Gatineau Park is situated right on the doorstep of the Gatineau city, just 15 minutes from Parliament Hill. This Park offers a year-round recreational environment, hiking trails, summer and winter camping and canoe-camping facilities, skiing, snowshoeing, swimming and more on the agenda.
Gatineau Park, created in 1938, is a superb nature reserve of 364 square kilometres, with 165 kilometres of hiking trails and 90 kilometres of trails for mountain bikes (many of its routes are steep and demanding on lungs and legs). The vast forest contains more than fifty species of trees. Numerous crystal-clear lakes abound here and its wildlife is also abundant.
Visitors can participate in outdoor activities or simply enjoy the peace and quite of a protected natural environment. Gatineau Park includes a number of beaches at Meech Lake, La Peche Lake and Lac Phillipe Lace. These lakes offer campgrounds and picnic areas, as well as canoeing.
The Park is a very popular destination for cross-country skiing. It plays host to the annual Gatineau Loppet or Keskinada Loppet Ski Festival. A downhill skiing and snowboarding area are located at Camp Fortune.
Gatineau Park is habitat for many birds such as the Pileated Woodpecker and Common Loon, Turkey Vultures, hawks and other species. Many beavers live here, as well as white-tailed deer. Black bears and a wolves prefer more remote sections of the park.
The highest peak is King Mountain, rising 345 meters from the Eardley Escarpment.
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Finally, let remind you that the Gatineau park is home to Moorside, Mackenzie King Estate, former summer home of the very known Canadian prime minister. There is a cozy tea room at Moorside. The estate also features gardens. A small waterfall runs down the escarpment near Moorside.