I’ve travelled the world over yet one of the places that’s charmed me the most has always been right close to home. Gatineau Park, with its scenic and well-groomed hiking trails and its abundance of ski hills, has never failed to be a treat for the eyes. One of the best parts about the park is its huge network of lakes, big and small.
The lakes of Gatineau Park are made to be enjoyed during all the seasons. In the summertime you can camp on their shores or swim in their waters, and in the fall you can take a hike through the colourful trees surrounding them. Even in wintertime there’s this special sense of solitude and vastness that you can’t get anywhere else around Ottawa.
There’s so many to explore, but we gathered a list of our top eight for you and your friends to check out next time you’re adventuring in Quebec. Here they are:
1. Lac Meech
Nearby are the unique and scenic Carbide Wilson Ruins where you can take a fairly relaxed hike at any time of the year. For the best photo vantage points, I recommend either O’Brien Beach or Blanchet Beach.
2. Lac Phillipe
North of Lac Meech and Lac Mousseau is this long lake where swimming and camping are plentiful in the summertime. There’s even some beautiful four-season tents on Lac Phillipe that you can sleep in year-round. More info here.
3. Lac Kingsmere
A lake so gorgeous that Former Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King built a summer estate next to it. The ruins of his famed summer cottage still remain and can be visited nearby this small but charming lake.
4. Lac Taylor
A much smaller and underrated lake compared to its larger neighbours, Lac Meech and Lac Phillipe. You’ll find this place less packed year-round, giving this small lake a serene sense of isolation. Some superb camping grounds to be found around here.
5. Pink Lake
You didn’t think I was going to forget this one, did you? The most famous lake in Gatineau and rightfully so. Its green (not pink) waters attract tourists from all over the world to explore the small lake’s surrounding trails. Just don’t take a swim here, please.
6. Lac Fortune
Next time you take a drive down to Camp Fortune, whether it be for a ski trip or a zip-lining adventure, take a quick pit stop off of Promenade du Lac-Fortune to snap some pics here.
7. La Pêche Lake
The largest, furthermost lake from downtown Ottawa in Gatineau Park, but it’s certainly worth the mission. It, personally, has one of my favourite beaches in Gatineau Park and you can easily road trip to this long, winding lake in less than an hour by car.
8. Lac Lusk
Nearby is the famous Lusk Cave, which you can explore for free in the summer months with your friends. The lake itself is just perfect for those summer picnics and can even make for a cute date spot.