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Recreation Area and Natural Space



  • 125 km of hiking trails (including 90 km available for mountain bikes)
  • picnic areas
  • camping (Lac Philippe)
  • canoe camping (Lac La Pêche)
  • 185 km of cross-country ski trails
  • Kingsmere - the summer residence of Willian Lyon Mackenzie King (10th prime minister of Canada)
  • swimming (Lac Meech, Lac Philippe and Lac La Pêche)
Gatineau Park lies on the edge of the Canadian Shield at the Saint Lawrence Lowlands (Ottawa River valley). On a hot summer day, you often see turkey vultures riding the thermals along the Eardley Escarpment near Luskville. But, 12,000 years ago, looking off the Escarpment, you would have seen the Champlain Sea, an inland arm of the Atlantic Ocean. The remains of whales and seals have been found in this area of the Ottawa Valley.

The south-facing Escarpment provides a unique micro-climate by:

  • deflecting cold air coming in from the north
  • providing a large mass of rock that absorbs heat from the sun
This allows plants more commonly found further south to survive along the Escarpment.

Although this park is relatively small - 356 square kilometres (140 square miles), wolves have been seen in the less accessible areas. White-tailed deer and beaver are often seen, as well as the occasional black bear.

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