13 Best Hiking Trails in Gatineau Park

Are you ready for an adventure? Discover the mesmerizing beauty of Gatineau Park’s hiking trails. Venture through lush forests alongside picturesque lakes and even explore hidden caves. Get ready to be awestruck by stunning waterfalls along the way. These best hiking trails in Gatineau Park are a journey every nature lover must experience!

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view of the fields and the river from the Eardly Escarpment in Gatineau Park
images variées sur les sentiers de randonnée dans le parc de la Gatineau

My Favorite Hiking Trails in Gatineau Park

Pink Lake

  • Distance: 2.3 km loop
  • Elevation gain: minimal
  • Approximate time: 1 hour
  • Easy
  • Dogs are not allowed on this trail
  • Enjoy as a family
  • Trailhead from the Pink Trail parking lot or the Pink Lake Viewpoint parking lot on Gatineau Parkway (parking is limited)

This trail in Gatineau Park gets busy on summer days, but you will soon understand why when you see the beautiful colour of the lake. The trail loops around the lake with several sets of stairs helping hikers up or down. This spot is also popular for trail running.

Carbide Willson Ruins and Falls

  • Distance: 3.5 km out-and-back
  • Elevation gain: 130 metres
  • Approximate time: 1 hour
  • Easy
  • Dogs are welcome on a leash
  • Enjoy as a family
  • Trailhead from the P11 O’Brien Beach parking lot on Meech Lake Road

This trail leads to the ruins of the Carbide Willson Mill. The hundred-year-old structures are impressive, and the falls make for beautiful shots. There is a fee for parking at the P11 parking lot.

vielle batisse en ruines de Carbide Willson et la chute dans le parc de la Gatineau

Lusk Cave

  • Distance: 8.5 km loop
  • Elevation gain: 220 metres
  • Approximate time: 4 hours
  • Moderate
  • Dogs are welcome on a leash
  • Enjoy as a family
  • Trailhead from the Parent Beach parking lot on Lac-Philippe Road

Enjoy a hike in Gatineau Park along Lake Philippe, heading towards the caves. Hikers can explore the caves with the appropriate equipment. Water levels can get up to a meter high in the caves; wear proper shoes and bring an extra pair. A headlamp or a flashlight will be handy, and a safety helmet is recommended.

King Mountain

  • Distance: 1.8 km loop
  • Elevation gain: 100 metres
  • Approximate time: 1 hour
  • Moderate
  • Dogs are not permitted on this trail
  • Enjoy as a family
  • Trailhead from the King Mountain parking lot on the Champlain Parkway

This short trail in Gatineau Park leads to multiple lookouts along the ridge of King Mountain overlooking the Ottawa Valley. Learn about the forest and the surrounding ecosystem through interpretive panels.

Hiking views of the valley from the Mont King in Gatineau Park

Tri-Peaks

  • Distance: 6 km loop
  • Elevation gain: 350 metres
  • Approximate time: 3 hours
  • Difficult
  • Dogs are welcome on a leash
  • Trailhead from Cregheur Road in Luskville, QC

This challenging hike in Gatineau Park crosses a field to bring hikers up the Eardley Escarpment to three peaks, hence the tri-peaks name. This trail is also popular with paragliders that launch off the highest of the three peaks. The views at the top are fantastic. I recommend having a mapping app as the park no longer maintains this trail, and markers are sparse and, for the most part, nonexistent.

fields and river in valley seen from the Eardley Escarpment in Luskville

Wolf Trail

  • Distance: 8.3 km loop
  • Elevation gain: 300 metres
  • Approximate time: 3 hours
  • Difficult
  • Dogs are welcome on a leash
  • Trailhead from P13, at Blanchet Beach, on Meech Lake Road

This trail is one of the best hiking trails in Gatineau Park. It is perfect for a workout or a trail run. The views from the two lookouts are beautiful. The trail is well-marked and a fun challenge.

Viewpoint of the forest and farmers' fields from the Wolf Trail in Gatineau Park

Luskville Falls

  • Distance: 4.2 km loop
  • Elevation gain: 300 metres
  • Approximate time: 2-3 hours
  • Difficult
  • Dogs are not permitted on this trail
  • Enjoy all year-round
  • Trailhead from the Luskville Falls parking lot in Luskville, QC

This is a popular hike in Gatineau Park, especially in the spring when the water flow from the melting snow is at its highest. The impressive waterfall accompanies hikers as they climb to the top of the ridge, from where the view of the valley is amazing. The loop brings hikers to an old fire tower before returning to the falls. You will have to cross a couple of streams.

