Come and enjoy the spectacular fall colours on display throughout Canada’s Capital Region! In addition to the popular spots in Gatineau Park, many other unique and fascinating places offer magnificent views tucked away from the crowds. Whether you want to stay in the downtown core or explore the peaceful Greenbelt, there are so many ways to enjoy Fall Rhapsody.
Canada's Capital Core
You don’t have to leave the downtown areas of Ottawa and Gatineau to see a spectacular display of yellow, orange and red. Enjoy a picnic at an urban park, take in the view of the Capital’s landmarks, or explore our parkway and pathway network at your leisure.
A cozy picnic in our urban parks
- Filled with fall-themed flower beds, the Garden of Provinces and Territories and Commissioners Park are true delights for the eyes.
- With plenty of picnic tables and the sounds of the water nearby, Vincent Massey and Rockcliffe parks are great spots for a picnic.
- The panoramic view of Parliament and vibrant red trees make Major’s Hill Park a must-see.
- In Gatineau, Leamy Lake Park offers a large area for recreational activities under a canopy of orange leaves.
If you want to try something different, be sure to come by the new NCC Bistro at Confederation Park or Remic Rapids to enhance your urban park experience with great food and drinks. All of these parks are easily accessible by bike from our multi-use pathways.
In celebration of the vibrant fall colours, Garden Promenade is hosting Fall Rhapsody activities in and around NCC urban parks, from October 12 to 14, 2019.
A stroll on Confederation Boulevard
Confederation Boulevard is a mix of old-world charm and modern architecture, and includes many places to rest, shop and dine close to national landmarks. The view from a scenic lookout on the Ottawa River, looking toward the Gatineau Hills is nothing short of spectacular.
On the pathways and parkways
With more than 600 kilometres of multi-use pathways in Ottawa and Gatineau, there are plenty of landscapes to explore on foot or by bike, with lots of attractions and green spaces to stop along the way. Don’t feel like walking or riding? Go for a scenic drive on the parkways along the Ottawa River, the Rideau River or the Rideau Canal.
The Greenbelt is a vast, protected green space showcasing a mosaic of landscapes, including farms, forests and wetlands. Its proximity to downtown Ottawa makes it a choice destination for family-friendly outings in the fall.
A gentle hike or bike
With dozens of kilometres of trails to explore, the Greenbelt has something for everyone.
- With more than 20 kilometres of trails, including the 1.2-km Mer Bleue Bog Trail (accessible boardwalk), Mer Bleue is the perfect spot for a fall hike, followed by a picnic under the gazebo.
- Take in the fall colours at Stony Swamp by bike on the Greenbelt Pathway West, or go for a stroll on the Sarsaparilla Trail, which is also accessible.
- Head over to Shirleys Bay on foot or by bike for birding during the fall migration. The fall setting and breathtaking sunsets make for beautiful photos.
Apple and pumpkin picking
The fall colours aren’t just on the trees. Pick your own crisp apples at a historic orchard, or stroll in the pumpkin fields to get into the spirit of Halloween. Some farms also offer seasonal activities for the whole family, and sell a variety of local produce.
- Pinewood Orchards and Orleans Fruit Farm offer pick-your-own apples.
- Maple Hill Urban Farm has pick-your-own pumpkins, corn maze and hayrides.
Fall is the season to explore a Greenbelt farm near you!
Gatineau Park is the most visited location for viewing the fall colours in the Capital. Take part in our special events, use the free NCC shuttle service or explore a sector you haven’t visited before. Insider tip: You’ll encounter far fewer people during the week.
We have teamed up with local partners to offer special fall activities. It’s a great occasion to get a taste of local flavours, watch artists at work, chat with our interpreters and meet local merchants.
- Saturday, September 28, October 5 and October 19: Special activities at the Relais plein air du parc de la Gatineau
- October 5, 6, 19 and 20: Nature Day at Philippe Lake
- Weekends, October 5 to 27: Special activities at Camp Fortune
- October 6: Folk Picnic and Kites
- October 12 and 13: Anishinabe Nibin (Algonquin summer)
- October 12 to 14: Pontiac Country Fair
- October 19: Fairbairn Heritage Harvest
Gatineau Park’s hidden gems
Aside from the popular Parkway sector, there are many other places in Gatineau Park to view the fall foliage. The different types of trees you’ll find there provide a completely different view and experience. Check out the Meech Creek Valley, Philippe Lake and Luskville Falls. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!
Show us your best Fall colours in the capital
One winner will receive an overnight stay in a four-season tent at one of the Gatineau Park campsites.
How to prepare 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.