Hiking in Gatineau Park
Hiking in Gatineau Park is a must for environmentalists, photographers, and outdoor adventurists across Ontario. From spring to fall, thousands of Ottawa locals and tourists take to the hiking trails to enjoy incredible sights and great exercise. The Wakefield Mill Hotel is conveniently located just minutes from many of Gatineau Park’s hiking trailheads. Our guests are able to explore over 165 kilometres of hiking trails, then return to the comfort of an award winning Ottawa hotel.
Hiking in Gatineau Park is for everyone. From challenging ascents to leisurely walks, the Park’s varying terrain caters to all interests and abilities. Of the 165 kilometres of hiking trails, 90 kilometres are shared with cyclists. However, the immense size of the park and its strategic pathways ensure that you can enjoy your hike without encountering congestion. Please be advised that some of the Gatineau hiking trails are far more challenging than others. After leaving your hotel accommodations, stop by the Gatineau Visitor’s Centre to plan out a safe route that you and your partner are equipped to handle.
Start your day of hiking in Gatineau Park with a flavourful and filling breakfast at The Wakefield Mill Hotel. Load up on freshly brewed coffee and a generous serving of gourmet fare, so that you can enjoy an entire day of sightseeing and exploration. Many of our guests have shared that our famous breakfasts have given them the extra boost that they needed to conquer a particular Gatineau ascent.
Choose from one of Gatineau’s most popular trails to explore different aspects of the park. Along the southern end of the park, you will find the Bird Watching trail. This 1 km trail takes hikers to areas of the park that are known hotspots for the rare and beautiful birds that populate the Gatineau Region. If you would prefer to immerse yourself in history rather than Gatineau’s feathered friends, travel down the Pioneer trail or King Mountain trail.
The Pioneer trail is 1.3 km long and offers hikers a reasonably easy climb. Along this trail, you will have the chance to learn about the settlers in the Outaouais region, as well as the biodiversity that makes the Gatineau region such a spectacular tourist destination. If you want to continue your trek down memory lane, explore the 1.9 km King Mountain Trail. This trail is named after former Prime Minister Mackenzie King, as this particular hiking route was his favourite during his summer escapes to the region. This route will lead you to the Eardley Escarpment, the richest and most delicate ecosystem in Gatineau Park.
As you hike toward the Eardley Escarpment, you will enter a unique ecosystem. The escarpment forms the dividing line between the rock of the Canadian Shield and the St. Lawrence Lowlands. Due to its southern exposure, the escarpment is typically hotter and drier than other areas in the park. Its unique combination of climate, position, and protective formation makes the King Mountain Trail home to over 145 at-risk plant and animal species. On your Gatineau hike, we hope that you will be lucky enough to spot the Juniper Hairstreak butterfly, a 400-year-old juniper tree, or a white-tailed deer. The King Mountain Trail challenges hikers with a variety of steep ascents. However, if you need to take a rest, there are 10 lookouts along the way where you can stop to appreciate the beauty of the Gatineau Region.
If you want to take on a longer hiking route in Gatineau Park, try out the Luskville Falls Trail or the Lauriault and Waterfalls Loop. The Luskville Trail, with steep inclines and a total distance of 4.5 km, is extremely challenging. However, many Gatineau hikers feel as though the challenge is worthwhile because the views along the way are picture perfect. Along this route you will encounter an abundance of trees, rock formations, and streams. Whenever necessary, stop to snack, regroup, and relax to ensure that you safely enjoy the journey.
Decrease the challenge without sacrificing the view by travelling along the Lauriault and Waterfalls Loop. With a total distance of 3 km, this loop is slightly shorter than the Falls Trail. The best part of this trail is the beauty of the Bridal Veil Falls. This cascading waterfall and its whimsical surroundings will leave you speechless. Luckily for our Wakefield Hotel guests, you will get to return to a 28-foot waterfall at the hotel, so you do not have to feel too badly leaving the Bridal Veil Falls behind.
Encounter different forest types and ecosystems all in one day while hiking in Gatineau Park. No matter where your Gatineau journey takes you, be sure to pack snacks, strap on a great pair of shoes, and stay on course. Don’t overexert yourself, and be sure to turn around if ever you feel overwhelmed. Our staff cares about your safety and we look forward to welcoming you back to our elegant rustic hotel for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Once you return to The Wakefield Mill, reward yourself with exceptional food, comfort and fun. Bask in the warmth of an outdoor tub, or cool off in our gorgeous outdoor pool. Pamper yourself with one of our award-winning spa services, and then unwind with a glass of wine while enjoying music in the Heron Room.
From gourmet farm-to-table dining to LEED registered eco-friendly hotel accommodations, The Wakefield Mill perfectly complements your outdoor adventures in Gatineau Park. Contact us today and enjoy an Ontario escape that includes hiking in Gatineau Park and unwinding in a beautiful service-oriented hotel.