General public and groups
Experienced naturalists lead guided tours for the general public, groups and school groups, and historical tours are offered at the Mackenzie King Estate. All tours are available in English and French.
General-interest nature tours are offered year-round at different places in the Park.
- January to March: Animal Tracking on Snowshoes (snowshoes are provided)
Upcoming tours offered by our naturalists or Friends of Gatineau Park are listed in the online calendar. For more information, contact the Friends of Gatineau Park at 819-827-3113
The Friends of Gatineau Park provide a variety of guided tours to meet your needs. Learn more about ecosystems, natural features, unique wildlife and beautiful heritage sites as a group of colleagues, family members or friends. Plan your group tour by contacting the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre (fees apply).
While visiting the Mackenzie King Estate, chat with knowledgeable guides on-site in the museums and on the grounds. Guided group tours and school programs are also available by reservation, from mid-May to mid-October. Guided activities are not offered in the winter, as the Estate’s museums are closed.
A private tour can be arranged for your group from mid-May to mid-October. By reservation only, subject to availability. To reserve a guide for your group, contact the Friends of Gatineau Park at 819-827-3113.
There are also several self-guided hikes. See the Hiking and walking webpage for details.
Gatineau Park offers free guided activities for elementary school groups. Each tour is a guided hike through nature with qualified nature interpreters. Two in-class activities are also available.
Each activity is curriculum-based, and consists of either a themed hike through nature with qualified nature interpreters or an in-class presentation.
- These 90-minute activities are offered in English and French.
- A lunch room and lockers are available to students at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre.
- A maximum of 60 students can be a accommodated per activity, with about 30 students per guide on the trails during the spring and fall seasons, and 20 students per guide on snowshoeing trails during winter.
The in-class programs are between 60 and 90 minutes long. The guide will provide all necessary material.
Grade 4, offered in November
This role-playing activity is led by a naturalist, and takes place in your classroom. Dynamic, structured conversations reveal the issues that affect the health of all Park animals, as well as the many ways in which they are linked together. The aim of the activity is to convey the environmental values of conservation and the protection of nature and wildlife. How can human beings help to maintain a healthy, ecologically balanced habitat for all living beings? (Duration: 90 minutes)
Grade 5, offered in March
Witnesses claim to have seen and heard wolves in Gatineau Park and the surrounding area. Were they wolves or coyotes? Or were they hybrids? Students will follow clues to find out the truth. They will also gain an understanding of the importance of helping to protect canids, by exploring the differences between wolves and coyotes, learning about their needs and discussing the results of recent studies done by Park biologists. This 60-minute presentation takes place in your classroom.
Guided activities in the Park
Kindergarten to Grade 2, offered in October, May and June
Did you know that a red squirrel can smell a pine cone buried under four metres of snow? All animals rely on their senses to survive. In this experiential program on the Sugarbush Trail, students will play the role of some of the Park’s unique wild animals to discover first-hand how being able to see, smell, hear, feel and taste is key to animal survival.
Grades 3 and 4, offered in October, May and June
Join us, as we explore the Gatineau Park forest and discover some of its distinctive plants: from the humble mosses of the forest floor to the stately trees that tower overhead. In this dynamic program on the Sugarbush Trail (1.6 km), students will discover the many ways in which plants meet their needs for survival.
Grades 3 and up, offered in February and March
Strap on your snowshoes! Winter’s greatest animal and plant survivors have an incredible ability to adapt. Learn how their physical and behavioural characteristics allow them to overcome the challenges of winter. Students will join our nature interpreters in the forest near the Sugarbush Trail to hear incredible stories of survival, featuring the plants and animals of Gatineau Park. Snowshoes are provided.
Grades 5 and up, offered in February and March
You don’t know what happens to insects in winter? Don’t let it bug you! Students will be introduced to insect life cycles, while snowshoeing through the forest near the Sugarbush Trail. They will learn how cold winter conditions affect insects and other invertebrates. Nature interpreters will also focus on the importance of species diversity and interconnectedness. Ant-icipate some winter excitement! Snowshoes are provided.
Reservations are required. Space is limited.
My adventures activity booklets
These booklets invite children to discover nature in a playful, responsible way, using their five senses. They are available at Philippe Lake, the Mackenzie King Estate and at the Visitor Centre in Chelsea, and in print-ready PDF format.