Take adventure travel to a whole new level with these adrenaline pumping pursuits near Gatineau, Quebec.
The Outaouais region of Quebec – 0.2 km north of Ottawa and scattering out from Gatineau – is a hotbed of outdoor activities.
On a recent trip to the area, I got my adrenaline pumping with some old fashioned adventure travel: cycling, mountain biking, off roading, zip lining, caving, rafting, horseback riding, and trying out Via Ferrata. Phew.
Cycling in Gatineau
A gentle introduction to Outaouais is a bike rental from the Maison du Vélo (350 rue Laurier, Gatineau) in Jacques-Cartier Park. Best of all? They’re free to use. Take a cycle through the Capital Pathway, over 220 km of paths to ride on between May and October.
Mountain Biking in Val-des-Monts
Up the ante with a mountain biking lesson led by two time national team athlete Dominique Larocque at LaRoccaXC Mountain Bike School (April to November). A quick 30-minute drive from Gatineau brings you to Dominique and her husband’s 108 acres of wilderness, including a mountain with 123 m of elevation to play on.
Zip Lining and Caving in Quebec
Next up is Aventure Laflèche Cave and Aerial Parks, where you can get up in the air on “55 suspension bridges, 12 zip lines and four extreme zip lines,” according to their website, or go down below into the largest accessible cave on the Canadian Shield. For real thrill seekers, drive to Wakefield’s Great Canadian Bungee for a superman-style zip line (and bungee jumping).
Also offering zip lining is the fantastic Parc des Chutes Coulonge. After trying out the regular zip lines, keep going to the canyon zip line across over 250 m of dramatic canyon.
Via Ferrata at the Parc des Chutes Coulonge
You don’t have to go anywhere to do some Via Ferrata, a popular European climbing activity offered at the Parc des Chutes Coulonge. Iron foot and handholds guide you across rock faces with the canyon below your feet. When the water is high, there are some parts that have to be timed because the splash comes right up to meet you.
Full Moon Rafting on the Ottawa River
Now it’s time to get wet. Wait until the night is pitch black and the moon is full, then head to Horizon X in L’Ile-du-Grand-Calumet for some full moon rafting. Using only the light of the moon (and a few glow sticks), raft class two rapids on the Ottawa River. The scenery lit by only the moonlight is silently stunning.
Horseback Riding in Mansfield
End this adventure travel trip with a trail ride at Ranch R.S. (2 Tré-Carré Road, Mansfield, 819-683-1252, Facebook page). Suzie takes riders out on horseback, on overnight trips, wagon rides, pony rides and sleigh rides.
The Outaouais Region in Quebec
For more information about travelling in the adventurous Outaouais region of Quebec, contact Outaouais Tourism (819-778-2222 or 1-800-265-7822).
Copyright Lori Henry.