• By: Kat Walcott

The Sensational Sights of the National Capital Region

The National Capital Region is beautiful all year round, but fall is an especially special time of year as the sunlight bouncing off the multi-coloured leaves of the region’s many forested areas make the landscape look like a gorgeous painting. Whether you’re visiting from out of town, new to the area, or a long-time resident of the region, here’s a list of just some of the many ideal spots to hike, relax and take in the spectacular views of the fall season. These spots also make for a great family visit for over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.

Pink Lake Lookout – Gatineau Park

There are many gorgeous lookout points in Gatineau Park, but Pink Lake is perhaps the most special. The site looks out over the stunning Pink Lake, which in spite of its name, is not pink but actually a vivid green at certain points of the year. This green colour is caused by the levels of microscopic green algae that inhabit the lake. The lake is framed by the dense forest of Gatineau Park which is a beautiful hue of yellow, red, orange and brown during this time of year. Definitely a sight to see! Gatineau public bus operator STO is offering a free shuttle service from downtown Ottawa to Gatineau Park on the weekends until October 22nd, so if you don’t have a car or are worried about finding parking, definitely take advantage of this!

Major's HillPark – Downtown Ottawa

Major's Hill Park is an Ottawa gem, a beautiful green space located right in the heart of downtown. It is popular in the spring and summer as one of the main sites of Tulip Festival, Canada Day and Jazz Fest festivities, but it is truly beautiful all year round. It offers great views of the National Gallery of Canada, Parliament and the Byword Market and the park’s many trees create the perfect fall backdrop during this time of year. Its location is so convenient for those of you who live downtown and don’t want to travel for some greenery and relaxation.

Parc Des Cèdres – Gatineau, QC (Aylmer Sector)

Parc Des Cèdres is the main public park in the Aylmer sector of Gatineau, but it is quickly gaining popularity with residents in other parts of Gatineau and Ottawa for its gorgeous scenery and family-friendly accommodations and activities. The park includes tons of open space for picnicking, play structures for kids, a beach, and a stunning marina which is the perfect spot to admire the Ottawa River. Fall is a great time to explore this park as the colourful foliage makes for some beautiful Instagram shots. If you’re a bird lover, Parc Des Cèdres is also a great place for duck and geese watching during this time of year as they gather in huge flocks as they prepare to fly south for the winter.

Nepean Point – Downtown Ottawa

Nepean Point is a lookout area located in downtown Ottawa, right next to the Alexandra Bridge. It’s a beautiful green space with rows of benches making it ideal for studying, meditating or just simply admiring the beautiful sites of the city. The most spectacular view from this point is of Parliament Hill. The stunning architecture of the Parliament buildings sitting a top multi-coloured foliage from the trees that wrap around the hill is a shot that looks like it’s straight off a postcard.

Mackenzie King Estate – Chelsea, QC

Mackenzie King Estate is a 231-hectare historic site located in the Chelsea area of Gatineau Park. The residence and property originally belonged to 10th Prime Minister of Canada William Lyon Mackenzie King who, after almost five decades of up keeping and expanding the property, gifted it to the Canadian public. The estate now serves as a stunning public area which includes multiple cottages that are open to tour, beautiful architectural ruins, trees, a garden and the main house has been converted into a tea room and restaurant. If you want to sit down with a nice, warm cup of tea and take in some gorgeous fall sights, this is the place for you.