Two hikers standing in front of the Luskville Waterfall

More Note-Worthy Hiking Trails in Gatineau Park

Sugar Bush Trail

  • Distance: 2 km loop
  • Elevation gain: minimal
  • Approximate time: 30 minutes
  • Easy
  • Dogs are welcome on a leash
  • Enjoy as a family
  • Trailhead at the Visitor Centre, 33 Chem. Scott, Chelsea, QC

The loop is an easy hike and is also used for mountain biking. It is open year-round for hiking and snowshoeing.

Champlain Loop 

  • Distance: 1.1 km loop
  • Elevation gain: minimal
  • Approximate time: 30 minutes
  • Easy
  • Dogs are welcome on a leash
  • Enjoy as a family
  • Trailhead from the Champlain Lookout parking lot at the end of Champlain Parkway

This easy hiking loop in Gatineau Park offers beautiful views and a peaceful walk in the forest. Hikers can learn about the geological history of the Eardley Escarpment and the plants in the area.

The brick wall of the Champlain Lookout with the forest and hills in the distance

Skyline Trail

  • Distance: 5.3 km loop
  • Elevation gain: 150 meters
  • Approximate time: 2 hours
  • Moderate
  • Dogs are welcome on a leash
  • Enjoy as a family
  • Trailhead from P7 parking lot, 206 Kingsmere Road, Chelsea, QC

The Skyline Loop is a fun hike in the woods. This is not a hike for the views, but the trail is wide and wanders through the forest with enough elevation gain to make it a decent workout. Mountain bikers also use the trail, so keep an eye or an ear out for them.

leaf covered ground and muddy Skyline Trail with bear trees in the fall

Waterfalls and Lauriault Loop

  • Distance: 4.5 km loop
  • Elevation gain: 100 metres
  • Approximate time: 1 hour
  • Moderate
  • Dogs are welcome on a leash
  • Enjoy as a family
  • Trailhead from the P6 parking lot at the Mackenzie King Estate. Visitors and hikers can park for a fee.

The Lauriault Loop is a fun walk in the forest featuring waterfalls and a lake. The minimal elevation makes this hike accessible for the whole family.

Lac Philippe Loop

  • Distance: 9.5 km loop
  • Elevation gain: 250 metres
  • Approximate time: 3 hours
  • Moderate
  • Dogs are welcome on a leash
  • Trailhead from the Parent Beach parking lot

This long hike in Gatineau Park follows the shore of the lake and dips in and out of the forest. The trail is a well-maintained, wide path used by both hikers and bikers.

Yellow Box Trail

  • Distance: 14 km loop
  • Elevation gain: 480 metres
  • Approximate time: 4 hours
  • Difficult
  • Dogs are welcome on a leash
  • Trailhead on Eardley-Masham Road, near Eardley, QC

This trail in Gatineau Park leads hikers to worthy views through the forest and on top of the ridge. The fun part of the hike is finding the yellow box, where hikers can leave a message for the following adventurers.

Hiker reading some of the messages left by previous hikers in the yellow box on a trail in Gatineau Park

Parking in Gatineau Park

Most of the parking lots and trailheads are accessible from one of the three parkways in the park: Gatineau Parkway, Fortune Lake Parkway and Champlain Parkway, or a local road in Chelsea and Luskville, Québec. These parkways are usually open from early May to late September. The dates will vary every year to protect wildlife and their habitats. 

The parkways are not accessible to vehicles during the winter months. Some local roads and parking lots are still accessible, as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular in Gatineau Park. 

Shuttle during high season

A shuttle bus runs on Saturdays and Sundays from late May to late August. You can catch the Park’s bus from downtown Ottawa or downtown Gatineau. You can see the park’s shuttle schedule and stops here.

Enjoying the best hiking trails in Gatineau Park

While on the trails, whether easy, short, or long, challenging hikes, keep yourself and your family safe with the essential hiking gear.

Most trails in Gatineau Park can be enjoyed all year round. These winter hiking tips will be helpful if you explore the park in the winter months.

Happy Trails!

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