Fall colours create a dazzling display in Gatineau Park


Island Park Drive

Photo: Island Park Drive by Zhu, via the OttawaStart Flickr group

Try the free shuttle service to access Gatineau Park’s scenic lookouts

Over the next few weeks, the fall foliage will brighten the Capital Region’s parks, pathways and shorelines with a spectacular display of colour—making this the perfect time to explore Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt.

Enjoy the fall colours with three weekends of special activities. From October 1 to October 16, 2016, Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park will celebrate the magnificent display of colours with a varied program of family activities:

  • Taste farm-fresh products
  • See animal demonstrations
  • Admire the works of talented local artisans
  • Have a picnic in the great outdoors
  • Learn about why leaves change colour in the fall
  • Chat with our nature interpreters

Special events

All activities are free. Vehicle access fees apply at Mackenzie King Estate.Events are organized in collaboration with the Municipalities of Chelsea and Pontiac, the communities of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Pikwàkanagàn, and the Association des auteurs et auteures de l’Outaouais.

New! Epicurean Dining Tour

Saturdays, October 1, 8 and 15, 2016

The Fall Rhapsody Epicurean Dining Tour blends the best our farmers have to offer with the expertise and creativity of ByWard Market restaurateurs, to offer you an unforgettable farm-to-table experience. More information 

Our 12 best spots

In addition to the popular fall destinations, Gatineau Park features many unique sites that offer spectacular scenic views. Discover 12 spots to enjoy the fall colours in Gatineau Park.

Free shuttle (pilot project)

This year, we are offering two free shuttle options.

Route 1: Camp Fortune | Champlain Lookout
Weekends, October 1 to October 16, 2016
11 am to 4 pm, every 10 minutes

  • Camp Fortune*
  • Keogan Shelter
  • Étienne-Brûlé Lookout
  • Champlain Lookout
  • Huron Lookout

*Last departure from Camp Fortune at 3 pm

Route 2: Downtown Gatineau | Pink Lake | Mackenzie King Estate
Weekends, October 1 to October 16, 2016
9 am to 4 pm, every 20 minutes

  • Robert Guertin Centre Park-and-Ride*
  • Terrasses de la Chaudière (OC Transpo)
  • Montcalm Station (Rapibus)
  • Welcome area (Gatineau Parkway)
  • Pink Lake Lookout
  • Mackenzie King Estate

*Last departure from Robert Guertin Centre Park-and-Ride at 2 pm

The Fall Rhapsody shuttle is a pilot project initiated by the NCC, in collaboration with the Société de transport de l’Outaouais and Camp Fortune.

Access to parkways

On Fall Rhapsody weekends, from 11 am to 4 pm, the southbound lane of Fortune Lake Parkway (heading toward Champlain Lookout) will be closed to all regular traffic (including cyclists), and open exclusively to the Fall Rhapsody shuttle.

The northbound lane of Fortune Lake Parkway (toward Dunlop Road) remains open to all traffic to enable motorists and cyclists to access Camp Fortune and Chemin du Lac-Meech.

The Gatineau and Champlain parkways remain open to all traffic in both directions, except during temporary parkway closures required during high traffic periods.

View all road closures.

Photo Contest

Win an overnight stay in a four-season tent or yurt in Gatineau Park this winter.
Enter our photo contest by tagging #FallRhapsody and the NCC account on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The contest runs from October 1 to 31, 2016. Evaluation criteria and contest rules.

Why do leaves change colour in the fall? What are the best places in Gatineau Park for viewing this spectacular natural phenomenon? Here are a few answers in this short video with our interpreter.

Our partners

The National Capital Commission (NCC) is proud of its association with the following media partners of the Fall Rhapsody: Rogers Media (105.3 KiSS FM, Country 101.1 FM), Bell Media (94.9 Rouge fm, ÉNERGIE 104.1 FM), the Metro Ottawa and LeDroit.

OttawaStart Staff



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