OTTAWA -- The fall colours are almost at peak change in the national capital region.  

With the weather so warm and sunny this week, it’s the perfect time to get outside and soak in the changing foliage.

The annual display of trees changing colour in Gatineau Park is called Fall Rhapsody, hosted by the National Capital Commission.

"Red, the changing yellow, green; it’s beautiful," says Alice Spearman, who is visiting the park with a group from Calvary Pentecostal Church, along with Sue Gibson.

"We have a group of seniors here; and a lot of them have mobility issues, it’s the perfect area to go," she says.

It is also a lot of scenery to take in while on a bike.

"This is our playground; I do the loop about 2-3 times a week on average,” says cyclist Mario Morin.

The Champlain Lookout at the top of Gatineau Park is a popular destination for many, especially on weekends.

"If you do come to Gatineau Park try to come on slower times, either during the week or take advantage of our shuttle," says Alain d'Entremont, Senior Manager, Visitor Services and Recreational Programs, Gatineau Park.


The NCC offers a free shuttle on weekends to Gatineau Park.  It leaves the Supreme Court of Canada, but check the website first, as it may be cancelled in bad weather. 

"And once you are into the park, the shuttle can drop you and pick you up at different locations," says d’Entremont.

To access the lookout by car, you’ll have to wait until 12 p.m. any day of the week. The parkway leading to it, and many of the Gatineau Park parkways are open only to active users, such as cyclists or runners in the morning — and parking can fill up on weekends, says d’Entremont.

"At some times, when there are just too many cars and all the parking lots are full, we have to do temporary closures of the parkways."

Gatineau Park


If you’re nervous you’ve missed peak colour change, there are still many green leaves on the trees. You still have a little bit of time, says d’Entremont,

"I don’t think we’re at peak just now, the peak usually happens somewhere around Oct. 10; it does vary, and change from one year to the other - but usually it’s around Thanksgiving weekend or just after."

The NCC has a 'Colour Meter,' which as of Wednesday reads "Mid-Season, Orange," for Gatineau Park.

Gatineau Park


While Gatineau Park is a popular destination, there are many places in and around the city to visit. D'Entremont suggests less busy places in Gatineau Park, such as Meech Creek Valley, Philippe Lake or Luskville Falls.

He also suggest visiting Major’s Hill Park or any of the pathways downtown or many of the areas within the Greenbelt.