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Fall colours in the Ottawa ValleyAt the end of September, Gatineau Park (a 10-minute drive from Ottawa) is bustling with activity for its fall colours festival. Gatineau Park is at the base of the Laurentian hills, one of the older mountain chains in Canada (probably an extension of the Adirondacks in the U.S.A.). The relatively high elevation allows for great views of the Ottawa River and valley when hiking and it is quieter towards the end of the season - all you can hear is the sound of crisp leaves underfoot.
Also worth checking out in Gatineau Park: cross country skiing through the woods to communal ski chalets on a moonlit Friday night to share wine and fondu; climbing up Luskville Falls at the base of the mountain; cycling the bike paths on summer Sundays when the City shuts down the roads for vehicle traffic; taking a dip in Lac Meech and, finally, driving up to the Champlain lookout to admire the view.