Let the pleasure of immersing yourself in nature unfurl in the Outaouais region of Western Québec. Whether you go by water, land, or air, this destination has plenty to keep you entertained. Then embark on an epic road trip, traveling further into the wilderness of Abitibi-Témiscamingue for a range of activities, from family-friendly daytrips to intense outdoor challenges. This itinerary is the ideal one for adventurers, friends, and families who enjoy nature. It’s a vacation that highlights hiking, biking, and rafting across two areas renowned for their dramatic landscapes and outdoor adventures.
ItineraryPLAN YOUR TRIP
Day 1Outdoors in the Outaouais
After lunch, drive 30 minutes to Parc régional du lac 31 milles. Here you can immerse yourself in the heart of the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau’s natural splendor, where a vast lake awaits with crystal-clear waters, picturesque islands, and the ideal blend of rustic canoe camping or comfortable glamping options. If you’re traveling light and didn’t bring your gear or equipment, don’t worry, you can rent a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddle board and reserve ahead online. For a special experience, consider renting your own island on the lake.
After a long leisurely afternoon spent on the water, visit L’Huile d’Olive for an ever-changing menu of seasonal and local produce. Although you could opt for one of the restaurant’s inns or cottages and there are camping options available in CarpeDiem Aventures and Parc régional du lac 31 milles, for a distinctive spot, drive an hour to Dômes Outaouais. The property offers visitors mountainside glamping inside a dome that comfortably fits up to four. Each dome features a full kitchen, bathroom with shower, wood-burning stove, and private deck complete with a hot tub.
Day 2Cycle the Trans Canada Trail
Suitable for cycling enthusiasts of all levels, the trail winds through breathtaking landscapes, including dense forests, tranquil lakes, and picturesque rivers, providing cyclists with a true connection to nature. The well-maintained route offers a mix of paved and gravel surfaces for a comfortable ride. You’ll pass plenty of rest areas, picnic spots, and interpretive panels that share the history of the timber trade and the region’s rich cultural heritage.
One of the highlights of the Véloroute des Draveurs is the Pont des Draveurs, a magnificent 745-foot bridge that spans the Gatineau River. This architectural marvel offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and serves as a perfect spot to pause and capture some memorable photos.
You may also choose to extend your stay and visit the 138 square miles of verdant forest in the Gatineau Park and check out Nomades du Parc where you can rent outdoor equipment including mountain bikes and paddle boards. Visiting Eco-Odyssee Nature Park, a water maze you complete by pedal boat, canoe, kayak, or paddle board, is also an option in the region.
Just a 10-minute drive away from Eco-Odysee Nature Park, enjoy dinner at Nikosi Bistro-Pub which serves up traditional pub fare with an Indigenous twist. Try the duck poutine and grab a table with riverfront patio views.
Day 3Outaouais Water Adventures
If you have enough energy leftover drive 30 minutes to Chutes Coulonge Adventure Park. Walk along the Coulonge River in this historic park with views of the waterfalls or for more thrills try the zip line, obstacle course, or via ferrata.
Stop at Café Downtown for a light supper of homemade soups and paninis where they also hold regular events including karaoke nights.
Day 4Road Trip to Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Spend your day at Parc national d’Opémican which will be your base for the remainder of the trip. Opémican is a brand-new national park that encompasses Lac Kipawa and the cliffs of Lac Témiscamingue. Walk along the sandy shores, hike or bike the trails, or kayak the lake. Kids will enjoy the treasure hunt game, and learn more about the park’s mascot Kana, in free organized family events.
Lodging in the park ranges from backcountry canoe camping to ready-to-camp canvas-sealed wood structures that offer more comfortable accommodations including double beds, and all you need to cook including a fridge, and auxiliary heating and lighting. Gather outside for ghost stories under the starlit forest skies.
Just 20 minutes from Parc national d’Opémican, stop for a bite at Bistro O’Shack et O’Persay. Overlooking the O’Persay campground, the bistro serves seasonal food with a beautiful view of Lac Kipawa.
Pro tip: You can pick up camping gear from the Coop de l’arrière-pays, which also offers guided tours including rock climbing, canoeing, and nature interpretations.
Day 5 Explore Parc national d’Opémican
Day 6 Discover Parc national d’Aiguebelle
Here you can also spot evidence of geological phenomena from the ice age in ancient lava flows, and the giant’s kettle. Walk across a 72-foot-high suspended walkway for fabulous views of the cliff-lined lake below.
Connect with Exode bâtisseur d’aventures who specialize in curating outdoor adventures intertwined with cultural experiences, including opportunities to practice yoga in the wilderness, take part in remote canoe excursions, or rappel down a cliff with a certified climbing guide. They also arrange a private chef to cater meals and aim to elevate every excursion to the next level.
Day 7Fish and Hike in Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Or choose to drive 40-minutes to Réserve faunique La Vérendrye, a dream for fishing enthusiasts who may be able to catch speckled trout, lake trout, northern pike, or walleye, provided they have a Québec fishing license in hand. This enormous reserve features more than 4,000 lakes, with opportunities to canoe, rowboat, white water raft, or recreational kayak, as well as take a leisurely pedal boat ride.
Head to Microbrasserie Le Prospecteur where you can choose from a huge selection of brews and enjoy moules et frites with friends. For a memorable lodging option, consider Entre Lemoine et l’arbre, a selection of cabins on stilts close to Lac Lemoine, or Station Boréale for an eco-luxury experience in a dome.
As your Western Québec outdoor adventure comes to an end, reflect on the dramatic outdoor landscapes and old-growth forests that dominate the regions of the Outaouais and Abitibi-Témiscamingue and the epic experiences you’ve enjoyed.