Winter eh? Watching all that fluffy white stuff come down spurs us to get out there and play—to throw ourselves right into it. Sound good? The Gatineau area has wall-to-wall lakes, rivers, mountains, and woods, all knee-deep in winter fun for families, couples, and even those heading out solo. Here are six of our favourite winter hotspots in Gatineau or within about a half-hour drive.
Cross-country skiing, winter biking, snowshoeing, hiking
Nature is alive and well and at her finest just 15 minutes from downtown in Gatineau Park. Here where the Canadian Shield meets the St. Lawrence Lowlands and the Gatineau and Ottawa Rivers merge is a magical land of varied terrain ripe for exploration. And there are endless trails for doing just that—one of the most extensive trail systems in North America, in fact. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter biking, and even hiking: take your pick and spend days exploring.
Downhill skiing, snowboarding
Hungering to hit the slopes? Camp Fortune awaits! It’s the highest mountain within 15 minutes of Gatineau and has some of the best conditions in the area. Head out with your skis or board to tackle 24 blue, green, and black diamond runs or work on your tricks in the terrain park. There are lots of lifts and two chalets to warm up in, so you can ski and après-ski all day long! Or stick around till after sundown for a taste of twelve runs lit up for night skiing.
Pêche blanche Gatineau
Hooked on fishing, even in winter? Head over to Pêche blanche Gatineau at Masson Angers Outfitters Camp. They’ve got 200+ cabins out on Clément Bay—it’s a full on ice fishing village. From late December to early March, depending on ice conditions, you can get out and drop a line for walleye, pike, perch, bass, panfish, or bullhead.
For a fabulous family day on the slopes, take a little trip to Sommet Edelweiss, a ski centre just 30 minutes from Gatineau. On Saturdays and Sundays the hill also has eight tubing runs with their own lift. You can tube all day or ski the day away. It’s all up to you.
Attelage de la Lièvre
Looking for something off the beaten path? Or maybe you’d like to channel your inner coureur des bois. Either way, a little dogsledding is just what the doctor ordered! Attelage de la Lièvre's 30+ dogs are eager to take you on a very special adventure about 35 minutes’ drive from Gatineau.
The Rideau Canal Skateway
Did you know that the world’s biggest skating rink is hidden away just across the river from us in Ottawa? Between January and early March—weather permitting—the Rideau canal freezes into a 7.8-kilometre-long skating rink right smack in the middle of town. There are plenty of rest areas along the route, so it’s a great way to burn some energy and see another side of Ottawa. Forgot your skates? No problem: they’ll rent you some when you get here.
Didn’t we tell you? Awesome winter fun! You’ll want to add some of them to your own favourites list, we promise. So get out there! Breathe the (very) fresh air and get the most out of all that snow. You’ll also get to know the Gatineau area that much better. And when these ideas run out, check out the Outaouais tourism site for a new set.