The golden season is upon us and winter is already on the horizon. If you want to avoid the seasonal chill, these scenic drives near Ottawa will allow you to enjoy the changing colours from the comfort of your car.

O-Town and the surrounding areas are seriously pretty all year round, but they’re particularly extraordinary during the fall and winter months.

From golden foliage and bright-red trees to twinkling lights and icy waterfalls, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring sights to enjoy during the colder seasons.

That said, pulling on your hiking boots and trudging through the slush can get pretty difficult.

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy all the sights, with none of the hard-work, these incredible scenic drives are sure to hit the spot!

Champlain Parkway 

Address: Champlain Pkwy, Gatineau, QC

Why You Need To Go: This route is currently closed until noon every day, due to COVID-19. That said, it’s still perfect for a cozy afternoon adventure!

The uphill drive will take you alongside the rolling Gatineau Hills and beyond, leading you to the wonderful Champlain Lookout.

Meech Lake Road 

Address: Meech Lake Rd, Gatineau, QC

Why You Need To Go: This drive, located within Gatineau Park, will lead to the largest lake in the area. 

The route features all kinds of show-stopping views, including that of Meech Lake, the Gatineau hills, the golden slopes of Camp Fortune and so much more.

1000 Islands Parkway

Address: Thousand Islands Pkwy, Lyn, ON

Why You Need To Go: An hour or so outside of the city, this scenic route runs parallel to the St. Lawrence River. Built in 1947 and located within a national park of the same name, the drive is 40 kilometres long and there’s one lane in each direction. 

While many of the route’s usual stops are closed right now, you can still enjoy amazing water views, rocky lookouts and local camping spots.

Gatineau Parkway 

Address: Gatineau Pkwy, QC

Why You Need To Go: This is a local bucket-list drive that is perfect for anybody who’s totally obsessed with fall colours.

The route will take you to Pink Lake and Camp Fortune, and you’ll be able to enjoy views of rolling hills, orange and gold foliage and vast stretches of aqua-coloured water.

Wakefield (Via Highway 5)

Address: Hwy 5, Wakefield, QC

Why You Need To Go: If you want somewhere special to stop during your journey, this is an adventure to consider.

En-route, you’ll be able to discover sights like Morrison’s Quarry and the Vorlage Ski Resort and you’ll be able to stop at Wakefield Covered bridge to take photos, soak up the scenery and grab a coffee, too!

Rockcliffe Parkway

Address: Sir George-Étienne Cartier Pkwy, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: If you just want to spend an hour-or-so in the car, this route is super close to the city.

From the comfort of your vehicle, you’ll be able to spot iconic O-Town landmarks such as Rideau Hall and the Ottawa River, as well as one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city, Rockcliffe Park.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.


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