Gatineau Park covers 361 square kilometres, and is situated between the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers.
There are many entry points to Gatineau Park, but only a few are accessible by transit from Ottawa–Gatineau.
Where to start?
If you have never visited Gatineau Park, the best place to start is the Visitor Centre in Chelsea. Our information officers are on-site to provide tips and advice and to help you plan your visit.
Another good place to start is the Relais plein air, located in Gatineau. Although it is not operated by the NCC, it is conveniently located, and offers amenities and shelter.
Gatineau Park Visitor Centre
The Gatineau Park Visitor Centre features an exhibition on ecosystems, and offers information services, washrooms, a dining room and free Wi-Fi. You’ll also find passes, maps and souvenirs for sale.
- Snowshoe rentals ($)
It is the starting point to Sugarbush Trail, which is a nice walk through the forest at any time of year.
It is also a few minutes away from Trail 1, which is a shared trail for hiking and mountain biking in summer, and cross-country skiing in winter. There are also two snowshoe loops (Trail 60 and Trail 61) nearby.
May 1 to October 31
Daily, 9 am to 5 pm
November 1 to April 30
Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm
Closed on December 25
Extended hours from December 26, 2019 to January 3, 2020: 9 am to 5 pm
It is accessible by car and public transit (weekdays only).
TTY: 613-239-5090 or 1-866-661-3530 (toll-free)
Emergency line (24 hours): 613-239-5353
The lost and found is located at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre.
Relais plein air
The Relais plein air is operated by a not-for-profit organization, and offers warm shelter, washrooms, a waxing room and the Café des sentiers ($). You’ll also find passes and maps for sale.
- Snowshoe, cross-country ski and winter bike rentals ($)
In summer, the Relais plein air is a good starting point for walking and cycling, as it connects with the Capital Pathway (Trail 5). It’s also close to shared trails for hiking and mountain biking (Trail 26 is a few minutes away; Trail 25 is a 20-minute walk away).
In winter, it is the starting point for Trail 65 (shared for snowshoeing and winter biking) and Trail 27 (for cross-country skiing).
Visit the Relais plein air website for details.
It is accessible by car (parking lot P2) and public transit from Ottawa and Gatineau.
Driving to Gatineau Park
Although the Park is open year-round, some of the parkways and access roads are sometimes closed to motor vehicles to support recreation in the Park.
If you’re driving to Gatineau Park, consider carpooling. Parking lots fill up quickly, especially on weekends.
Last Sunday in October to mid-May (weather-dependent)
In the winter, the parkways are closed to motor vehicles and used as cross-country ski trails. Municipal roads remain open year-round.
Parking is free, but there is a fee to access the cross-country ski, snowshoe and snow biking trails. Launch an interactive map to get trail information and directions to the parking lots.
Mid-May to the last Sunday in October (weather-dependent)
In the summer, the parkways are open to motor vehicles from approximately 8 am to 30 minutes after sunset. Some parkways close to motor vehicles on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and Tuesday and Thursday nights for Short Loops and NOKIA Sunday Bikedays.
Parking is free, except at the beaches and the Mackenzie King Estate. Launch an interactive map to get information and directions to parking lots.
OC Transpo/STO ($)
OC Transpo and STO provide connection from Gatineau and Ottawa to the Relais plein air and to entry points in the southern sector of Gatineau Park.
Use their planners to create your itinerary:
The Capital Pathway (Trail 5) is accessible by transit via Alexandre-Taché Boulevard, Saint-Raymond Boulevard and Boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes. It is a good option in the summer, especially if you are considering using your bicycle to get to and explore the Park.
New: Parkbus ($)
Parkbus and the Relais plein air have partnered to offer a winter shuttle service from downtown Ottawa to Gatineau Park. Shuttles will run on Saturdays from January to March 2020.
For details, booking and pricing, visit the Parkbus website.
On weekdays only, Transcollines provides a connection from Gatineau and La Pêche to the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre and parking lot P17 in Wakefield (transit lines 921 and 925).
Visit the Transcollines website for information and transit times.
There are no amenities at parking lot P17, but it is a good starting point for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow biking during the winter and, in summer, for hiking and mountain biking.