church Hill, Luskville Falls and O’Brien Beach
* Wheelchair users may need some assistance on the trail from the Mackenzie King Estate parking lot to the museums and cottages, as the path has some steep slopes and is not paved.
All Gatineau Park parking lots have accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities. In its paid parking lots, the NCC offers four hours of free parking.
If you are parking in an accessible parking space, make sure that your accessible parking permit is clearly displayed.
If you cannot use the intercom, you can obtain a remote control for the gate at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre. A $50 deposit is required.
Activities accessible to people with reduced mobility
Shuttle bus tour
On some weekends in the summer and fall, the NCC offers a free shuttle service to popular destinations in the parkways sector. All shuttles are equipped with an access ramp and low floor for easy boarding. Each vehicle has two priority seats for people using wheelchairs.
From spring until fall, Pioneers Trail is wheelchair-accessible. This 1.3-km loop is a flat dirt path. It starts out from parking lot P3, a paved parking lot with two parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities.
From spring until fall, Sugarbush Trail is partially accessible to wheelchair users. Because of the slight elevation gain, wheelchair users may need some assistance to hike this trail. This 1.9-km loop is a dirt and gravel path. It starts out from the Visitor Centre parking lot, a paved parking lot with five parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities.
From spring until fall, the 12.5-km stretch of the Capital Pathway network running though Gatineau Park is partially accessible to wheelchair users. Because of steep slopes, wheelchair users may need some assistance to hike this trail. This paved, multi-use pathway starts from paved parking lots P1, P2 and P3, each of which has two parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities.
Motorized mobility aids (electric wheelchairs, and three- and four-wheeled scooters) are allowed on all parts of the Capital Pathway. They are also allowed on the parkways when parkways are open for active use only. If you are in a group, it is important to remain as close as possible to the right-hand side of the road and to travel in single file.
Our partner, the Relais plein air, lends mobility scooters for free, by reservation.
There are five wheelchair-accessible lookouts in the Park: Huron, Étienne Brûlé, Champlain, Mulvihill Lake and Pink Lake. These lookouts are located along the parkways, and offer magnificent views of the Park.
From spring until fall, users can get to these lookouts by car or shuttle bus, according to a variable schedule. Each lookout has parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities: Huron, Étienne Brûlé and Pink Lake each have one; Champlain has two; and Mulvihill Lake has five.
The Gatineau Park Visitor Centre features a permanent, wheelchair-accessible interactive exhibition. The exhibition presents Gatineau Park’s ecosystems, its fascinating history and the conservation efforts being undertaken to protect the Park. The Visitor Centre parking lot is paved, and has five parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities.
Mackenzie King Estate
The path leading from the Mackenzie King Estate parking lot to the buildings and Abbey Ruins is partially accessible to wheelchair users. Because the path has some steep slopes and is not paved, wheelchair users may need some assistance to hike this trail. The ground floors of some of the museums and cottages are wheelchair-accessible. The Mackenzie King Estate parking lot is paved, and has two parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities.
In the summer, five manual wheelchairs are available upon request. Ask one of the guide-interpreters.
Gatineau Park has six supervised beaches. Breton Beach at Philippe Lake is partially accessible to wheelchair users.
Access to this supervised beach starts out from parking lot P20, a gravel parking lot with five parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities. A paved path and a mat for wheelchairs lead to the beach. The road to the beach has some steep slopes, so wheelchair users may need some assistance.
A beach wheelchair is available on request. Ask one of the lifeguards.
The campground at Philippe Lake ($) has a campsite, number 313, and a yurt (Wanakiwin) that are wheelchair-accessible during the summer camping season. Both the campsite and the yurt have an on-site gravel parking lot.
Our partner, the Relais plein air, rents adaptive cross-country ski sledges for people with reduced mobility ($), by reservation.
When an accompanying party presents a Companion Leisure Card, the Relais plein air waives all fees for their pass and equipment rental.
Service dogs are allowed everywhere, at all times, except on cross-country ski trails.
By its very nature, Gatineau Park is not 100 percent universally accessible. But there is room for improvements to make access to the Park more equitable for all. We will continue to increase universal accessibility in areas where changes have a limited impact on nature.