Family fun in the Hills
Living where we do, we are fortunate to have access to an entire region full of family-friendly summer fun.
The town of Chelsea has one of the simplest ways for families to access Gatineau Park. Younger children can easily walk the Sugarbush Trail located at the Visitors’ Centre on Scott Road in Chelsea. This 1.1 km looped trail takes about 40 minutes to complete, has lots of shade and accommodates strollers. The brightly coloured ice cream shop across the street is a pleasant place to begin or end a visit to the trail. Also in Chelsea, around the corner from the Visitors’ Centre is Dunn-D’s Mini Golf on Notch Road, for school-aged children.
Inside Gatineau Park, visitors will find hiking trails and camping sites with drive-up and walk-in options. Camping spots need to be reserved in advance by contacting the reservation centre. Family-friendly beaches in the Park include Parent Beach, O’Brien Beach, Blanchet Beach and the beach at Lac La Pêche. If children are able to handle a 5km walk, the trail from Parent Beach to the Lusk Caves is worth the hike.
There are also many picnicking spots within the Park. The Penguin Picnic area has a pond where children can discover tadpoles, frogs and salamanders in their natural habitats.
In the town of Wakefield, visitors will find the Centre Wakefield LaPêchecommunity centre with a public library and outdoor skatepark. The Wakefield Market is open Saturdays from 9am-1pm at the community centre, offering locally grown produce, crafts and food vendors. With many restaurants and cafés along the waterfront, Wakefield offers a picturesque experience for day-tripping families.