Sprawling across the Ottawa River from downtown Ottaway, Gatineau Park is an amazingly huge stretch of parklands, circling 179 km (110 miles) of summertime hiking trails and wintertime cross-country snowfields.
Locals head here in droves to breathe in the fresh air and, most importantly, get active. Mountain-bike and hiking trails wind their way through the different landscapes to beaches, campgrounds and picnic grounds.
Hire a canoe, go swimming, strap on a pair of skis or, for something gentler, gasp at the seasonal colors during the annual Fall Rhapsody.
Make your way to Champlain Lookout for views over the Ottawa Valley, or visit the tearooms at Mackenzie King Estate, a former prime ministerial home.
Gatineau Park is only 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa, but a million miles away from the big-city bustle.
If you’ve hired a bike, cycle there by crossing the Portage or Chaudieres Bridge and heading left to pick up the Gatineau Parkway.